Conserving the Coral Reefs of the National Park Espiritu Santo Archipelago

coral reef

Clouds over Isla Espîritu Santo National Park, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico

COSTASALVAJE is currently collaborating with the National Park of the Espíritu Santo Archipelago (PNZMAES) and other partners to conserve its coral reefs by installing effective mooring buoys for vessels, implementing the monitoring of standardized coral reefs of the Mexican Pacific and encouraging good tourism practices.

The park is located in the Gulf of California, in Baja California Sur, in front of the city of La Paz. It was declared a Protected Natural Area on May 10, 2007, comprising 120,226 acres that house a large number of species of ecological and commercial importance. Along the coasts of Isla Espiritu Santo, mangrove ecosystems and coral reefs create refuge and breeding areas for bird nesting, juvenile fish, newborn turtles and sea lions. Thanks to all the species that inhabit the waters surrounding the island, as well as the scenic beauty of its coasts, the PNZMAES has become a site with high tourist demand among the inhabitants of La Paz, as well as for visitors national and foreign that embark on pangas (motor boats) to reach the island and snorkel, dive, kayak, camp or just enjoy its beautiful beaches.

Due to the ecological and economic importance of the Island both for local communities and for the planet, WILDCOAST carries out a collaboration with the PNZMAES, in order to conserve the corals in the park that are the basis of the ecosystem. This initiative is carried out through the management of visitors, integrating effective buoys to reduce the impact by anchor damage on the coral colonies. The incorporation of strategies in which tourists develop awareness of the impact of their visit on flora and fauna, accompanied by information about the rules of use of the park, tourists are able to reduce the human impact on coral reefs and their inhabitants.

These strategies are carried out in different ANPs of the Mexican Pacific, which began with the support of the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States (FWS), and now will begin in the PNZMAES thanks to the support of the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature.

This support allows WILDCOAST to include workshop about "Effective conservation of coral reefs in ANPs of the Mexican Pacific" in which there is an exchange of experiences about the strategies that have been implemented successfully in the Huatulco National Park, Cabo Pulmo National Park and the PNZMAES, as well as training for the installation of effective mooring anchors.