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The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is an
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
of the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
in the
tropics The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% ...

tropics
of the Western Hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and south west, to the north by the
Greater Antilles The Greater Antilles ( es, Grandes Antillas or Antillas Mayores; french: Grandes Antilles ht, Gwo Zantiy jam, Grieta hAntiliiz) is a grouping of the larger islands in the Caribbean Sea, including Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the ...

Greater Antilles
starting with
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
, to the east by the
Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor; nl, Kleine Antillen) are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, ...
, and to the south by the north coast of
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

South America
. The entire area of the Caribbean Sea, the numerous islands of the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
, and adjacent coasts, are collectively known as the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
. The Caribbean Sea is one of the largest seas and has an area of about . The sea's deepest point is the
Cayman Trough __NOTOC__ The Cayman Trough (also known as the Cayman Trench, Bartlett Deep and Bartlett Trough) is a complex zone which contains a small , the , on the floor of the western between and the . It is the deepest point in the Caribbean Sea and ...

Cayman Trough
, between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, at below
sea level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an average In colloquial, ordinary language, an average is a single number taken as representative of a list of numbers, usually the sum of the numbers divided by how many numbers are in th ...

sea level
. The Caribbean coastline has many gulfs and bays: the Gulf of Gonâve,
Gulf of Venezuela The Gulf of Venezuela is a gulf of the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is an American mediterranean sea The ...
, Gulf of Darién, Golfo de los Mosquitos,
Gulf of Paria The Gulf of Paria ( es, Golfo de Paria) is a shallow (180 m at its deepest) semi-enclosed inland sea located between the island of Trinidad (Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) and the east coast of Venezuela. It separates the two countries by a ...

Gulf of Paria
and
Gulf of Honduras 250px, The Gulf of Honduras is shown in the center of this map The Gulf or Bay of Honduras is a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Cara ...

Gulf of Honduras
. The Caribbean Sea has the world's second largest
barrier reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biology), colonies of coral polyp (zoology), polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from sto ...
, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. It runs along the coasts of
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
,
Belize Belize () is a Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primari ...

Belize
,
Guatemala Guatemala ( ; ), officially the Republic of Guatemala ( es, República de Guatemala, links=no), is a country in Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Americas The Am ...

Guatemala
, and
Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean ...

Honduras
.


History

The name "Caribbean" derives from the Caribs, one of the region's dominant
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
groups at the time of
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
an contact during the late 15th century. After
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian ...

Christopher Columbus
landed in
the Bahamas The Bahamas (), known officially as The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a sovereign country within the Lucayan Archipelago The Lucayan Archipelago (named for the original native Lucayan people The Lucayan () people were the original resid ...
in 1492, the Spanish term ''
Antillas
Antillas
'' applied to the lands; stemming from this, "Sea of the Antilles" became a common alternative name for "Caribbean Sea" in various European languages. During the first century of development, Spanish dominance in the region remained undisputed. From the 16th century, Europeans visiting the Caribbean region identified the "South Sea" (the Pacific Ocean, to the south of the isthmus of Panama) as opposed to the "North Sea" (the Caribbean Sea, to the north of the same isthmus). The Caribbean Sea had been unknown to the populations of Eurasia until 1492, when Christopher Columbus sailed into Caribbean waters on a quest to find a sea route to Asia. At that time the
Western Hemisphere The Western Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining ...
in general was unknown to most Europeans, although it had been discovered between the years 800 and 1000 by the
vikings Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people primarily from Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl''. ( ) is a in , with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In ...

vikings
. Following the discovery of the islands by Columbus, the area was quickly colonized by several Western cultures (initially
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...
, then later
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
, the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...
,
Courland Courland (; lv, Kurzeme; liv, Kurāmō; German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nat ...
and
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...
). Following the colonization of the Caribbean islands, the Caribbean Sea became a busy area for European-based marine trading and transports, and this commerce eventually attracted
pirates Piracy is an act of robbery Robbery is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted ...
such as
Samuel Bellamy Captain Samuel Bellamy (Circa, c. February 23, 1689 – April 26, 1717), later known as "Black Sam" Bellamy, was an English pirate who operated in the early 18th century. He is best known as the wealthiest pirate in recorded history, and one of th ...

Samuel Bellamy
and
Blackbeard Edward Teach (alternatively spelled Edward Thatch, – 22 November 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was an English pirate Piracy is an act of robbery Robbery is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punish ...

Blackbeard
. the area is home to 22 island
territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the jurisdiction of a sovereign state. In most country, countries, a ''territory'' is an organized division of an area that is controlled by a country but is not formally d ...
and borders 12 continental
countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

countries
.


Extent

The
International Hydrographic Organization The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental organisation representing hydrography. As of December 2021 the IHO comprised 96 Member States. A principal aim of the IHO is to ensure that the world's seas, oceans and ...
defines the limits of the Caribbean Sea as follows: ::''On the North.'' In the Windward Channel – a line joining Caleta Point (74°15′W) and Pearl Point (19°40′N) in
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, to the east of Cuba and J ...

Haiti
. In the
Mona Passage The Mona Passage ( es, Canal de la Mona) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some ...
– a line joining Cape Engaño and the extreme of Agujereada () in
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
. ::''Eastern limits.'' From Point San Diego (Puerto Rico) Northward along the meridian thereof (65°39′W) to the 100-fathom line, thence Eastward and Southward, in such a manner that all islands, shoals and narrow waters of the
Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor; nl, Kleine Antillen) are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, ...
are included in the Caribbean Sea as far as Galera Point (Northeast extremity of the island of
Trinidad Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands of Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean The Caribbean ( ...

Trinidad
). From Galera Point through Trinidad to Galeota Point (Southeast extreme) and thence to Baja Point () in
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
. Note that, although
Barbados Barbados is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or c ...

Barbados
is an island on the same continental shelf, it is considered to be in the Atlantic Ocean rather than the Caribbean Sea.


Geology

The Caribbean Sea is an oceanic sea largely situated on the
Caribbean Plate The Caribbean Plate is a mostly oceanic tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around ...
. The Caribbean Sea is separated from the ocean by several
island arc Island arcs are long chains of active volcanoes with intense seismic activity found along convergent tectonic plate boundaries (such as the Ring of Fire). Most island arcs originate on oceanic crust and have resulted from the descent of the litho ...

island arc
s of various ages. The youngest stretches from the
Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor; nl, Kleine Antillen) are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, ...
to the
Virgin Islands The Virgin Islands ( es, Islas Vírgenes) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habita ...
to the north east of
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean C ...

Trinidad and Tobago
off the coast of
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
. This arc was formed by the collision of the
South American Plate The South American Plate is a major tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface Earth is the third planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remn ...
with the
Caribbean Plate The Caribbean Plate is a mostly oceanic tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around ...
and includes active and extinct
volcanoes A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. On Earth, volcanoes are most often found where tectonic plat ...
such as Mount Pelee,
the Quill (volcano) The Quill is a stratovolcano located on the island of Sint Eustatius in the Caribbean Netherlands. The summit elevation is above sea level. It is also the second highest mountain in the Netherlands. The name 'Quill' originates from the Dutch ter ...
on
Sint Eustatius Sint Eustatius (, ), also known locally as Statia (),Tuchman, Barbara W. ''The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution'' New York: Ballantine Books, 1988. is an island in the Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes ...

Sint Eustatius
in the
Caribbean Netherlands The Caribbean Netherlands ( nl, Caribisch Nederland, ) are the three #Administration, special municipalities of the Netherlands that are located in the Caribbean Sea. They consist of the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba,"Bonaire, Sin ...

Caribbean Netherlands
and Morne Trois Pitons on
Dominica Dominica ( or ; Kalinago : ; french: Dominique; Dominican Creole French Dominican Creole French is a French-based creole, which is the generally spoken language in Dominica Dominica ( or ; Kalinago language: ; french: Dominique; Do ...

Dominica
. The larger islands in the northern part of the sea
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
,
Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin and french: Hispaniola; ht, Ispayola; tnq, Ayiti) is an island in the Caribbean that is part of the Greater Antilles. Hispaniola is the most populous island in the West Indies, and the region's se ...
,
Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or ...

Jamaica
and
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
lie on an older island arc. The geological age of the Caribbean Sea is estimated to be between 160 and 180 million years and was formed by a horizontal fracture that split the
supercontinent In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers sim ...
called
Pangea Pangaea or Pangea () was a supercontinent In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology) ...

Pangea
in the
Mesozoic Era The Mesozoic Era ( ), also called the Age of Reptiles and the Age of Conifers, is the second-to-last era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology 222px, Joseph Scaliger's ''De emendatione temporum'' (1583) began the ...
. It is assumed the proto-caribbean basin existed in the
Devonian The Devonian ( ) is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic The Paleozoic (or Palaeozoic) Era ( ; from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the H ...
period. In the early
Carboniferous The Carboniferous ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and other ...
movement of
Gondwana Gondwana () or Gondwanaland was a supercontinent In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (ge ...

Gondwana
to the north and its convergence with the
Euramerica Laurasia (), a portmanteau for Laurentia and Asia, was the more northern of two large landmasses (the other being Gondwana) that formed part of the Pangaea supercontinent from around (Mya (unit), Mya). It separated from Gondwana (beginning in t ...
basin decreased in size. The next stage of the Caribbean Sea's formation began in the
Triassic The Triassic ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and other earth ...

Triassic
. Powerful
rifting In geology Geology (from the γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is a branch of concerned with both the liquid and , the of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over ...
led to the formation of narrow troughs, stretching from modern
Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (, ) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. It is composed of the island of Newfoundland (island), Newfoundland and the continental ...

Newfoundland
to the west coast of the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning ...

Gulf of Mexico
which formed
siliciclastic Siliciclastic rocks (commonly misspelled ''siliclastic'') are clastic Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing minerals In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemic ...
sedimentary rock Sedimentary rocks are types of rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compoun ...

sedimentary rock
s. In the early
Jurassic The Jurassic ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and other earth ...
due to powerful
marine transgression A marine transgression is a geology, geologic event during which sea level rises relative to the land and the shoreline moves toward higher ground, which results in flooding. Transgressions can be caused by the land sinking or by the ocean basins ...
, water broke into the present area of the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning ...

Gulf of Mexico
creating a vast shallow pool. The emergence of deep basins in the Caribbean occurred during the
Middle Jurassic The Middle Jurassic is the second epoch In chronology 222px, Joseph Scaliger's ''De emendatione temporum'' (1583) began the modern science of chronology Chronology (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the It ...
rifting In geology Geology (from the γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is a branch of concerned with both the liquid and , the of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over ...
. The emergence of these basins marked the beginning of the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
and contributed to the destruction of
Pangaea Pangaea or Pangea () was a supercontinent In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí G ...

Pangaea
at the end of the late
Jurassic The Jurassic ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and other earth ...
. During the
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of division ...

Cretaceous
the Caribbean acquired the shape close to that seen today. In the early
Paleogene The Paleogene ( ; also spelled Palaeogene or Palæogene; informally Lower Tertiary or Early Tertiary) is a geologic period and system that spans 43 million years from the end of the Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geolo ...
due to
Marine regression A marine regression is a geological process occurring when areas of submerged seafloor are exposed above the sea level. The opposite event, transgression (geology), marine transgression, occurs when flooding from the sea covers previously-exposed ...
the Caribbean became separated from the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning ...

Gulf of Mexico
and the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
by the land of
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
and
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, to the east of Cuba and J ...

Haiti
. The Caribbean remained like this for most of the
Cenozoic The Cenozoic ( ; ) is Earth's current geological era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the ge ...

Cenozoic
until the
Holocene The Holocene ( ) is the current geological epoch In geochronology, an epoch is a subdivision of the geologic timescale that is longer than an age (geology), age but shorter than a period (geology), period. The current epoch is the Holocene E ...
when rising water levels of the oceans restored communication with the Atlantic Ocean. The Caribbean's floor is composed of sub-oceanic
sediments Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently sediment transport, transported by the action of wind, water, or ice or by the force of gravity acting on the particles. ...
of deep red clay in the deep basins and troughs. On continental slopes and ridges
calcareous ''Calcareous'' is an adjective meaning "mostly or partly composed of calcium carbonate Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecula ...
silt Silt is granular material A granular material is a conglomeration of discrete solid, macroscopic scale, macroscopic particles characterized by a loss of energy whenever the particles interact (the most common example would be friction when gra ...
s are found.
Clay minerals Clay minerals are hydrous aluminium Aluminium (aluminum in American English, American and Canadian English) is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Al and atomic number 13. Aluminium has a density lower than thos ...
likely having been deposited by the mainland river
Orinoco The Orinoco () is one of the longest rivers in South America at . Its drainage basin, sometimes known as the Orinoquia, covers , with 76.3 percent of it in Venezuela and the remainder in Colombia. It is the List of rivers by discharge, fourt ...

Orinoco
and the
Magdalena River The Magdalena River ( es, Río Magdalena, ; less commonly ) is the main river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground ...
. Deposits on the bottom of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico have a thickness of about . Upper sedimentary layers relate to the period from the
Mesozoic The Mesozoic Era ( ), also called the Age of Reptiles and the Age of Conifers, is the second-to-last era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy ...
to the
Cenozoic The Cenozoic ( ; ) is Earth's current geological era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the ge ...

Cenozoic
(250 million years ago to present) and the lower layers from the
Paleozoic The Paleozoic (or Palaeozoic) Era ( ; from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Eu ...
to the
Mesozoic The Mesozoic Era ( ), also called the Age of Reptiles and the Age of Conifers, is the second-to-last era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy ...
. The Caribbean sea floor is divided into five
basins
basins
separated from each other by underwater ridges and mountain ranges. Atlantic Ocean water enters the Caribbean through the ''Anegada Passage'' lying between the
Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor; nl, Kleine Antillen) are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, ...
and
Virgin Islands The Virgin Islands ( es, Islas Vírgenes) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habita ...
and the ''Windward Passage'' located between
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
and
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, to the east of Cuba and J ...

Haiti
. The
Yucatán Channel The Yucatán Channel or Straits of Yucatán (Spanish language, Spanish: ''Canal de Yucatán'') is a strait between Mexico and Cuba. It connects the Yucatán Basin of the Caribbean Sea with the Gulf of Mexico. It is just over wide and nearly deep ...
between Mexico and Cuba links the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning ...

Gulf of Mexico
with the Caribbean. The deepest points of the sea lie in
Cayman Trough __NOTOC__ The Cayman Trough (also known as the Cayman Trench, Bartlett Deep and Bartlett Trough) is a complex zone which contains a small , the , on the floor of the western between and the . It is the deepest point in the Caribbean Sea and ...

Cayman Trough
with depths reaching approximately . Despite this, the Caribbean Sea is considered a relatively shallow sea in comparison to other bodies of water. The pressure of the
South American Plate The South American Plate is a major tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface Earth is the third planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remn ...
to the east of the Caribbean causes the region of the
Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor; nl, Kleine Antillen) are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, ...
to have high volcanic activity. There was a very serious eruption of
Mount Pelée Mount Pelée or Mont Pelée ( ; french: Montagne Pelée , meaning "bald mountain" or "peeled mountain") is an active volcano at the northern end of Martinique, an island and France, French overseas department in the Lesser Antilles Volcanic Arc of ...

Mount Pelée
in 1902 which caused many casualties. The Caribbean sea floor is also home to two
oceanic trench , while the lithosphere is subducted back into the asthenosphere at trenches Oceanic trenches are prominent long, narrow topography, topographic depressions of the ocean floor. They are typically wide and below the level of the surrounding ocean ...
es: the
Cayman Trench __NOTOC__ Image:Gonâve microplate.png, 250px, Mid-Cayman spreading centre as part of the trough, on the western edge of the Gonâve Microplate. The Cayman Trough (also known as the Cayman Trench, Bartlett Deep and Bartlett Trough) is a complex ...
and
Puerto Rico Trench The Puerto Rico Trench is located on the boundary between the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is an American med ...
, which put the area at a high risk of
earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known ...

earthquake
s. Underwater earthquakes pose a threat of generating
tsunami A tsunami ( ; from ja, 津波, lit=harbour wave, ) is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake. Earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, t ...

tsunami
s which could have a devastating effect on the Caribbean islands. Scientific data reveals that over the last 500 years the area has seen a dozen earthquakes above 7.5 magnitude. Most recently, a 7.1 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. *
List of islands in the Caribbean A list of islands in the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is an American mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Se ...


Oceanography

The
hydrology Hydrology (from Ancient Greek, Greek wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, ''hýdōr'' meaning "water" and wikt:λόγος, λόγος, ''lógos'' meaning "study") is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and management of water on Earth and ...
of the sea has a high level of homogeneity. Annual variations in monthly average water temperatures at the surface do not exceed . Over the past fifty years the Caribbean has gone through three stages: cooling until 1974; a cold phase with peaks during 1974–1976 and 1984–1986 then; a warming phase with an increase in temperature of per year. Virtually all temperature extremes were associated with the phenomena of
El Niño El Niño (; ) is the warm phase of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean, Pacific (approximately between the Internati ...
and
La Niña La Niña (, ) is a coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon that is the colder counterpart of as part of the broader El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern. The name ''La Niña'' originates from Spanish language, Spanish, meanin ...
. The
salinity Salinity () is the saltiness or amount of salt Salt is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific ...

salinity
of seawater is about 3.6% and its
density The density (more precisely, the volumetric mass density; also known as specific mass), of a substance is its per unit . The symbol most often used for density is ''ρ'' (the lower case Greek letter ), although the Latin letter ''D'' can also ...

density
is . The surface water colour is blue-green to green. The Caribbean's depth in its wider basins and deep water temperatures are similar to those of the Atlantic. Atlantic deep water is thought to spill into the Caribbean and contribute to the general deep water of its sea. The surface water (30 m; 100 feet) acts as an extension of the northern Atlantic as the Guiana Current and part of the
North Equatorial Current The North Equatorial Current is a significant Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface ...
enter the sea on the east. On the western side of the sea the
trade winds The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds blow mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of E ...
influence a northerly current which causes an
upwelling Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On the surface of the Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. Winds are commonly classified by their scale (spatial), spatial ...

upwelling
and a rich fishery near Yucatán.


Ecology

The Caribbean is home to about 9% of the world's
coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient c ...

coral reef
s covering about , most of which are located off the Caribbean Islands and the
Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or ...

Central America
n coast. Among them stands out the
Belize Barrier Reef The Belize Barrier Reef is a series of coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abi ...
with an area of which was declared a
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
in 1996. It forms part of the Great Mayan Reef also known as the MBRS and being over in length is the world's second longest. It runs along the Caribbean coasts of
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
,
Belize Belize () is a Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primari ...

Belize
,
Guatemala Guatemala ( ; ), officially the Republic of Guatemala ( es, República de Guatemala, links=no), is a country in Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Americas The Am ...

Guatemala
and
Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean ...

Honduras
. During the past ten years, unusually warm Caribbean waters have been increasingly
threatening Caribbean coral reefs
threatening Caribbean coral reefs
. Coral reefs support some of the most diverse marine habitats in the world, but they are fragile ecosystems. When tropical waters become unusually warm for extended periods of time, microscopic plants called
zooxanthellae Zooxanthellae is a colloquial term for single-celled dinoflagellate The dinoflagellates (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a count ...

zooxanthellae
, which are symbiotic partners living within the coral polyp tissues, die off. These plants provide food for the corals, and give them their color. The result of the death and dispersal of these tiny plants is called
coral bleaching Coral bleaching occurs when coral polyp (zoology), polyps expel algae that live inside their tissues. Normally, coral polyps live in an Endosymbiont, endosymbiotic relationship with these algae, which are crucial for the health of the coral and the ...

coral bleaching
, and can lead to the devastation of large areas of reef. Over 42% of corals are completely bleached and 95% are experiencing some type of whitening. Historically the Caribbean is thought to contain 14% of the world's coral reefs. The habitats supported by the reefs are critical to such tourist activities as
fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish Fish are , , -bearing animals that lack with . Included in this definition are the living , s, and and as well as various extinct related groups. Around 99% of living fish species are ...

fishing
and
diving Diving usually refers to: * Diving (sport), the sport of jumping into deep water * Underwater diving, human activity underwater for recreational or occupational purposes Diving or Dive may also refer to: Sports * Dive (American football), a typ ...
, and provide an annual economic value to Caribbean nations of
US$ The United States dollar (symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, ...
3.1–4.6 billion. Continued destruction of the reefs could severely damage the region's economy. A ''Protocol of the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region'' came in effect in 1986 to protect the various endangered marine life of the Caribbean through forbidding human activities that would advance the continued destruction of such marine life in various areas. Currently this protocol has been
ratified Ratification is a principal's approval of an act of its agent that lacked the authority to bind the principal legally. Ratification defines the international act in which a state indicates its consent to be bound to a treaty if the parties intend ...
by 15 countries. Also, several charitable organisations have been formed to preserve the Caribbean marine life, such as ''Caribbean Conservation Corporation'' which seeks to study and protect
sea turtles Sea turtles (superfamily Chelonioidea), sometimes called marine turtles, are reptiles of the order Testudines and of the suborder Cryptodira. The seven existing species of sea turtles are the green sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, Kemp's rid ...
while educating others about them. In connection with the foregoing, the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology of the
National Autonomous University of Mexico The National Autonomous University of Mexico ( es, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México , lit=Autonomous National University of Mexico, UNAM) is a public research university in Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), offic ...
, conducted a regional study, funded by the Department of Technical Cooperation of the
International Atomic Energy Agency The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an international organization An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovernmental organization) is a stable set of norms and rules meant to gov ...
, in which specialists from 11 Latin American countries (Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic, Venezuela) plus Jamaica participated. The findings indicate that heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, and lead, have been identified in the coastal zone of the Caribbean Sea. Analysis of toxic metals and hydrocarbons is based on the investigation of coastal sediments that have accumulated less than 50 meters deep during the last hundred and fifty years. The project results were presented in Vienna in the forum "Water Matters", and the 2011 General Conference of said multilateral organization.


Climate

The climate of the Caribbean is driven by the low latitude and tropical ocean currents that run through it. The principal ocean current is the
North Equatorial Current The North Equatorial Current is a significant Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface ...
, which enters the region from the tropical
Atlantic
Atlantic
. The climate of the area is
tropical The tropics are the region of Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere at S; these latitudes correspond to ...

tropical
, varying from
tropical rainforest Tropical rainforests are rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape ...

tropical rainforest
in some areas to
tropical savanna Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands is a terrestrial biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961 that wor ...
in others. There are also some locations that are
arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in d ...

arid
climates with considerable drought in some years. Rainfall varies with elevation, size and water currents (cool upwelling keep the ABC islands arid). Warm, moist
trade winds The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds blow mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of E ...
blow consistently from the east, creating both rain forest and semi arid climates across the region. The tropical rainforest climates include lowland areas near the Caribbean Sea from
Costa Rica Costa Rica (, ; ; literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica ( es, República de Costa Rica), is a country in Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Amer ...

Costa Rica
north to
Belize Belize () is a Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primari ...

Belize
, as well as the
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with ...

Dominican Republic
and
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
, while the more seasonal dry tropical savanna climates are found in
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
, northern
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
, and southern
Yucatán, Mexico
Yucatán, Mexico
. Arid climates are found along the extreme southern coast of Venezuela out to the islands including
Aruba Aruba ( , , ) is an island and a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands , national_anthem = ) , image_map = Kingdom of the Netherlands (orthographic projection).svg , map_width = 250px , image_map2 = File:KonDerNed-10-1 ...

Aruba
and
Curaçao Curaçao ( ; ; pap, Kòrsou, ) is a Lesser Antilles island country in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean region, about north of the Venezuelan coast. It is a constituent country ( nl, land) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. T ...
, as well as the northern tip of Yucatán
Tropical cyclones A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of Atmosphere of Earth, air and together with oc ...
are a threat to the nations that rim the Caribbean Sea. While landfalls are infrequent, the resulting loss of life and property damage makes them significant hazard to life in the Caribbean. Tropical cyclones that impact the Caribbean often develop off the West coast of
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
and make their way west across the Atlantic Ocean toward the Caribbean, while other storms develop in the Caribbean itself. The Caribbean hurricane season as a whole lasts from June through November, with the majority of hurricanes occurring during August and September. On average around 9 tropical storms form each year, with 5 reaching hurricane strength. According to the
National Hurricane Center The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is the division of the United States' NOAA/National Weather Service responsible for tracking and predicting tropical weather systems between the IERS Reference Meridian, Prime Meridian and the 140th meridian ...

National Hurricane Center
385 hurricanes occurred in the Caribbean between 1494 and 1900.


Flora and fauna

The region has a high level of
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

biodiversity
and many species are
endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gro ...
to the Caribbean.


Vegetation

The vegetation of the region is mostly
tropical The tropics are the region of Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere at S; these latitudes correspond to ...

tropical
but differences in
topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surface Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an ...
, soil and climatic conditions increase
species diversity Species diversity is the number of different species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the ...
. Where there are porous limestone terraced islands these are generally poor in nutrients. It is estimated that 13,000 species of plants grow in the Caribbean of which 6,500 are
endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gro ...
. For example, guaiac wood (''
Guaiacum officinale ''Guaiacum officinale'', commonly known as roughbark lignum-vitae, guaiacwood or gaïacwood, is a species of tree in the caltrop A caltrop (also known as caltrap, galtrop, cheval trap, galthrap, galtrap, calthrop, jackrock or crow's foot''Battl ...

Guaiacum officinale
''), the flower of which is the national flower of
Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or ...

Jamaica
and the Bayahibe rose (''
Pereskia quisqueyana
Pereskia quisqueyana
'') which is the national flower of the
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with ...

Dominican Republic
and the
ceiba ''Ceiba'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their a ...

ceiba
which is the national tree of both
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
and
Guatemala Guatemala ( ; ), officially the Republic of Guatemala ( es, República de Guatemala, links=no), is a country in Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Americas The Am ...

Guatemala
. The
mahogany Mahogany is a straight-grained, reddish-brown timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant wit ...
is the national tree of the Dominican Republic and
Belize Belize () is a Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primari ...

Belize
. The caimito (''
Chrysophyllum cainito ''Chrysophyllum cainito'' is a tropical tree of the family Sapotaceae. It is native to the Greater Antilles and the West Indies. It has spread to the lowlands of Central America and is now grown throughout the tropics, including Southeast Asia. I ...
'') grows throughout the Caribbean. In coastal zones there are coconut palms and in
lagoons Garabogaz-Göl lagoon in Turkmenistan A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform, such as reefs, barrier islands, barrier peninsulas, or isthmuses. Lagoons are commonly divided into ''coast ...
and
estuaries An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water Brackish water, also sometimes termed brack water, is water occurring in a natural environment having more salinity File:IAPSO Standard Seawater.jpg, upInternational Associatio ...

estuaries
are found thick areas of
black mangrove
black mangrove
and red mangrove (''
Rhizophora mangle ''Rhizophora mangle'', the red mangrove, is distributed in Estuary, estuarine ecosystems throughout the tropics. Its Vivipary, viviparous "seeds", in actuality called propagules, become fully mature plants before dropping off the parent tree. The ...

Rhizophora mangle
''). In shallow water
flora Flora is all the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, ca ...

flora
and
fauna Fauna is all of the animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular r ...

fauna
is concentrated around
coral reefs ''Coral Reefs'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal dedicated to the study of coral reefs. It was established in 1982 and is published by Springer Science+Business Media on behalf of the International Society for Reef Studies, of which ...
where there is little variation in water temperature, purity and salinity. Leeward side of
lagoons Garabogaz-Göl lagoon in Turkmenistan A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform, such as reefs, barrier islands, barrier peninsulas, or isthmuses. Lagoons are commonly divided into ''coast ...
provide areas of growth for
sea grass Seagrasses are the only flowering plants which grow in marine (ocean), marine environments. There are about 60 species of fully marine seagrasses which belong to four Family (biology), families (Posidoniaceae, Zosteraceae, Hydrocharitaceae and C ...
es. Turtle grass (''
Thalassia testudinum ''Thalassia testudinum'', commonly known as turtlegrass, is a species of Marine (ocean), marine seagrass. It forms meadows in shallow sandy or muddy locations in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Turtle grass and other seagrasses form mead ...
'') is common in the Caribbean as is manatee grass (''
Syringodium filiforme Syringodium filiforme, commonly known as manatee grass, is a species of Marine (ocean), marine seagrass. It forms meadows in shallow sandy or muddy locations in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, and is also found in the Bahamas and Bermuda ...
'') which can grow together as well as in fields of single species at depths up to . Another type shoal grass (''
Halodule wrightii
Halodule wrightii
'') grows on sand and mud surfaces at depths of up to . In
brackish water Brackish water, also sometimes termed brack water, is water occurring in a natural environment having more salinity Salinity () is the saltiness or amount of dissolved in a body of , called (see also ). It is usually measured in g/L or g/kg ...
of harbours and estuaries at depths less than widgeongrass (''
Ruppia maritima ''Ruppia maritima'' is an aquatic plant Aquatic plants are plants that have adapted to living in aquatic environments (seawater, saltwater or freshwater). They are also referred to as hydrophytes or macrophytes to distinguish them from algae an ...

Ruppia maritima
'') grows. Representatives of three species belonging to the genus '' Halophila'', ('' Halophila baillonii'', '' Halophila engelmannii'' and '' Halophila decipiens'') are found at depths of up to except for ''Halophila engelmani'' which does not grow below and is confined to the
Bahamas The Bahamas (), known officially as The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a sovereign country within the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies in the Atlantic. It takes up 97% of the Lucayan Archipelago's land area and is home to 88% of the a ...

Bahamas
,
Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia (U.S. state), Geor ...

Florida
, the
Greater Antilles The Greater Antilles ( es, Grandes Antillas or Antillas Mayores; french: Grandes Antilles ht, Gwo Zantiy jam, Grieta hAntiliiz) is a grouping of the larger islands in the Caribbean Sea, including Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the ...

Greater Antilles
and the western part of the Caribbean. ''Halophila baillonii'' has been found only in the
Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor; nl, Kleine Antillen) are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, ...
.


Fauna

Marine biota in the region have representatives of both the
Indian Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...

Indian
and
Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific
oceans which were caught in the Caribbean before the emergence of the
Isthmus of Panama The Isthmus of Panama ( es, Istmo de Panamá), also historically known as the Isthmus of Darien (), is the narrow strip of land that lies between the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Ka ...
four million years ago. In the Caribbean Sea there are around 1,000 documented species of fish, including
sharks Sharks are a group of elasmobranch Elasmobranchii () is a subclass of Chondrichthyes or cartilaginous fish, including shark Sharks are a group of elasmobranch fish characterized by a Chondrichthyes#Skeleton, cartilaginous skeleton, ...
(
bull shark The bull shark (''Carcharhinus leucas''), also known as the "Zambezi shark" (informally "zambi") in Africa, and "Lake Nicaragua shark" in Nicaragua Nicaragua (; ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (), is the largest country in the Cen ...

bull shark
,
tiger shark The tiger shark (''Galeocerdo cuvier'') is a species of requiem shark Requiem sharks are shark Sharks are a group of elasmobranch fish characterized by a Chondrichthyes#Skeleton, cartilaginous skeleton, five to seven gill slits on ...

tiger shark
,
silky shark The silky shark (''Carcharhinus falciformis''), also known by numerous names such as blackspot shark, grey whaler shark, olive shark, ridgeback shark, sickle shark, sickle-shaped shark and sickle silk shark, is a species In biology Biolo ...

silky shark
and
Caribbean reef shark The Caribbean reef shark (''Carcharhinus perezi'') is a species of requiem shark, belonging to the family (biology), family Requiem shark, Carcharhinidae. It is found in the tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Brazil, and ...

Caribbean reef shark
),
flying fish The Exocoetidae are a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of so ...

flying fish
,
giant oceanic manta ray
giant oceanic manta ray
,
angel fish
angel fish
,
spotfin butterflyfish
spotfin butterflyfish
,
parrotfish Parrotfishes are a group of about 95 fish species regarded as a family (Scaridae), or a subfamily (Scarinae) of the wrasses. With about 95 species, this group's largest species richness is in the Indo-Pacific. They are found in coral reefs, ...

parrotfish
,
Atlantic Goliath grouper The Atlantic goliath grouper or itajara ('' Epinephelus itajara''), also known as the jewfish, is a large saltwater fish of the grouper Groupers are fish of any of a number of genus, genera in the subfamily Epinephelinae of the family (biology) ...
,
tarpon Tarpons are fish of the genus ''Megalops''. They are the only members of the family Megalopidae. Of the two species, one (''M. atlanticus'') is native to the , and the other (''M. cyprinoides'') to the Oceans. Species and habitats The two s ...

tarpon
and moray eels. Throughout the Caribbean there is industrial catching of
lobster Lobsters are a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society ...

lobster
and
sardines "Sardine" and "pilchard" are common names that refer to various small, Oily fish, oily forage fish in the herring family Clupeidae. The term "sardine" was first used in English during the early 15th century and may come from the Mediterranean ...
(off the coast of
Yucatán Peninsula The Yucatán Peninsula (, also , ; es, Península de Yucatán), in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantep ...

Yucatán Peninsula
). There are 90 species of
mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
s in the Caribbean including
sperm whale #REDIRECT Sperm whale #REDIRECT Sperm whale#REDIRECT Sperm whale The sperm whale or cachalot (''Physeter macrocephalus'') is the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator Predation is a biological interaction where ...

sperm whale
s,
humpback whale The humpback whale (''Megaptera novaeangliae'') is a species of baleen whale. It is one of the larger rorqual species, with adults ranging in length from and weighing around . The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins ...

humpback whale
s and
dolphin Dolphin is the common name of aquatic mammal Aquatic and semiaquatic mammals are a diverse group of mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mam ...

dolphin
s. The island of
Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or ...

Jamaica
is home to
seals Seals may refer to: * Pinniped Pinnipeds (pronounced ), commonly known as seals, are a widely and diverse of , -footed, , mostly s. They comprise the (whose only living member is the ), (the eared seals: s and s), and (the earless sea ...
and
manatees Manatees (family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-be ...
. The
Caribbean monk seal The Caribbean monk seal (''Neomonachus tropicalis''), also known as the West Indian seal or sea wolf, was a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as ...
which lived in the Caribbean is considered extinct.
Solenodon Solenodons (, meaning "slotted-tooth") are venomous Venom is a type of poison, especially one secreted by an animal. Venom has evolved in a wide variety of animals, both predators and prey, and both vertebrates and invertebrates. Venoms kil ...
s and hutias are mammals found only in the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
; only one extant species is not endangered. There are 500 species of
reptile Reptiles, as most commonly defined, are the animals in the class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or ...

reptile
s (94% of which are
endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gro ...
). Islands are inhabited by some endemic species such as rock iguanas and
American crocodile The American crocodile (''Crocodylus acutus'') is a species of crocodilian Crocodilia (or Crocodylia, both ) is an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanli ...

American crocodile
. The
blue iguana The blue iguana (''Cyclura lewisi''), also known as the Grand Cayman ground iguana, Grand Cayman blue iguana or Cayman Island rock iguana, is an endangered species of lizard which is endemic to the island of Grand Cayman. It was previously consi ...
, endemic to the island of
Grand Cayman Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Islands The Cayman Islands ( or the "Caymans" ) is a self-governing British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayma ...
, is endangered. The
green iguana The green iguana (''Iguana iguana''), also known as the American iguana or the common green iguana, is a large, arboreal, mostly Herbivory, herbivorous species of lizard of the genus ''Iguana''. Usually, this animal is simply called the iguana. ...

green iguana
is invasive to
Grand Cayman Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Islands The Cayman Islands ( or the "Caymans" ) is a self-governing British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayma ...
. The Mona ground iguana which inhabits the island of
Mona, Puerto Rico Mona ( es, Isla de la Mona) is the third-largest island of the Puerto Rican archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a sm ...
, is endangered. The
rhinoceros iguana
rhinoceros iguana
from the island of
Hispaniola Hispaniola (, also ; es, La Española; Latin and french: Hispaniola; ht, Ispayola; tnq, Ayiti) is an island in the Caribbean that is part of the Greater Antilles. Hispaniola is the most populous island in the West Indies, and the region's se ...
which is shared between
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, to the east of Cuba and J ...

Haiti
and the
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with ...

Dominican Republic
is also endangered. The region has several types of
sea turtle Sea turtles (superfamily Chelonioidea), sometimes called marine turtles, are reptiles of the order Testudines Turtles are reptile Reptiles are tetrapod Tetrapods (; from Greek 'four' and 'foot') are four-limbed animals constitut ...

sea turtle
(
loggerhead
loggerhead
,
green turtle The green sea turtle (''Chelonia mydas''), also known as the green turtle, black (sea) turtle or Pacific green turtle, is a species of large sea turtle of the Family (biology), family Cheloniidae. It is the only species in the genus ''Chelonia' ...

green turtle
,
hawksbill
hawksbill
,
leatherback turtle The leatherback sea turtle (''Dermochelys coriacea''), sometimes called the lute turtle or leathery turtle or simply the luth, is the largest of all living turtle Turtles are an of s known as Testudines, characterized by a developed ma ...
, Atlantic ridley and
olive ridley The olive ridley sea turtle (''Lepidochelys olivacea''), also known commonly as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an org ...

olive ridley
). Some species are threatened with extinction. Their populations have been greatly reduced since the 17th century – the number of green turtles has declined from 91 million to 300,000 and hawksbill turtles from 11 million to less than 30,000 by 2006. All 170 species of
amphibians Amphibians are ectotherm File:Junonia lemonias DSF by Kadavoor.JPG, ''Junonia lemonias'' is basking under the sun. An ectotherm (from the Ancient Greek, Greek ἐκτός (''ektós'') "outside" and θερμός (''thermós'') "hot") is an ...

amphibians
that live in the region are endemic. The habitats of almost all members of the
toad Toad is a common name for certain frog A frog is any member of a diverse and largely carnivorous A carnivore , meaning "meat Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since preh ...

toad
family, poison dart frogs, tree frogs and
leptodactylidae The southern frogs form the Leptodactylidae, a name that comes from Greek meaning a bird or other animal having slender toes. They are a diverse Family (biology), family of frogs that most likely diverged from other hyloidea, hyloids during the Cr ...
(a type of frog) are limited to only one island. The
Golden coqui
Golden coqui
is in serious threat of extinction. In the Caribbean, 600 species of birds have been recorded, of which 163 are
endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gro ...
such as todies, Fernandina's flicker and
palmchat The palmchat (''Dulus dominicus'') is a small, long-tailed passerine bird, the Monotypic taxon, only species in the genus ''Dulus'' and the family Dulidae endemic to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola (split between the Dominican Republic and Hait ...
. The
American yellow warbler The yellow warbler (''Setophaga petechia'') is a New World warbler species. Yellow warblers are the most widespread species in the diverse genus ''Setophaga'', breeding in almost the whole of North America, the Caribbean, and down to northern S ...
is found in many areas, as is the
green heron The green heron (''Butorides virescens'') is a small heron The herons are long-legged, long-necked, freshwater and coastal bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves , characterised b ...

green heron
. Of the endemic species 48 are threatened with extinction including the
Puerto Rican amazon The Puerto Rican amazon (''Amazona vittata''), also known as the Puerto Rican parrot, cotorra puertorriqueña or ''iguaca'', is the only extant parrot endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit o ...
, and the Zapata wren. According to Birdlife International in 2006 in
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
29 species of bird are in danger of extinction and two species officially extinct. The black-fronted piping guan is endangered. The Antilles along with
Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or ...

Central America
lie in the flight path of migrating birds from North America so the size of populations is subject to seasonal fluctuations.Parrots and bananaquits are found in forests. Over the open sea can be seen frigatebirds and tropicbirds.


Economy and human activity

The Caribbean region has seen a significant increase in human activity since the colonization period. The sea is one of the largest oil production areas in the world, producing approximately 170 million per year.An Overview of Land Based Sources of Marine Pollution
Caribbean Environment Programme. URL last accessed May 14, 2006.
The area also generates a large fishing industry for the surrounding countries, accounting for of fish a year. Human activity in the area also accounts for a significant amount of pollution, The Pan American Health Organization estimated in 1993 that only about 10% of the sewage from the Central American and Caribbean Island countries is properly treated before being released into the sea. The Caribbean region supports a large tourism industry. The Caribbean Tourism Organization calculates that about 12 million people a year visit the area, including (in 1991–1992) about 8 million cruise ship tourists. Tourism based upon scuba diving and snorkeling on
coral reefs ''Coral Reefs'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal dedicated to the study of coral reefs. It was established in 1982 and is published by Springer Science+Business Media on behalf of the International Society for Reef Studies, of which ...
of many Caribbean islands makes a major contribution to their economies.Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean: Economic Valuation Methodology
World Resources Institute 2009.


Gallery

File:Jamaica sunrise.JPG, Sunrise over the south beach of
Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or ...

Jamaica
File:Village Gran Roque.jpg, Los Roques Archipelago,
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
File:Marie Galante - on the beach (407689602).jpg, Marie Galante, Guadeloupe File:Strand Auf Klein Curacao (213574363).jpeg, Beach of
Curaçao Curaçao ( ; ; pap, Kòrsou, ) is a Lesser Antilles island country in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean region, about north of the Venezuelan coast. It is a constituent country ( nl, land) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. T ...
File:Mona Island, Puerto Rico.JPG, Mona Island,
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
File:Palm Beach, Aruba (4901990402).jpg, Palm Beach,
Aruba Aruba ( , , ) is an island and a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands , national_anthem = ) , image_map = Kingdom of the Netherlands (orthographic projection).svg , map_width = 250px , image_map2 = File:KonDerNed-10-1 ...

Aruba
File:Beach Of Cayo Coco (108034377).jpeg, Cayo Coco,
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
File:Grosse Roche Beach in Saint-Marc, Haiti.jpg, Saint-Marc,
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, to the east of Cuba and J ...

Haiti
File:Sunset in the Carribean.jpg , Sunset in the Caribbean Sea


See also

* Piracy in the Caribbean * Territorial evolution of the Caribbean * Kick 'em Jenny


References


Further reading

* Snyderman, Marty (1996),
Guide to Marine Life: Caribbean-Bahamas-Florida
', Aqua Quest Publications, pp. 13–14, 19. * Glover K., Linda (2004),
Defying Ocean's End: An Agenda For Action
', Island Press, p. 9. * Peters, Philip Dickenson (2003), ''Caribbean WOW 2.0'', Islandguru Media, p. 100^^75;4. * ''Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean: Economic Valuation Methodology'', World Resources Institute 2007.


External links


Center For Advanced Study on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean
{{Authority control Caribbean Sea, Geography of the Caribbean Seas of the Atlantic Ocean