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Since 1970, the Caribbean has lost half of its coral reefs, an ominous and accelerating phenomenon that extends around the world. Beyond the unfathomable heartbreak of the loss of such exquisite beauty from the earth, coral’s loss represents the annual loss of billions of dollars from the global economy and the end of a way of life for billions that depend on these ecosystems. Marine scientist and conservation leader Dr. David E. Guggenheim has had a front-row seat to this disaster. But when he began a new chapter of his career in Cuba, he found something completely unexpected: hope.
After years and years of watching reefs deteriorate, Guggenheim was astonished to come face-to-face with Cuba's remarkably healthy coral reefs overflowing with fish and other marine life. The Remarkable Reefs of Cuba reveals the hidden potential that Cuba’s reefs may contain for the reefs of the world.
While the past 60 years have seen the worst decline in ocean health in human history, Cuba’s oceans and coral reefs remain remarkably healthy, a living laboratory never-before-seen by this generation of scientists. Which begs the question: why are Cuba’s ocean waters so healthy? The answer is deeply intertwined with the country’s extraordinary and singularly unique history, from its dramatic political past to its world-class environmental protections influenced by an unlikely partner, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
This buoyant book tells the story of the demise of the world’s ocean ecosystems, the hard work of those desperately trying to save it, and an unexpected beacon of hope from an island full of mystery and surprises.