Thank You for Another Successful BAJA BASH!

WILDCOAST’s 4th Annual Baja Bash was again a huge success thanks to many people, volunteers, sponsor companies, organizations and foundations that support our work to conserve our coasts and oceans.

Special thanks to all our wonderful chefs, Javier Plascencia, Drew Deckman, Flor Franco, Bianca Castro-Cerio, and Luiciano Scagliarini for making it a truly unique and delicious experience, and to Baja Food and Wine, Don Ramon Tequila and Firestone Walker Brewery for providing us amazing drinks.

To every one that attended, participated or donated to the “Electric Boat Challenge”, your dedication and commitment will ensure that we continue our work to conserve some of the most beautiful and globally important coastlines in the world!
To our sponsors: SDG&E, California American Water, Borden Ranches, San Diego Airport Authority, Sterling Tours & The Waitt Foundation, and to our Board of Directors, staff and volunteers for all their hard work, THANK YOU!

Thank you to Drew McGill Photography.
2016 WildCoast Baja Bash

2016 WildCoast Baja Bash

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The Baja Bash is this Saturday!

The Baja Bash is this Saturday, June 25
5:00 pm – 9:00pm
at the Coronado Bay Yacht Club
1631 Strand Way, Coronado, CA 92118

BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY!


Join in the fun and become part of the conservation of some of the most beautiful and pristine bays, beaches, lagoons, islands, and coral reefs in California, Mexico, and now Cuba.

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Hope to see you there!

We will have a fun-filled day packed with silent auctions, music, drinks and amazing food!!: Baja Bash Schedule

 

 

WILDCOAST Launches Waste Tire Recycling Pilot Project in Tijuana

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WILDCOAST was thrilled to launch the Waste Tire Recycling Pilot Project in Tijuana today with project partners Secretary of Environmental Protection for the State of Baja California (SPA), GEN (Promotora Ambiental S.A. de CV)  and supported by a grant from CalRecycle.  This innovative, collaborative project will be carried out from May 2016-April 2017 in partnership with the State Governments of Baja California and California with WILDCOAST as the project coordinator.
[Read more…]

Join WILDCOAST for National Bike Month 2016!!

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What is the best way to get to the beach, use your nature based recreation areas, and enjoy your coastal trail systems? By bike of course! In celebration of National Bike Month 2016, WILDCOAST will be leading the events listed below. As part of our US-Mexico Border program, we will be promoting the use of trail systems in the Tijuana and Otay River Watersheds, connectivity of open space areas through bike planning, and coastal access for biking. Join us on Saturday May 14 in San Ysidro, Friday May 20 for a binational Bike to Work Day, and Saturday May 21 for our annual Discover Otay Valley Regional Park Day!! Be sure to wear a helmet!!

Also, check out the cool article below on our efforts in the border region to promote biking and connectivity of open space systems.

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/05/us-mexico-border-bike-lane/481515/

For more information contact John Holder, Border Coordinator at 619 417 8736.

What do mangroves, rock and roll and big wave surfers have in common?

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Well if you ask rock band Linkin Park, pro surfers Koa Smith and Koa Rothman, and the people of Bahia Magdalena, the answer is simple. They know that mangroves are life.
They are the most productive and biologically important plants on the planet, for wildlife and people.  They protect coastal communities. They give us fish. They provide us with the air we breath in and store the air we breath out (CO2). Without them, sea turtles would have nothing to eat and many birds would have no where to live or rest. The desert mangrove forests of Bahia Magdalena are some of the most important plant species on Earth. (See March 28 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

[Read more…]

Cabo Pulmo National Park Expedition 2016

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In April WILDCOAST brought friends and supporters to the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, one of the world’s most successful marine protected areas and a cornerstone for wildlife and ecosystems in the Sea of Cortez, to see our conservation work in action.

[Read more…]

How ocean pollution affects humans [Infographic]

Our returning guest blogger Andrew Dilevics from DIVE.in, a scuba diving online magazine, recently created a powerful infographic that shows the effects that ocean pollution has on humans. 

“The world is covered up to 72% in Ocean and it is these oceans that are the reason for life on earth. They provide over 70% of the oxygen that we breathe as well as 97% of the world’s water supply. Without them, we would not exist.

However, everyday the oceans come under attack from pollution, which is causing severe damage to the biggest ecosystem on the planet. Did you know that every year, over 8 million tons of plastic is being dumped into the ocean on purpose? Plastic is one of the largest factors of pollution and is threatening to wipe out many marine species. It is frightening to think that 50% of the plastics that we buy only get used once, such as plastic carrier bags and water bottles, which inevitably end up in the ocean once we dispose of them.

If you would like to know more about ocean pollution and how it affects marine life as well as life on earth, take a look at the fascinating infographic below, created by the team at divein.com.

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WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?

What you do on land can change the fate of what goes on off shore – and small changes in habits can have a large impact on improving our oceans.

1. KEEP YOUR SEWER DRAINS CLEAR

Prevent rubbish and chemicals from flowing into the sea.  Keeping your property’s drains clear is your responsibility.

2. DISPOSE OF PRODUCTS PROPERLY

Household cleaning products, batteries, paint and pesticides can threaten water quality.

3. REUSE AND RECYCLE

And opt for no packaging when possible. Carry a reusable water bottle, carry a cotton tote bag and recycle when possible.

4. PLANT AN ORGANIC GARDEN

Pesticides from gardens and lawns can wash into the ocean.

5. EAT SUSTAINABLY

Overfishing, loss of habitat and market demand has decreased fish populations. When shopping or dining out, choose seafood that is sustainably sourced.

6. RESPECT THE BEACH

Take your rubbish with you after a day at the beach, and don’t remove rocks and coral.

7. EXPLORE RESPONSIBLY

Next time you’re off on a dive, cruise or kayak – be mindful of the marine life around you. Find some eco-friendly tours and packages that will respect the marine environment.

FROM SUSTENANCE, NATURAL BEAUTY TO ECONOMICS – THE OCEAN PROVIDES PLENTY FOR THE HUMAN RACE. RESPECT THE OCEAN BY KEEPING IT CLEAN FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.

If you liked this you’ll also love another great infographic on 50 Amazing Facts About The Ocean

If nothing else, this gives us some perspective regarding our role on Earth. We are treating our oceans like our own private junkyard dumping thousands and thousands of tonnes waist straight in – and what will the result be? More dead ocean areas, no more marine life or what? What do you think will become of our oceans and what can we do to stop this?

Don Diego Mining Project REJECTED!

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VICTORY! The Don Diego underwater mine project proposed for seabed near Magdalena Bay and San Juanico was rejected this morning by Mexico’s Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT). The project, which intended to dredge 224,866 acres of sea bed for 50 years off of Baja California Sur’s Pacific Coastline, was denied due to the negative impact it would have on marine wildlife including endangered loggerhead sea turtles and gray whales.

The project was heavily criticized by fishermen, NGOs, and even state and local agencies due to its environmental impacts and the irreversible damage it would have on some of the most productive fisheries in Mexico .

We would like to thank SEMARNAT for a very public process and for making the right decision to protect Mexico’s coastal resources!

Photo by Claudio Contreras/WILDCOAST

Exciting Times for MPA Watch

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Photo credit: Heal the Bay

This past week was an exciting one for MPA Watch.

As everybody who works in conservation knows, protecting anything is an ongoing task. The job doesn’t simply end once the regulations have been written and the signs have been posted. Further work is needed, including ongoing policy work, enforcement, and continued outreach to educate people on the importance of properly managing protected areas. In the case of California’s marine protected areas (MPAs), MPA Watch has been working to fill some of these needs, at least partially.

In the realm of MPA monitoring, MPA Watch is unique in that it is focused on how humans are interacting with the coast. This differs from most programs, which are typically interested in measuring ecological changes. By measuring how many people are surfing in, napping on, diving under and jogging through California’s marine protected areas, MPA Watch has begun the task of creating use profiles for some of California’s most special protected places. With approximately 12,000 surveys collected and over 550,000 unique observations logged from 88 different sites, the question now is, what to do with all of this data?

That’s why this past week, and actually the past few months, have been so exciting for MPA Watch.

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Hoover High School students conducting an MPA Watch survey and beach cleanup at the Matlahuayl SMR. Photo credit: WILDCOAST

On Tuesday I was invited to present at the “MPA Milestones” meeting in Sacramento, which included representatives from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), the California Fish and Game Commission, California Ocean Science Trust (OST), Resources Legacy Fund (RLF), and, among others, the California Secretary for Natural Resources. To be invited to such a high-level meeting is not only an exciting proposition on the face of things, but also a great indication that MPA Watch and the data that have been collected through the program are being taken more and more seriously.

It was great to be able to present to such a dedicated and influential group about the merits of the program, and also to be able to cite specific examples of how MPA Watch is contributing to the protection of California’s natural resources. For example, describing how the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) is incorporating MPA Watch data from Santa Barbara and Los Angeles into their litigation surrounding the Refugio Oil Spill. Or describing how individual MPA Watch programs have been sharing data regarding potential MPA violations with wardens to help inform enforcement efforts.

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Volunteers conducting an MPA Watch survey on Limantour beach in Marin County. Photo credit: Marin MPA Watch

Moving forward, it’s important that all of us at MPA Watch capitalize on this positive momentum and continue to build partnerships with agencies and academia, while still training volunteers and continuing to build out our unique dataset. Achieving these goals is made easier due to the continued support of RLF, who has not only assisted with ensuring that MPA Watch operates as a standardized network, but continues to facilitate meetings between MPA Watch representatives and leaders from throughout the State. MPA Watch has also been presenting on its findings to MPA Collaboratives statewide, building partnerships and ensuring that all MPA stakeholders are aware of and involved with the monitoring process.

Recently, discussions have begun to determine how MPA Watch and DFW can work together more closely, and how MPA Watch can provide reports that can be institutionalized throughout the state. Working with a consultant, we are also in the process of developing a baseline MPA Watch report, developing the first statistical look at how MPA Watch can identify trends in activities through our network of MPAs.

I have no doubt that more opportunities for collaboration will continue to become apparent as new and unique questions are asked about our protected areas. In that regard, it looks as though there will be many more exciting weeks to come for MPA Watch.

By Tarrant Seautelle, California MPA Watch Coordinator

Hoover High School Students Explore La Jolla’s MPAs

On Tuesday, March 29, WILDCOAST took out a group of 25 students from Hoover High School’s mentoring program Cardinals Interact Club to learn more about San Diego’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Students got a chance to tour the special facilities of Scripps Institution of Oceanography that included the Scripps Pier and the Scripps research aquarium and lab.  During the tour, students learned about the wonderful work our partners at The Semmens Lab at Scripps are doing to asses the health and effectiveness of La Jolla’s MPAs and the marine species that live in them.

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Students got a chance to visit the Scripps research lab where they learned about different marine species that inhabit our oceans such as leopard sharks, sea cucumbers, sea stars and spiny lobsters.

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Students ended the day with an MPA Watch training at the Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve. The MPA Watch program is a citizen science monitoring program that trains volunteers to observe and collect data about coastal and marine resource use inside and outside marine protected areas (MPAs).

Special thanks to The Semmens Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography for providing us with the opportunity to visit their facilities and learn more about our marine ecosystems!

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