Q1 Progress Update: During the first quarter of the grant period, WILDCOAST advanced project activities focused on improving visitation management, monitoring, and legal protections for key coral reefs. WILDCOAST worked to create a wildlife and dive guide of Huatulco National Park, as well as conducted eight workshops to provide education on coral reef conservation activities to 135 students. The conservation group also began developing the first Mexican Pacific system on mooring infrastructure in coral reef protected areas, training six Huatulco park rangers on installation and adding five buoys to the system. In their efforts to secure federal protection of coral species, requests were submitted to include two coral reef species on the Mexican List of Endangered Species. WILDCOAST is now focused on planning a workshop among toursim outfitters from Huatulco and Cabo Pulmo with the support of National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) to promote best visitation practices and learn how to adapt successful strategies for visitors management.
"WILDCOAST is very excited to receive the generous support of the ATCF to help us protect coral reefs in the Mexican Pacific. Our work in places like Cabo Pulmo and Huatulco has had a significant positive impact on local reefs and surrounding ecosystems. Now we can expand our efforts to conserve a broader area and implement even more effective conservation strategies such as new mooring buoy systems, enhanced outreach, and legal protections for key coral species." - Zachary Plopper, Conservation Director
About Grantee: WILDCOAST conserves coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. In 2017, we will keep conserving special wild places including: Baja’s Pacific Islands Biosphere Reserve, a brand new 2.7 million-acre wildlife reserve offshore from Baja’s Pacific coast, that we advocated for over the past five years; Laguna San Ignacio, a pristine gray whale birthing lagoon where we have helped to conserve 450,000-acres of habitat; Magdalena Bay, a lagoon that provides sanctuary for gray whales in Baja, where this year we helped to conserve over 182 miles of shoreline and 3,709-acres of mangrove islands; Morro Ayuta beach in Oaxaca, where our team is busy protecting the more than 600,000 Olive Ridley sea turtles that nest there each year; and the coast of California, where we are leading the effort to manage over 500,000 acres of marine protected areas that are home to elephant seals, gray whales, black sea bass, green sea turtles and the elusive leopard shark.
Project Summary: Support the conservation of coral reefs in 687,767 acres of six protected areas in the Mexican Pacific by improving coral reef monitoring, strengthen visitation management, and advancing coral reef legal protection.