The big lie about our reefs …
In Tela (https://lempiratimes.com/2020/02/23/tela-caribbean-delight/) we have been blessed with great natural resources, extensive forests, a unique botanical garden in Latin America, beautiful beaches and healthy coral reefs.
Yet this vast and beautiful natural heritage has been disappearing over time; the forests have been cut down, the botanical garden is just a mirage of what it once was, the wide rivers that used to cross our slopes are now streams and the famous reefs of Tela – well, most are dying.
But why does the average Teleño when asked about their reefs say that they are the most beautiful and healthy in Central America?
Because they have been lied to for years.
Unfortunately, the reefs depend on divers. Diving is a selective activity, few people do it periodically. The reefs of Tela are in trouble because only the divers can see them; most Teleños barely know the current state of the reefs with people depending on divers to tell them the truth about what is happening. And if they (the divers) lie to them, then people misinform themselves and believe that everything is fine. That is not so.
The reality of the reefs of Tela is that they are dying little by little, the deforestation of the river basins creates sediment that drowns the reefs; they need sunlight to live and when the sediment covers them, they slowly die.
The fertilizers from the African palm, as well as the disappearance of the mangroves and wetlands from the coast, all contribute to the reef’s death…
The biggest pollutant in Tela killing reefs and marine life more than anything else is the sewage that falls into the sea as Tela lacks a water treatment and sewage system.
We divers become aware of all these man-made disasters every time we submerge and see the reef die-off in Tela, each time we have to go further from the coast to see beautiful reefs, it breaks our heart to see everything terrible happening to them.
Yet people do not know about this because individuals with dark interests have been lying to them for years, telling them that in Tela everything is fine and that our reefs are a beauty. That is a lie and it bothers me because if we do not know the truth, how are we going to repair the serious problems that are killing our reefs and marine life?
As always, those who lie to the people are those who are not from here, so I understand that they don’t love Tela and if everything dies, they will leave with their bags of money and we will be forced to see how we solve our problems.
The reefs of Tela can still be saved yet we must eradicate the causes which kill the reef; there has already been coral bleaching occurring in the Bay of Tela for years and nobody knows that. Punta Sal and Capiro, which were previously considered an example of coral health, have areas which are whitewashed with coral and covered with sediment. Let’s not be fooled any longer.
We all have to do our part and demand action from our authorities as well.
They may lie to people claiming that they don’t want to scare off tourists yet I think it is more productive for us to all work together in preventing the reefs from dying rather than lying to people. Reefs will not survive if they depend on a few liars. Nothing good ever came from lying.
We can no longer continue being morons by tolerating those who are only looking to enrich themselves at the cost of the death of our corals. The only way that we will save our reefs is by accepting that they need our help and in seeking solutions together. Lying to people is no longer an option.
Let us educate ourselves on this subject for our future depends on it, because even if you do not believe it, all Teleños depend on the sea, fishing and reefs.
Do your research and you will find out why.
Written originally in Spanish by Javier Parham.
Link to his Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Javier-Parham/e/B01E6DA786%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share