Coral Reefs are aragonite structures produced by living organisms, found in marine waters with little to no nutrients in the water. High nutrient levels such as those found in runoff from agricultural areas can harm the reef by encouraging the growth of algae.
In most reefs, the predominant organisms are stony corals, colonial cnidarians that secrete an exoskeleton of calcium carbonate. The accumulation of skeletal material, broken and piled up by wave action and bioeroders, produces a massive calcareous formation that supports the living corals and a great variety of other animal and plant life.
Although corals are found both in temperate and tropical waters, shallow-water reefs are formed only in a zone extending at most from 30°N to 30°S of the equator.
The Coral Reef System of Veracruz is formed by a group of small islands and 17 reefs, of which 11 they are located close to AntónLizardo and the rest are located in front of th Port ofVeracruz. It has a surface of 52.238 hectares.
Since the pre-hispanic times, the inhabitants of the Veracruz region used the Island of Sacrifices to perform adorations and ceremonies. Numerous archaeological traces have been found, which include burials and remainders of pyramidal basements and totonac temples.
The System Arrecifal of Veracruz was cited, for the first time, a century ago by Heilprin (1891). This System is one of the most important in Mexico by their size and the number of species. In spite of their proximity to the coast and estuaries of important rivers, like the Jamapa and the Papaloapan, they don´t produce significant variations in the salinity of Coral reef complex.
In the Green Island 26 species of plants are known, including the stabilizing species of the sand.
This system is rich in species like the mollusk, clams, shrimps and lobsters.
Source : Subsecretaría de Medio Ambiente, Áreas naturales protegidas de Veracruz, 2000: Editora del Gobierno del Estado de Veracruz. México.