The island paradise of Cuba is in peril. Why? After attempts at economic strangulation by US sanctions, not surprisingly, the Cuban government turned to tourism as a source of hard currency. This is especially true on the North Coast. The North Coast islets (Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, etc.) have undergone rapid development of massive “all-inclusive” resorts. There are currently 5,000 guest rooms, compared with a goal of 32,000 guest rooms. The construction of a 17 mile causeway between the mainland and the island of Cayo Coco caused an increased temperature and salinity of the water, resulting in a massive die-off of mangroves and fish, and a population decline of flamingos, iguanas and other wildlife. In an attempt to allow water circulation around the islets, gaps with bridges were retrofitted in the causeway, with dubious effectiveness. Unfortunately, the massive development effort continues! Where does the fresh water needed for the resorts come from? Where does the effluent go? What are the long-term consequences of this massive development? There are more questions than answers.


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