Though we believe it’s always Earth Day at WILDCOAST, we’d like to take a moment to thank our community, colleagues and collaborators for the incredible support throughout Earth Month!
With a team of only 21 people, we were able to make a lasting impact with many outreach events and media highlights reaching millions of people throughout the U.S. and Mexico.
Last year, WILDCOAST installed a solid waste retention system (trash boom) in the Las Laureles Canyon, Mexico, a tributary in the Tijuana River Valley, to address the pollution problem at the border.
Funded by the Benioff Ocean Initiative at UC Santa Barbara’s Clean Currents Coalition, the first-ever trash boom in Mexico has now prevented over 73,000 pounds of waste from entering the Pacific Ocean thus far.
In addition to hiring locals to upcycle and recycle the collected waste, WILDCOAST built a park and playground from the recycled tire waste for the community of Las Laureles Canyon in Tijuana.
WILDCOAST also engaged US Ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, and took him on a tour of the trash boom project in Los Laureles, Baja California, Mexico. WILDCOAST is planning to install two more trash booms in the area to prevent even more waste from reaching the ocean.
This unique project was highlighted on the front page of The San Diego Union-Tribune and was also featured in the LA Times.
Our efforts to address this binational crisis has been a major hit all over the media, and was also featured on NBC 7, Fox News 5, Border Report, KPBS, WJTV, KAMC-TV, WCBD-TV, SD Metro, Telvisa Noticias (Mexico), State Crime Watch, Lubbock News, The Guardian, and more.
Local Roots: Herb & Sea Fundraising Event
Celebrity chef Brian Malarkey and his talented team hosted a sold-out sustainable seafood dinner for WILDCOAST at Herb & Sea in Encinitas to launch our new partnership. The fundraising dinner featured “treasure fish,” lesser-known and non-targeted species caught in San Diego’s local fisheries. They also launched their “WILDCOAST Fresh Catch” dish, an ongoing menu item with partial proceeds supporting WILDCOAST.
Thanks to Solento Tequila, Niner Winery, the Puffer Malarkey Collective, Chef Carlos Anthony, and special guest Tony Hawk for making it a memorable night and supporting WILDCOAST. So please enjoy an evening out at this incredible restaurant and check out the WILDCOAST Fresh Catch.
WILDCOAST’s mangrove protection and natural climate solutions work made national news during Earth Week on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt!!
NBC News reporter Gadi Schwartz joined WILDCOAST’s Mexico Director, Monica Franco, in Baja California Sur to learn about the importance of mangrove conservation and restoration in addressing climate change. They visited the last urban mangrove forest in La Paz and traveled to Puerto Chale, Magdalena Bay, where gray whales mate and give birth in the safety of mangrove lagoons. “Mangroves have superpowers against climate change,” explains Franco.
Learn more about why we need to save these critical coastal forests to help combat climate change.
GoPro For A Cause and Kindhumans partnered with WILDCOAST to create The Sea Turtle Arribada, a stunning short film that tells the story of WILDCOAST’s sea turtle conservation efforts in Oaxaca, Mexico. Once on the brink of extinction, the olive ridley sea turtle has made an incredible comeback thanks to the work of a network of conservationists, highlighting how a small dedicated group of people can collaborate to make a massive impact.
Witness a mass sea turtle nesting (an arribada in Spanish) where tens of thousands of female sea turtles return to their birthplace to lay their eggs on the beach that WILDCOAST helps protect.
Celebrating Earth Month, WILDCOAST got busy in the field with the help of volunteers and community partners to make a lasting impact. April was jam-packed with conservation projects in both California and Mexico. In San Diego, our team joined volunteers from Herb & Sea, Eboost Consulting, NAHREP San Diego, and other community groups to help restore 42 acres of blue carbon ecosystems at Batiquitos and San Dieguito Lagoons. Volunteers helped remove invasive species, plant native species, and maintain the recreational trails around the lagoons.
The Mayor of Del Mar, Dwight Worden, made a special surprise appearance during the San Dieguito restoration event! With the help of the Del Mar Lagoon Committee and local volunteers, we installed 45 native plants including California bush flower, monkeyflower, white sage, black sage, and buckwheat!
As part of the annual Creek to Bay Cleanup Day, we hosted one of the cleanup sites in the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park near the border. Over 5,500 registered volunteers attended and successfully removed over 74,000 pounds of litter and debris from streets, canyons, parks, and coastlines throughout communities in San Diego County for the 20th anniversary of Creek to Bay Cleanup.
The cleanup efforts continued days later with volunteers from Southern California Relocation Council (SCRC) who helped us remove debris from the beach at the terminus of the Carlsbad Watershed adjacent to the Batiquitos State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) to prevent trash from reaching the ocean and impacting the fragile ecosystem.
Meanwhile, our team in Oaxaca engaged local youth in a conservation workshop during the first-ever surf event for local children in the community of Barra de la Cruz, home to critical sea turtle nesting habitat including endangered leatherback sea turtles.
Days later, they hit the town square for the infamous Earth Day Festival in downtown Huatulco where hundreds of people attended to celebrate Mother Earth. To close out an impactful month, we ventured to Puerto Escondido to participate in educational youth workshops at local schools in partnership with Clean Seas.
Protecting wildlife would be impossible to carry out in rural and remote areas like southern Oaxaca without the involvement and education of local residents, especially in the indigenous coastal communities.
Our staff participated in the Festival del Tiburón Ballena (Whale Shark Festival), celebrating La Paz’s incredible biodiversity and helping raise awareness on the importance of WILDCOAST’s coral reef and mangrove conservation efforts.