Most visitors to a coral reef are captivated by its awesome beauty
and colorful array of marine life.
Coral reefs, their lagoon, and mangrove swamps also play an important ecological role. These habitats provide nursery and feeding grounds for many commercially valuable species. In addition, they act as sinks for terrestrial runoff, supplying abundant nutrients to habitats for many species.Great Diversity
Finally, the great diversity of coral reef organisms may be important for such future uses as mariculture and medicinal production. Realizing the importance of the coral reef community off Ambergris caye, Belize, the Belize government established the Hol Chan Marine Reserve on May 2, 1987.