The Conservational State of Coastal Ecosystems on the Mexican Caribbean Coast: Environmental Guidelines for Their Management

Mayrene Guimarais, Adán Zúñiga-Ríos, Cesia J. Cruz-Ramírez, Valeria Chávez, Itxaso Odériz, Brigitta I. Tussenbroek, Rodolfo Silva
2021 Sustainability  
The accelerated rate of environmental degradation of the Mexican Caribbean coast is alarming. In this work, spatial analysis procedures were applied to study relationships among wave and wind climates, water quality, and environmental degradation of the principal coastal ecosystems. We found an increasing North-South gradient in the preservation state of the coastal ecosystems, related to the degree of anthropization of the coastline. In the north, all analysed stressors exert high pressure on
more » ... t high pressure on coral reefs, seagrass meadows, mangroves, and dunes, and cause chronic coastline erosion. The coastal ecosystems of the central and southern regions are more mature and healthier, and the most significant stressor is reduced water quality. The north has been most hit by high-intensity hurricanes, the frequency of which has increased in the Mexican Caribbean over recent decades. The status of conservation of the ecosystems, added to the long-term intensification of environmental pressures, particularly high-intensity hurricanes, will induce further deterioration if a coordinated management scheme is not adopted by decision-makers. To ensure effective coordinated management, plans should be made on a regional scale using shared guidelines. Spatial analysis procedures aid in prioritizing and adapting the shared guidelines depending on the identified major stressors and the preservation state of each region in the Mexican Caribbean.
doi:10.3390/su13052738 fatcat:jjmhihogyrdjvchbovrqk7w6um