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

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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Wilderness Thrives in Cuba’s Guanahacabibes National Park

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WILDCOAST has over 15 years experience working to preserve some of the world’s most pristine coastal wilderness areas such as Valle de los Cirios Pacific Coast, Laguna San Ignacio and the remote sea turtle nesting beaches of Oaxaca. Now we are fortunate to work in another globally unique wilderness area, on the Cuba’s western shore, in the 98,412 acre Guanahacabibes National Park.

 

The giant scallop bay that reaches to within 120 miles of the Yucatan Peninsula, is part of Cuba’s expansive network of protected areas. Both land and sea are conserved here by Cuba’s National Park System, keeping what could be so easily destroyed untouched. Wildlife thrives on shore, including iguanas, fascinating birds, giant hutias – a large rodent native to a few Caribbean islands, bats and crocodiles. Below the surface of the steamy Caribbean there is equally diverse life. Coral reefs, some of the least impacted by bleaching on the planet, create forests, canyons and cliffs of marine habitat. Tropical fish dart between fan and brain corals. Sea turtles cruise the upper levels of the water column. And the occasional reef shark calmly passes below.

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Announcing the Winner of our #MangleESVida Campaign Contest

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In 2015, WILDCOAST in association with Music For Relief, launched the #mangleESvida campaign which aims to promote the important environmental benefits that mangroves provide. It was through this campaign that William Moisés Figueroa Álvarez won an autographed guitar signed by the rock band Linkin Park, who donated the guitar for our campaign.

William worked as a technician at a sea turtle camp in Morro Ayuta, located in the Oaxacan coast. He supported various conservation activities that include  monitoring and surveillance during sea turtle nesting season. As part of the #mangleESvida campaing, WILDCOAST was raffling off the signed guitar with a simple donation to the campaign.

“I never imagined all the good luck that the sea turtles have brought me” William said with a smile on his face as he walks along the beach with his new guitar.

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Get to Know the Women in WILDCOAST

We are celebrating International Women’s Day! We all know about the amazing and strong women leaders, past and present, who have spearheaded the conservation movement like Dr. Sylvia Earle,  Rachel Carson, Berta Cacéres, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Jane Goodall, among many others. Now it’s time for you to get to know the wonderful women behind the conservation work done at WILDCOAST! These amazing women have worked to conserve and protect some of the most beautiful and ecologically important places in the world. They have fought large corporations and stopped big developments in the Cabo Pulmo Marine Reserve; they have collaborated with indigenous communities along the coast of Oaxaca to help protect the threatened Olive Ridely sea turtle; they have swam with Great White Sharks in order to bring awareness to their protection and importance. Learn More About Them:

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Exploring Oregon’s Marine Reserves

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Last week I was invited to attend the first Oregon Marine Reserve Summit in Cannon Beach, Oregon. The Summit brought together conservationists, scientists, educators, coastal business people, state park rangers and agencies that form the Oregon Marine Reserve Partnership. The Partnership is working in the Oregon coast on successfully implementing their five marine reserves that were established in 2012 to restore and sustain Oregon’s marine ecosystems.

It was really interesting to learn and compare about all the wonderful work being done north of our state border and making sure future generations are able to enjoy, explore and learn about their underwater parks. As part of the San Diego MPA Community Collaborative and being part of California’s network of MPAs, it’s important to learn from our state neighbors on our shared efforts to conserve our marine ecosystems.

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Hemet Couple Plead Guilty to Smuggling almost 1000 Endangered Sea Turtle Eggs

 

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Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting, Arribada, Playa Morro Ayuta, Oaxaca state, southern Mexico, IUCN Vulnerable, August

1000 Endangered Sea Turtle Eggs – Eggs typically Sold as Aphrodisiacs for Asian Markets

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – February 19, 2016

SAN DIEGO – Earlier today a Hemet couple pled guilty to smuggling 911 sea turtle eggs into the United States from Mexico.   Sea turtle eggs have long been considered a delicacy as well as an aphrodisiac.  Reportedly, turtle eggs are richer tasting than chicken eggs and are packed with protein.  The demand for turtle eggs, which derive basically from Asian markets, can result in them being sold in retail markets for $100 to $300 per egg.  In other words, the market can be as profitable as drug smuggling, but with nowhere close to the risk. [Read more…]

Press Release: Speaker Atkins releases bill requiring lobbying transparency at Coastal Commission

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For immediate release

February 17, 2016

CONTACT:
Serge Dedina, WiLDCOAST, serge@wildcoast.net, 619.606.0537
Susan Jordon, California Coastal Protection Network, sjordan@coastaladvocates.com, 805-637-3037

Speaker Atkins releases bill requiring lobbying transparency at Coastal Commission

Sacramento, CA – In the wake of the controversial vote to oust Executive Director Charles Lester last week, Speaker Toni Atkins has released a bill designed to increase transparency and accountability at the California Coastal Commission and reduce the influence of special interests.  The Commission reviews projects worth billions of dollars.  Yet, for decades, lobbyists have been able to woo Commissioners without the public’s knowledge of how much these lobbyists are paid or by whom.  The bill is co-sponsored by Assemblymembers Stone and Levine.

Atkins was clearly troubled by the Commission’s decision to terminate Dr. Lester, who was widely regarded as a fair and competent public servant. Following hours of public testimony at the February 10 hearing, the Commission chose to retire to closed session, despite the advice of legal counsel that they could deliberate in public. Following the 7-5 vote to fire Lester, Atkins tweeted, “Let me apologize to the public. I truly thought my appointees would be better stewards of the coast.”

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Keep California’s Coastline… California!

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I am riding north along the blessed California coastline on an Amtrak train bound for SLO. The bustle is happily out of reach as we whiz by crammed intersections and the afternoon I-5 slog. Open space fills the absence of noise. There is no better way to experience the continuity of the California coastline than on the train. You get to see the glittering line-ups of Church and Trestles; retirees calmly sliding along weekday peelers. You can stare out the window at emerald wetlands and flocks of gulls on the exposed cobbles of an afternoon low tide.

California’s coastal zone governance via the Coastal Commission has largely enabled this opportunity. It is a shame they weren’t around before 1972. I day dream of a Solana Beach without the country’s most armored cliff-line…and a Dana Point with one of the state’s best point breaks. I didn’t get to experience those things and time travel does not exist yet without reconfiguring my anatomic structure so I must accept the baseline that is. Fortunately that includes still a darn nice place to live and surf.

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50 fascinating facts about the ocean

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With over 71% of the world’s surface covered in ‘global ocean,’ there is a huge amount still to learn about this vast watery desert. It is strange to think that we already know quite a lot about the waters that cover our planet, however scientists and marine biologists have only really explored 5% of the oceans. Seeing as the ‘global ocean’ is so large, it has been divided into 5 separate oceans, all of which are connected.

The largest ocean out of the 5 is the Pacific. The pacific is roughly the same size as all of the land on earth, put together. The Pacific Ocean is home to the deepest depths on earth, which is situated in the ‘Marina Trench’, which sits at approximately 11Km (6.8miles) below sea level. The Pacific is also home to the highest mountain on earth, which sits at 10Km (6.2miles) above sea level. Mount Everest is only 8.8Km above sea level.

The smallest ocean on earth is the Arctic Ocean and is home to the majority of sea ice on the planet. Did you know that nearly 7% of the ocean is covered with sea ice?

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