The Valle de los Cirios Pacific Coast is one of few intact and wild regions left on the Baja California Peninsula. The 110 mile long stretch is home to sweeping bay shoreline, coastal sand dunes, rocky headlands, wetlands and valleys forested with Boojum Trees, Cardons, Elephant Trees and other unique desert flora. The region supports habitat for a number of endangered, threatened and endemic plant and animal species as well as important ecosystem services. Few places as undisturbed as the Valle de los Cirios Pacific Coast remain in the world.
In the early 2000s, the region was the target of one of Mexico’s most ambitious tourism development proposal, the Escalera Nautica, which envisioned a series of marinas and related development for remote locations on the peninsula. In 2002, a sandy point just north of the tiny fishing hamlet of Santa Rosalillita was targeted for the first new marina installment associated with the project. Land speculation surrounding the project ran rampant and the marina was built.
Today the marina sits abandoned, a nearby hillside was blasted for jetty rocks, and the shoreline in front of Santa Rosalillita is receding from erosion associated with the project. Although the project was eventually cancelled, part of which WiLDCOAST played an integral role, land speculation, parcel subdivisions, lot sales and mining continue to threaten the ecological integrity of the Valle de los Cirios Pacific Coast and its unrestricted public access.
In 2006, WiLDCOAST began efforts to protect the unique coastal ecosystems of the Valle de los Cirios Pacific Coast. Through an innovative and comprehensive combination of conservation strategies including direct land purchases, conservation easements, conservation concessions and stewardship activities WiLDCOAST is protecting the region’s headlands, wetlands and critical shoreline areas. Integral to this effort is our positive partnerships with regional landowners, visitors and municipal, state and federal agencies.
To date, WiLDCOAST has protected a total of 29.4 miles and 24,708 acres of coastline, including nine headlands and five wetlands. In addition to continued land acquisition, WiLDCOAST is implementing stewardship activities on and around protected properties. These activities include the installation of informational signage, cleanups, monitoring surveys and visitation best-practices outreach. To further strengthen the conservation of the region, WiLDCOAST is working with Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) to protect 110 miles of the 20 meter Federal Maritime and Terrestrial Zone (ZOFEMAT) on the Valle de los Cirios Pacific Coast through conservation concessions.
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Program Manager: WiLDLANDS
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