Puerto Morelos Coral Reef is part of the Reef Barrier known as “The Great Western Atlantic Ocean Coral Reef Belt”. Considered as the second biggest reef barrier of the world. This barrier section located in front of Puerto Morelos also extends to the north and adjoins with Isla Mujeres “Western Coast National Park”, Punta Cancun, and Punta Nizuc.
In February 2nd of 1998 it was declared as a Natural Protected Area under the trait of National Park by the “Official Federation Diary”. The area consists of 9,066 acres. The community takes part in the protection and maintenance of the natural area by suggesting their ideas trough the “National Park Assessment Council”.
Puerto Morelos has been characterized, since the 70’s, by the presence of institutions, organizations and people committed to research activities and ways to conserve nature, as well as the encouragement of a sustainable usage of natural resources. At the same time, Fishers, researchers, service providers, and civil societies considerate the preservation of the coral reef as something essential for a healthy growth of the local and regional society. Locals believe that protect the coral reef can save the natural heritage that the reefs represent for them.
In the coral reef, inside the coral reef lagoon and underwater pastures, thousands of species such as plants, fishes and spineless creatures made a new home, some of them considered as endangered species, or species with a special kind of protection. There are also many other species that use the coral reef as a breeding ground, as a feeding area or as a way to raise their offspring.
The coral reef also represents the most important source of income for Puerto Morelos, since the coral reef is their primary source of food, commercial fishing and tourist appeal. It also acts as a physical barrier for the waves that are created by hurricanes, preventing the erosion of the beach, as well as major damage to human society.