Underwater Museum to Protect Coral Reefs in Mexico


Photo: Jason Taylor's sculptures, now in Mexico.

Mexico has announced plans to build the largest underwater museum in the world, with around 400 figures made of concrete submerged in the Caribbean sea, near Cancun. The goal? Protecting the regions coral reefs.We admit it, it can sound weird at first: How are you going to protect coral reefs by introducing concrete sculptures into the water?

The Sculpture Underwater Museum will be located at the Parque Nacional Costa Occidental, which is located around Mujeres Island, Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc. This area receives around 290 thousand tourists a year, which bring lots of economic wealth but add a lot of pressure to the region's natural resources.

So, according to Tierramerica, the idea is to drive tourist attention from the Mexican Caribbean sea's coral reefs onto the newly created museum.

The concrete that will be used will be PH neutral, which will allow the birth of algae and the proliferation of invertebrates.

Jaime Gonzalez Cano, director of the national park, is confident that this will act almost as a restoration of the natural coral reefs. He said to Tierramerica: "With this museum we will warrantee a better distribution of the tourists and we will give the reefs some rest. It will be almost like a restoration, because by being more healthy, the reefs will be stronger against hurricanes."

The first four sculptures will be placed this November, and it's expected that by 2010, the number will have gone up to 250. They will have human shapes and a 4 sq. meters basement.

Jason de Caires Taylor, famous for his underwater art work, will be responsible for the sculptures along with other artists.

What do you think? Can this be a good alternative to protect the reefs in Mexico, and perhaps in other parts of the world?

More on the Loss of Coral Reefs:
Green Glossary: Coral Reefs
Caribbean Coral Reefs 'Flattened' Over the Past 40 Years
6 Steps to Saving the World's Coral Reefs

Tags: Conservation | Coral Reefs | Mexico | Tourism

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