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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?



Save the reef

Every year, over 12 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.


Join the movement

Become a citizen scientist

Put on your scientist hat and help watch over the Mesoamerican Reef. You’ll be able to use the NEMO mobile app to collect valuable scientific data that contributes to local marine conservation. All you have to do is share photos of what you observe while out on the reef!

mesoamerican reef conservation
Discover the reef

Learn about the marine wildlife you can see on the Mesoamerican Reef, as well as the issues that are impacting this sensitive environment. Becoming more aware of your surroundings will allow you to more fully experience this fascinating underwater ecosystem.


Saving the reef will take our collective effort, so follow us on Instagram and help us spread the word to others. And be sure to check in periodically to see how together, we are contributing to a brighter future for the Mesoamerican Reef!

Make a donation

Your support will help us grow the movement and launch the NEMO mobile app. This new citizen science tool will make it easier for you and fellow  marine enthusiasts to participate in protecting the Mesoamerican Reef.


A disappearing reef

The Mesoamerican Reef is the world’s second largest barrier reef, 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. Climate change, over-tourism, and unsustainable fishing have wreaked havoc along the reef. The consequences range from coral bleaching and ocean pollution, to invasive species outbreaks and declining fish populations.

These devastating impacts threaten the 900+ marine species that call the reef home and the 2 million people whose livelihoods depend on the reef.

Addressing these issues requires a better understanding of changing reef conditions and potential threats. NEMO will be a streamlined solution that leverages the power of tourism and technology to collect and share this environmental data.


How NEMO helps


Planning to visit the Mesoamerican Reef? Download the NEMO app to your smartphone or sign up on the NEMO web platform (both coming soon!)


Upload photos of what you see while exploring the reef. This could be anything from fish, sharks and other marine life… to coral bleaching, invasive species, or marine debris.


Your sightings data goes into the NEMO database, helping scientists identify threats to the reef and detect changes in coral health.


Local authorities and conservation groups take action to stop threats faster, improve conservation methods, and better protect the reef!


Every Dollar Counts

OVER HALF of the Meosamerican Reef is currently in poor or critical condition. We need your help to save this fragile ecosystem before it’s too late. Help us launch NEMO by donating today!

Who we are

NEMO is being developed by Sustainable Travel International, a global non-profit dedicated to ensuring that tourism is a force for positive change for communities, cultures, and natural environments.




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.