Mexican President Peña Nieto Establishes New 2.7 Million-Acre Baja Pacific Islands Reserve

Coronado Islands, offshore of the US-MEXICO border, Pacific Ocean, Baja California, Mexico

Coronado Islands, offshore of the US-MEXICO border, Pacific Ocean, Baja California, Mexico. Photo by Ralph Lee Hopkins

Ensenada, Mexico. December 5, 2016. The President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, today established the 2.7 million acre Islands of the Pacific Biosphere Reserve just offshore of the Pacific Coast of the Baja California Peninsula. This new federal reserve includes 21 islands that are often referred to as the “Galapagos of Mexico” and protects the marine areas around the islands that are habitat for marine mammals, seabirds, and commercially valuable species of fish and shellfish.

“The Islands of the Pacific Biosphere Reserve, that includes the Coronado and Todos Santos Islands off of Tijuana and Ensenada and just south of San Diego, provide habitat for a variety of species that do not exist in any other part of the world,” said Dr. Serge Dedina, Executive Director of WILDCOAST. “In total, this new reserve is home to 50 percent more endemic species of vertebrates and plants per unit of surface area than the Galápagos Islands.”

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Mining for Blue Carbon in the Mangroves of Baja’s Magdalena Bay

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Last week, a WILDCOAST team traveled to Puerto San Carlos in the community of Magdalena Bay. After three hours on the road surrounded by nothing other than cardon cacti, we arrived at our destination.  As you enter Puerto San Carlos, you are welcomed by a sea of mangroves that surround the community, and you are instantly wowed.

Magdalena Bay is the largest wetland in Baja California and provides habitat for some of most pristine and biologically important mangroves in the world. Research has shown that coastal desert mangroves store up to five times more carbon than tropical mangroves. 

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The San Diego Uptown Rotary Club Helps Conserve Oaxaca’s Coast

Last week, WILDCOAST staff and San Diego’s Uptown Rotary Club took a trip to Mexico’s beautiful coast of Oaxaca. Rotary members volunteered in activities to help conserve some of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches.

The first day, volunteers and WILDCOAST staff members, Stephanie Batt, Tannia Frausto and Diane Castaneda traveled to the small village of Barra de la Cruz, 63 miles south of Huatulco.  Volunteers were introduced to the local communities that are part of the Chontal tribe that has inhabited the area for many generations. The Chontal community takes great pride in their land and works with WILDCOAST to conserve their important beaches and wetlands.  Barra de la Cruz is know for being home one of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches in the world. The Leatherback, Olive ridley and Green sea turtles go there every year to lay their eggs.

Volunteers helped create three bilingual (Spanish/English) signs that will help educate visitors and residents on how they can keep the area clean. Signs also educated people on the ecological importance of the area.

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2013 YEAR IN REVIEW

As the year comes to an end, WILDCOAST is proud to announce our accomplishments from 2013. We couldn’t have done it without those who support us in our conservation endeavors. Take a moment to look over our accomplishments from 2013, and please continue to support our work through 2014 by donating today: https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/WildCoast/OnlineDonation.html

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