Conserving Cuba’s vast natural wonders

Cuba is at a crossroads of political and economic change. We must act quickly to prevent irreversible losses.

The nation’s magnificent coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove colonies support hundreds of marine species—including sea turtles, reef fish, sharks, dolphins and manatees—across more than 4,000 islets and keys. Fishing is vital to the nation’s economy, but the majority of its commercially valuable fish stocks are already in critical condition.

This, paired with rapid development and offshore drilling, could irreversibly harm the county’s unique natural resources. EDF is actively working to to conserve Cuba’s natural wonders.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has worked in Cuba for more than 12 years and is one of the few U.S. organizations that have built the strong local relationships essential to success.

We helped create Cuba’s massive network of more than 100 marine protected areas, the largest in the Caribbean, and secured numerous visas for exchanges between Cuban and U.S. scientists. We are now working to ensure that if Cuba taps offshore oil and gas reserves, it follows strict environmental safeguards to avoid disastrous spills.

In 2011, the Cuban government unveiled far-reaching economic reforms. EDF seeks to leverage the government’s unprecedented openness to transform Cuba’s marine resource management and preserve its coastal environments.

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