July 16 – 24, 2011
“The goal of the July 2011 Mission Blue expedition to the Swan Islands was to explore and document the nature of marinelife in the surrounding waters and to support designation of the islands, known as the ‘Galapagos of the Caribbean,’ as a marine protected area.” – Dr. Sylvia Earle
The Mesoamerican Reef was formed over the last 225 million years and extends from Isla Contoy on the north of the Yucatan Peninsula to the Bay Islands of Honduras. It is the second longest barrier reef in the world and unique in the Western hemisphere due to its length, composition of reef types, and diverse assemblage of corals and related species. It hosts more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk and more than 500 species of fish, including the mammoth whale shark—the largest fish in the world.