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Saving our reefs


What if we could help save one of our planet’s most remarkable, yet threatened ecosystems… simply by taking pictures on our travels?


Join the Movement

Save the reef

Every year, over 16 million people visit the Mesoamerican Reef, putting pressure on this haven of biodiversity. But, what if these same visitors could be a force to save it?

NEMO is a different kind of conservation movement, powered by a community of travelers and adventurers who are actively protecting the Mesoamerican Reef. Whether you’re out diving, snorkeling, or just relaxing on the beach, YOU can become a Natural Environment Marine Observer (NEMO) and help save the reef.

How To


You can help our team of Reef Responders watch over the Mesoamerican Reef! All you have to do is share photos of what you see while out on the reef. Here’s how it works:


Take photos

of the fish, sharks, coral, and threats you see while exploring the reef!

Share Your Photos

to Instagram using #SupportNEMO. Note the location (dive site or GPS coordinates) and date you took it.


Our Response Team


what’s happening on the reef, spot threats, and detect changes in coral health by analyzing your photos.

Protect the Reef

by stopping threats fast and improving conservation methods.

Keep an eye out for…

A coral disease outbreak, known as “Síndrome Blanco,” is killing over 20 coral species off of Mexico’s Caribbean coast and spreading rapidly across the reef. 

How to spot: Look for corals with bare white patches or bands 

Your photos will help us:

  • Track infected reef and coral
  • Apply treatment to diseased corals
  • Identify resistant corals

Marine litter and water pollution are critical threats to the reef, and can be potentially lethal to coral and marine animals. 

Look for: Plastics, fishing nets, and other marine debris, as well as oil spills and wastewater discharge

Your photos will help us:

  • Remove debris
  • Stop pollution at the source
  • Launch targeted awareness campaigns to reduce pollution

Marine wildlife is also an important indicator of ecosystem health so we want to see your photos of ALL the remarkable animals you see. Let’s show the world why this amazing ecosystem is worth protecting!

Look for: All marine wildlife, particularly key species such as turtles, rays, sharks, groupers, parrotfish, and lionfish

Your photos will help us:

  • Track species populations and migration patterns
  • Remove invasive species
  • Inform marine policies and protective measures

A disappearing reef

The Mesoamerican Reef is the world’s second largest reef system, stretching 600 miles along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.

Despite its massive size, the Mesoamerican Reef is a sensitive ecosystem whose future is at stake. Over half of the reef is currently in poor or critical condition due to overtourism, coastal development, climate change, and unsustainable fishing.

What’s at Stake

900+ marine species that call the reef home and depend on it for their survival

2 million people who rely on the reef for their livelihoods, food, and coastal protection

$6.2 billion economic value of the reef generated by tourism, fisheries, and coastal development sectors

Become a NEMO

Take Action Now

Join the Movement

Saving the reef will take our collective effort, so join our mailing list below, follow us on Instagram at @SupportNEMO, and help spread the word!


Post your #SupportNEMO photos to Instagram to fuel conservation and create a brighter future for the Mesoamerican Reef.


Make a Donation

We need your support to save this fragile ecosystem before it’s too late. Donate today to help us grow the movement and protect the reef!

Who we are

NEMO is being developed by Sustainable Travel International, a global non-profit dedicated to protecting and conserving our planet’s most vulnerable destinations by transforming tourism’s impact on nature and people.

Reef Response Team

Our Reef Response team brings together the most knowledgeable and prominent reef conservation entities in the region, including marine scientists and authorities. We analyze NEMO data to take conservation action.




Mesoamerican Reef


The reef system is home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk and more than 500 species of fish. There are numerous species that live in or around the reef system that are endangered or under some degree of protection, including the following: sea turtles (green sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, leatherback turtle, and the hawksbill turtle), the queen conch, the West Indian manatee, the splendid toadfish, the American crocodile, the Morelet’s Crocodile, the Nassau grouper, elkhorn coral, and black coral.


The reef system is currently suffering an invasion by the red lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), which is native to the Indo-Pacific region. Lionfish severely damage the reef ecosystem by eating nearly every reef-tending species, such as cleaner shrimp and other species that eat algae. These animals keep the corals clean, alive, and disease-free. Lionfish eat up to 90% of the reef-tending species in a given area within just a few months, which can result in a quick death for a reef.