Phytoplankton, mixed in with sediment and other organic matter. They show up as blue-green swirls along the coastal margin of the Yucatan Peninsula. A very large barrier reef is visible off of the eastern coast of the peninsula. Its running north and south along the right side of the image.
Therefore only Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in size spans 180 miles from the northern tip of the Peninsula south into the Gulf of Honduras. Also is home to over 35 different species of reef-building coral. The peninsula is formed from parts of three different countries: Mexico , the northern portion of Belize, and the northern territory of Guatemala.
Phytoplankton blooms are often fed by surface runoff. The nutrients are washed away from the land by rivers and deposited into the ocean. Also where they are brought to the surface by deep currents. Coral reef systems throughout the world are among the most productive ecosystems. Although they comprise only a tiny fraction of the land surface. Also they produce large amounts of living organic material or biomass. Sea grasses are important, too, providing habitat (food and shelter) to a variety of aquatic organisms. These regions are under stress for a variety of reasons.