The Magic of Cuba’s Coastal and Underwater Treasures

Brown Bowl Sponge (Cribochalina vasculum), Guanahacabibes Peninsula National Park, Pinar del Rio Province, western Cuba, September

Brown Bowl Sponge (Cribochalina vasculum), Guanahacabibes Peninsula National Park, Pinar del Rio Province, western Cuba. Por Claudio Contreras.

By Eduardo Najera and Fay Crevoshay.

The WILDCOAST team carried out an expedition to Cuba in September with a film crew from “Por el Planeta”, a national news program on Mexico’s Televisa network. The objective was to document the incredible richness of Cuba’s coral reef and mangrove ecosystems and protected areas. It is almost impossible to describe or even depict the beauty and of Cuba’s underwater and coastal treasures and their importance for the conservation of ocean biodiversity. But at places like Jardines de la Reina, one of the world’s most well preserved marine protected areas, or at Guanahacabibes National Park, the richness of the corals and mangroves give life to the ocean.

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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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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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Conservation through Beautification in South San Diego

Evaporation Ponds, Lagoons, wetlands, San Diego, California

WILDCOAST attended a fantastic panel put on by C3 this morning and discovered that San Diego is a budding “tactical urbanism” hot spot.  What does this mean?  Roughly tactical urbanism encompasses temporary, urban projects to make streets more open, lively and enjoyable.  Often these projects aim to influence long-term change.  Just look at all the projects going on in East Village and the parklets in North Park, increasing walkability and open space for San Diego residents.  How can we fit this into coastal conservation?  Can we consider conservation or improvement of green space in urban areas ‘tactical conservation’?

WILDCOAST has a long history working in the Otay River Watershed and the South San Diego Bay, both of which are important coastal ecosystems existing in a fragile balance between urbanization and conservation.  The Otay Valley Regional Park, the western part of the watershed, was historically used for dumping and mining and is now a restored urban river parkway with trails for biking, while the salt ponds of South San Diego Bay are slowly being restored into beautiful wetlands.

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