Estero Banderitas in Baja’s Magdalena Bay is an immense and stunningly beautiful mangrove lagoon in that is critical feeding areas for endangered Eastern Pacific green sea turtles. Banderitas also provides habitat for bald eagles and gray whales who breed and give birth throughout Magdalena Bay. The largest population of bottlenose dolphins in Baja can also be found here feeding on the abundant fish that depend on the richness of these waters for their survival. Now, thanks to our partnership with Mexico’s federal Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP), 50 miles of Estero Banderitas in Magdalena Bay shoreline has been forever preserved through an innovative federal maritime zone conservation concession.
- Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting, Arribada, Playa Morro Ayuta, Oaxaca state, southern Mexico, IUCN Vulnerable, August
I am immensely proud of our conservation success in Magdalena Bay. To augment the importance of our on-the-ground conservation efforts, we recently held a workshop and photo exhibit in partnership with Mexico’s federal Congressional Committee on Climate Change on the necessity of preserving coastal mangrove ecosystems such as Magdalena Bay in the effort to adapt to sea level rise and prevent coastal flooding. Thanks to a partnership with the Music for Relief foundation as well as rock supergroup Linkin Park, we have been able to take that campaign to national media outlets, decision makers and the general public in Mexico responsible for ensuring the protection of sensitive coastal habitats.
Our work to preserve mangroves is emblematic of our successful efforts to preserve the world’s most beautiful and ecologically significant coastlines as well as the threatened and endangered wildlife that live there. From eleven million successful sea turtle hatchlings in Oaxaca to some of the most world’s most beautiful coastlines in Baja California, to 27.4 square miles of Marine Protected Areas in San Diego County, home to leopard sharks, kelp forests, lagoons and rocky reefs, WILDCOAST preserves some of the world’s most stunning coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife.
For 15 years, we have helped to conserve more than 3.3million acres of beautiful and biologically significant beaches, bays, islands, lagoons and coral reefs. In 2015, we conserved a total of 5,422 acres and 3.3 miles of wild coastline in Baja California. In addition, we mobilized 3,485 volunteers to pick up over 88,076 pounds of ocean-bound trash.
We are also very excited about what is on the horizon for 2016. Currently, we are working with the Surfrider Foundation to ensure the permanent protection of the Cortes and Tanner Banks, globally important seamounts offshore from San Diego and south of the Channel Islands in Southern California. These underwater habitats contain unique and abundant communities of offshore, pelagic and benthic species including white abalone, bat rays, bluefin tuna, giant sea bass and are feeding areas for baleen, blue and humpback whales. This one a very exciting project and we hope to update you on the progress of this globally important initiative in the New Year!
- Bahia Magdalena, Baja California Peninsula, Mexico, June
So please help us to conserve our coastal treasures and keep them wild. Please donate today using the enclosed envelope, online at www.wildcoast.net, or contact our Development Manager, Derry Cowley at (619) 423-8665 ext. 201.
For our coast and ocean, Serge Dedina, Ph.D.