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February 05, 2015


Chelsea Midgette
Imperial Beach

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif., Feb. 5, 2015 - WILDCOAST, an international conservation team based in Imperial Beach that conserves coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife, announced the formation of the WILDCOAST Advisory Council (WAC). Composed of internationally renowned conservation and sustainable development experts, the WAC will provide input and guidance to help advance the efforts of WILDCOAST to preserve some of the world's most ecologically significant coastal and marine sites.

The founding members of the WAC are Homero Aridjis, Dr. Lawrence Herzog, Ron Forster, Dr. Robert Kanter, Dr. Michael McCoy, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Jeff Opdycke, Dr. Jess Ponting, Michael Sutton, and Lorraine Yglesias.

Homero Aridjis is a Mexican poet and novelist and one of the world's most renowned conservationists. In 1985, he organized the Group of 100 - a group of prominent artists and writers, including Octavio Paz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Rufino Tamayo - to defend biodiversity in Mexico and Latin America.

Lawrence A. Herzog, Ph.D., is a Professor of City Planning at the School of Public Affairs at San Diego State University. He is the author of numerous books on the U.S.-Mexico border and Latin America, including Where North Meets South and Global Suburbs.

Ron Forster has a background in marketing, having worked with Hewlett-Packard for over twenty years, and is active in conservation issues in Southern California.

Robert G. Kanter received his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Southern California. He retired in 2013 from his position as the Managing Director of Environmental Affairs and Planning for the Port of Long Beach, California.

Michael McCoy, D.V.M., is a nationally recognized conservationist who has spent the past forty years focused on efforts to establish and then preserve the Tijuana National Estuarine Research Reserve and the South San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D., is a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and co-founder of WILDCOAST. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Blue Mind.

Jeff Opdycke is the Associate Director of Conservation Programs at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. He has managed conservation and recovery efforts for the Southern sea otter, California condor, California clapper rail, Caribbean iguana, and the Chinese Guizhou snub-nosed monkey.

Jess Ponting, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University. He specializes in the use of sustainable tourism for community development.

Michael Sutton is Vice President, Pacific Flyway with the National Audubon Society. He serves as a member of Audubon's National Leadership Team and oversees Audubon's conservation programs, including a $20 million budget and more than 100 professional staff in California, Washington, and Alaska.

Lorraine Yglesias is the Director of Marketing Programs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and has extensive experience educating the public about the importance of marine conservation.

"We have assembled an impressive group of conservation professionals who have unparalleled experience in all aspects of coastal and marine conservation and management," said Dr. Serge Dedina, Executive Director of WILDCOAST. "The WAC will provide strategic guidance on our programs that will contribute greatly to the ability of WILDCOAST to preserve globally and important coastal and marine sites."

WILDCOAST and its staff are committed to the preservation of Laguna San Ignacio and Cabo Pulmo, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mexico, as well as the world's most important sea turtle nesting beaches, which are located in Oaxaca. The organization is assisting the Mexican federal government in updating the management plan for the 6.2 million acre Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, home to gray whale breeding grounds, bighorn sheep, and peninsular pronghorn. WILDCOAST is also working in partnership with the State of California to help manage California's system of marine protected areas.

"We are extremely fortunate to be able to collaborate with some of the world's leading conservation and sustainable development experts," said Rebecca Kanter, President of WILDCOAST. "The caliber of the newly established WILDCOAST Advisory Council, along with the expertise of our staff and Board of Directors, demonstrates the organization's commitment to the preservation of our coast and ocean," Kanter noted.


WILDCOAST is one of the world's most effective coastal and marine conservation organizations. Founded in 2000 and based in Imperial Beach, California, with offices in Ensenada, La Paz, San Jose del Cabo, and Huatulco, Mexico, WILDCOAST has assisted in the conservation of more than 3.2 million acres of coastal and marine areas. For more information visit or follow @wildcoast on Twitter.