This visual storytelling project commissioned by The Washington Post unveils the catastrophic effects of the invasive coral Unomia stolonifera on Caribbean ecosystems and the livelihoods of local communities. The United Nations Environment Programme identifies invasive species as the second-leading cause of global biodiversity loss.

The coral, illicitly introduced to Venezuela's Mochima Natural Reserve in the early 2000s, has rapidly proliferated, instigating an environmental crisis that endangers marine biodiversity and disrupts the ecological equilibrium. The Unomia Project, led by coordinator Mariano Oñoro, has dedicated over a decade to investigating this phenomenon and advocating for official intervention.

The coral's aggressive growth over native corals has displaced fish populations and threatened species like the native green turtle. The local economy, heavily reliant on fishing and tourism, has been significantly impacted.

This project aims to raise awareness about the devastating effects of Unomia on Caribbean biodiversity, local fishermen's livelihoods, and nonprofit volunteers' efforts to restore the damaged sea. It calls for immediate action and seeks to inspire collective efforts to safeguard Caribbean marine ecosystems against the global threat of invasive species.




yellow halftone illustration of an elephant


Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change