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Striped parrotfish (Scarus iseri) in the Mesoamerican Reef. Credit - Healthy Reefs Initiative
August 4, 2023

A new study of the Mesoamerican Reef in the Caribbean found that marine protected areas (MPAs) are not only beneficial for conservation but can also lift up the socioeconomic status of the local and Indigenous communities that live near them. Led by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, the study used data from the Healthy Reef Initiative and USAID to analyze social and economic factors like income, food security and the rates of stunted growth connected to chronic malnutrition in children. 

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