Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Conservationists are making recession work for Baja

Where the recent recession looks to have failed numerous development investors around Baja, Calif. and the neighboring Mexican coastline, it’s been a boom for area environmentalists. According to a report in Fronteras, while unfinished constructions like a proposed marina in Santa Rosalillita idly rust away, environmental groups like WiLDCOAST have seized on discounted land prices to create conservation easements and establish new protected areas.

“So in places like San Ignacio Lagoon, Magdalena Bay, the corridor between Loreto and La Paz and in the central Pacific coast, we’ve been able to preserve some really world-class coastal biodiversity areas,” said Serge Dedina, the executive director of WiLDCOAST to Fronteras. "Areas where grey whales go, and where you see whale sharks. Real world class, Africa-style wildlife destinations. So that’s really exciting.”

Still, the economic downturn has not been completely positive for area environmentalists. The lack of local economics has affected donations and grants, which many of the activist organizations need to thrive.

While locals ponder what lies ahead for the mostly untamed coastline, only time (and perhaps an economic upswing) will tell what the future holds for the Baja peninsula environment.