While we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, WILDCOAST would like to thank all of our supporters and partners—our Blue Planet conservation team—for helping us to continue to defend our coastal and marine ecosystems and address climate through natural solutions.
With the COVID-19 crisis upon us, we now all realize that protecting our planet and wildlife is more critical than ever. With the economic impact of this crisis being felt around the world, it is more important than ever to provide opportunities to engage communities in protecting these precious resources.
“WILDCOAST is working with local communities along Mexico’s Pacific coastline to conserve and restore 78,000 acres of blue carbon ecosystems such as mangroves, salt marsh, and seagrass, as a natural solution to address the impacts of climate change,” says our Climate Change Manager Tannia Frausto. “Once this crisis is over, we will again engage local stewards around Laguna San Ignacio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and gray whale birthing lagoon, to restore and protect mangroves that sequester and store carbon.”
Likewise in Southern California, WILDCOAST is working with local lagoon restoration organizations to restore salt marsh and riparian ecosystems in and around marine protected areas.
“In our effort to conserve blue carbon ecosystems in San Diego County, thanks to a generous grant from California’s Ocean Protection Council, we will be working with partners and volunteers, young and old, on climate actions through wetland restoration,” explains Associate Director Zach Plopper. “To me that defines what Earth Day is all about.”
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, WILDCOAST has had to adapt and pivot to deal with the very real challenges faced by an international conservation team whose staff spend most of their time in the field—from sea turtle nesting beaches in Oaxaca and gray whale lagoons in Baja California, to rocky reefs and leopard shark habitat in California—to now spending our time fighting to protect the world’s most iconic ocean ecosystems and wildlife from home.
In the case of our marine protected areas in California, programs that involved getting students from underserved communities out on the water to study marine life have now gone virtual.
“Our MPA Outreach Toolkit provides educators, parents and students with MPA-related lesson plans, activities, and resources. We are giving students who are at home virtual tours of our gorgeous and wildlife-filled underwater parks,” said Conservation and Communications Manager Angie Kemsley. “We want to keep them excited about the need to protect our Blue Planet, so they can appreciate it even more when we can all once again explore our coast.”
So, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, WILDCOAST remains committed to protecting our Blue Planet from the carbon sinking mangroves of the Gulf of California and the wetlands of San Diego County, to the coral reefs of Oaxaca and kelp forests of California.
We hope that in honor of this 50th Anniversary of Earth Day you will support our efforts to protect the magical places and wildlife that make up this Blue Planet.