Protecting Coral Reefs in the Mexican Pacific: Q1 2019 PROGRESS UPDATE

WILDCOAST is making considerable progress with protecting coral reefs in the Mexican Pacific! It’s been quite a busy first part of the year for this organization. Over the course of this grant, WILDCOAST has developed and distributed 5,000 Wildlife and Dive Guides for the 13,613-acre marine portion of Oaxaca’s Huatulco National Park. The organization is currently working with the Huatulco Hoteliers Association to distribute the guides. A printed short survey will be included for the hotel guests to complete to help evaluate the impact of the guides. The organization is also partnering with Isla Espiritu Santo National Park to create a new guide for the 48,655-acre park.

In addition to guides, WILDCOAST implemented the first coordinated network of mooring and conservation buoy systems in the Mexican Pacific. With grant funding, the organization installed a total of 200 mooring and conservation buoys in Huatulco National Park and an additional 10 mooring buoys in Espiritu Santo National Park that will protect more than 150 acres of corals. WILDCOAST also facilitated trainings with eight park rangers from the national parks of Huatulco, Cabo Pulmo, Isla Espiritu Santo, Isla Isabel and Islas Marietas, on the installation and maintenance of mooring buoys. WILDCOAST carried out buoy maintenance in seven bays in Huatulco National Park that were impacted during the 2018 hurricane season and large swell events.

To advance their training goals for this grant, WILDCOAST facilitated trainings with a total of 80 tourism outfitters in Huatulco, Isla Isabel, Espiritu Santo, and Cabo Pulmo National Parks to improve on-site coral reef visitor management and best visitation practices in the parks. In partnership with Isla Isabel, Espiritu Santo, Huatulco, and Cabo Pulmo National Parks, WILDCOAST also facilitated an exchange of thirty park staff and tourism outfitters to improve visitor management in the four protected areas.

To support in building community support and stewardship for local reef ecosystems in Oaxaca (Huatulco), and Baja California Sur (La Paz, Los Barriles and Cabo Pulmo), a total of 2,732 community members were engaged in activities including presentations at local schools as well as conservation themed photographic exhibits and informational stands during local festivals.

Lastly, WILDCOAST identified hard coral species to be included in the Mexican Act for protected species (NOM-059). We submitted two proposals to the Biodiversity Department of SEMARNAT to include two hard coral species in Mexico’s endangered species list (NOM-059).

Project Name: Coral Reef Conservation In Mexican Pacific
Organization Name: WILDCOAST
Year Grant Awarded: 2017
Progress Update: Quarter 1, 2019 Project Update