Climate Change | coral reef | ocean | Sea Turtles | Wetlands

There are so many reasons to love Oaxaca:

Indigenous culture, archaeological sites, and artisan crafts…

The culinary flavors:  Mole! Tlayudas! Crispy crickets! Organic coffee! Queso Oaxaca! Sweat-inducing salsas! Fresh seafood and more!

Its diverse landscape: a bustling colonial capital, sleepy beach towns, and remote Zapoteca villages…

Rugged mountains, verdant valleys, dry tropical rainforests, and empty white-sand beaches with pumping surf.

You’ll also find the southernmost coral reefs of Mexico’s Pacific Coast, teeming with marine life.

The area is a massive watershed with huge rivers like the Copalita carrying water from the 10,000-foot peaks through the jungle and into the sea, linking the reefs to the mountains. It’s a holistic place, where myriad ecosystems converge and spectacular wildlife can be seen. 

In the south of Oaxaca, WILDCOAST has an office in Huatulco with its team engaging in sea turtle and coral reef conservation.

When poachers and consumers nearly decimated the olive ridley sea turtle population in Oaxaca, WILDCOAST stepped in to help protect and monitor their nesting grounds along the 9.3 mile beach Morro Ayuta, in partnership with the local communities and Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP). After years of hard work and successful conservation practices, the olive ridley has come back. More than 2.4 million sea turtles laid eggs during the 2018-2019 arribada (mass nesting) seasons, and 17.8 million hatchlings were born.

We’ve also worked with the local communities to develop oil spill response to protect the vulnerable sea turtles and other wildlife like birds, along with creating educational materials in Chontal and Zapoteco languages for the indigenous school children to inspire a new generation of local stewards who will hopefully protect Oaxaca’s incredible natural resources. 

In Huatulco National Park, you’ll find powder soft sand, teal and turquoise water, and vibrant coral reefs with creatures galore in this natural aquarium. 

Yet human disturbances are severely altering the balance of coral reefs due to pollution, development, overfishing, and mismanagement. The effects of climate change (think ocean acidification) also threaten these delicate ecosystems.

Working closely with CONANP, researchers, tourism outfitters, and local communities, WILDCOAST is helping to protect the coral reefs of the Mexican Pacific by improving tourism practices and local reef stewardship, installing and managing mooring buoys; offering trainings and outreach material; and developing consistent and standardized ecological monitoring.

Help us preserve the magic of Oaxaca!