Explore the hot topic of artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico and the constant battle to balance the ecology and economy. Witness the beauty and abundance of life on offshore oil & gas structures as scientists and teachers collaborate on how and whether these unitentional ecosystems can be preserved.
Professional Development Expeditions for Educators
Coral Reef Diving Expedition (Down Under Out Yonder)
Wetlands Expedition (Intracoastal Waterways Expedition)
Teachers talk about their experiences in these rich, on-the-water workshops and the impact it has on their students. For information on the 2016 expeditions click here.
Habitat Restoration Projects – Gulf of Mexico Community-based Restoration Partnership
Thanks to generous support from the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program, and the Gulf of Mexico Foundation – Mexico Chapter, we were able to assist critical mangrove restoration projects in Mexico. Many creatures who depend on these mangroves migrate across the Gulf without regard for political boundaries. The Gulf is one ecosystem and we have to work together to keep it healthy and productive. Witness the beauty and the fascinating stories of four mangrove forests and how scientists engaged local communities to restore these ecological gems.
Mangrove Restoration in Key Mexican Coastal Lagoons (or view the full length version here.)
Mangroves are among the most valuable ecosystems worldwide but are being depleted rapidly. Four mangrove restoration projects were just completed that, together, restored or enhanced 453 acres of mangroves along the Mexican Gulf Coast. View this brief video to see, in beautiful imagery, the challenges, the methods, and the communities that have been impacted in a powerful way.
Addressing Hydrological Flux for Mangroves at Tuxpan (Tampamachoco Lagoon, Tuxpan municipality, Veracruz State)
The construction of several powerline embankments was all it took to cut off a large, healthy mangrove forest from seasonal stormwater, killing many trees. With EPA funding from the Foundation, scientists at INECOL have restored hydrological connectivity and are monitoring the soil and water chemistry as the mangroves gradually come back.
Alvarado Veracruz Lagoon System, Chinampa Restoration Technique (Floating Islands)
Pronatura Veracruz adapted an ancient Mexican agricultural technique to mangrove restoration at its Los Canates Nature Reserve near Tlacotalpan. With Foundation support, they built 418 floating islands and planted 1,880 mangroves on them to restore 4.42 acres.
Hydrological Restoration of Mangrove at Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve
The University of Campeche dug two artificial channels to restore hydrological flows cut off by road construction, then planted mangrove seedlings along them. They hired locals, benefiting them economically and spreading awareness of how healthy ecosystems benefit humans. EPA/Foundation funding restored almost 25 acres in this critically important protected area.
Nichupte Lagoon Mangrove Restoration (near Cancun)
In the middle of Cancun, Mexico sits a large, protected mangrove forest that suffered from an invasion of Australian Pine trees. These non-native trees take over mangroves by reproducing rapidly even as they produce a chemical that inhibits mangrove reproduction. This tandem effect is so potent that the only hope was to entirely remove the trees from the area. With EPA/Foundation funding, scientists were able to turn the tide by attacking one of the last remaining infestations.