Mexican Government Protects San Ignacio Lagoon Whales Nursery


In the midst of dreadful announcements about the effects global warming could have in the landscape, in the weather and species-extinction, announcements like this give a little hope. The Mexican Government announced that 109,000 acres of federal lands surrounding the world's last unspoiled gray whale nursery at San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja, Mexico would be donated for conservation, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) informed last week. "This is a big leap forward in our ambitious campaign", said Frances Beinecke, President, NRDC. Beinecke explains, "The decision may be the nail in the coffin of a decade-old Mitsubishi plan to build the world's largest industrial saltworks on the shores of the whale sanctuary: that company had withdrew the saltworks scheme in 2000 but its Mexican partner (ESSA) has always left open the possibility of reviving the scheme. Any such revival has now been thwarted by Mexico's decision to protect the acreage that was critical to the saltworks plan". Moreover, the announcement was made with big fuzz over a full-day telethon on TV Azteca, one of Mexico's biggest TV networks, which raised $350,000 that will help the conservation alliance buy more development rights around the whale's lagoon. "That's important, because our fight to save the whale's nursery is far from over", says Beinecke. "San Ignacio Lagoon is still vulnerable to plans for oil and gas drilling, proposed massive high-rise hotels, and schemes for resort marinas and ocean-bound ships". In order to prevent this, the organization aims to reach its goal of permanently protecting all one million acres of land that surround the lagoon. Donations of NRDC Members helped acquire rights for 140,000 acres and with the government's 109,000 acres, they've now secured protection for 249,000 acres. If you want to get involved, you can make a donation or find out more about this project at its website. ::NRDC Online

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