Destruction at all cost?

Action in the World's Aquarium

Feature story - December 6, 2006
Earlier this year, we witnessed coastal destruction in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Now as the Esperanza travels along the coast of Mexico we are witnessing coastal destruction once again. The Gulf of California, also known as the "World's Aquarium", receives around 2.1 million tourists every year. Growth of tourism development in the region is fast and uncontrolled. Yesterday, our activists locked down at the Los Cabos Project construction site, displaying the message, "Destruction at all cost".

The Los Cabos Project with its 2 golf courses, 3 large hotels, 1168 houses, three beach clubs, two theme parks and a marina for 500 boats will cause irreparable damage to the environment.

The local population of Los Cabos suffers fresh water restrictions, due to constant shortages, while hotel clients have unlimited water on tap.

Discharges, spills, dredging and other damage to wetlands and bays due to the construction and management of marinas, hotels and urban developments will impact the fishing productivity, as well as the marine and landscape richness. These are the main tourism attractions and the economic base of the region.

Unfortunately, it is the current boom in tourism development that is threatening the basis of this tourism, and has become a new threat to the World's Aquarium. 

To make matters worse, the Los Cabos Project is barely legal:

- The constructors have discharged waste into the wetland.

- Vegetation in the areas has been cut illegally.

- The freshwater wetland has been polluted with saltwater.

- For some parts of the project, there has not been an assessment of the impacts on the environment.

- For the parts of the project which have been granted environmental permits, the conditions have not been followed.

Together with the local NGO Los Ángeles del Estero ("the Angels of the Wetland") we are calling on the Mexican government to ensure that all coastal developments are sustainable.

Read more about the action on the Esperanza weblog

The Gulf of California - see map and learn more

Report: Marine Reserve Network for the Gulf of California.