Established in the 1990s by a concerned group of scuba divers and dive shops, the Roatan Marine Park originally encompassed only the areas of Sandy Bay and West End. Over the years, the tourism industry continued to grow by leaps and bounds, necessitating an even larger area of protection in order to conserve and preserve the natural beauty of Roatan.
If you are visiting Roatan and plan to step foot into the water at all, you should support the work of the Roatan Marine Park. Without their valiant efforts, your ability to enjoy this natural wonder would be greatly reduced.
The marine park staff has worked tirelessly to educate visitors and residents alike in best practices to conserve the coral reef and natural environment of the island for generations to come.
As a visitor to Roatan, please adhere to these very basic guidelines and rules:
Never touch the coral. Do not stand on it – even when wearing fins. Do not touch it with your hands, and certainly do not ever remove anything from it. Any human contact causes damage to the very delicate growth of the reef, and your small touch can kill entire areas of algae growth, affecting the entire ecosystem.
Take your trash. Whatever items you bring with you should also be taken with you when you leave. Please be very careful when you’re on the beach or on a boat and do not allow your trash to blow away. Plastics in the ocean are an enormous problem, killing marine life and destroying entire environments with pollution. Do your part to prevent this problem from growing, and please take your trash with you.
Get a Roatan Marine Park wristband from your dive shop or resort. If you are utilizing the protected areas of the Roatan Marine Park – especially as a diver or snorkeler – you should pay the entry fee to the marine park. While it is not required, it is the right thing to do to support the conservation and protection efforts of this group.
Spread the word. Be an activist and support the incredible work of the Roatan Marine Park throughout your visit and also when you return home. The protection of the world’s coral reefs is of paramount importance to the health of our ecosystems. Do whatever you can – whether that’s sharing information to help educate your friends and family, or donating to support the work of the Roatan Marine Park. Your voice and your contributions make a huge difference.
We know how amazing our natural resources are for the sustainability of Roatan as a tourist destination, but more importantly, as our home. We truly appreciate your cooperation and your contributions to protecting our beautiful coral reef.
We hope you have a wonderful vacation in Roatan!