Cancun-based conservation NGO, Amigos de Sian Ka’an has launched a new campaign called Agua es Vida or Water is Life to raise awareness of the need for better water management and marine conservation. In order to do this, it has teamed up with famous diver, marine biologist and conservationist Ocean Ramsey, best known for her conservation work with sharks.
Their message is that we urgently need to protect our water sources and prevent pollution. Contaminated water flowing into the sea kills coral, fish and other marine creatures and can cause algae blooms that block the sunlight and smother the reefs. Toxins accumulate in the food chain and plastic waste kills millions of birds, turtles and other creatures every year. The extinction rate of marine life is five times greater than that of land creatures.
Here in the Yucatan Peninsula, the underground rivers and cenotes are the only source of fresh water and they are at risk. In cooperation with researchers from Austria, Amigos de Sian Ka’an has been able to map the intricate network of waterways deep in the limestone, trace the flow of water towards the coast and the areas where pollution is greatest.
The group is also working with the government and the tourism industry to develop a water management program, improve wastewater treatment and help Mayan communities with green technology to reduce contamination.