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June 09, 2011

CONANP and WiLDCOAST Protect 19.6 Miles of Coastline in Laguna San Ignacio

WiLDCOAST and Mexico’s Commission for Protected Natural Areas are proud to announce that their joint efforts have led to the conservation of 73.5 miles of coastline around Laguna San Ignacio.
Protected ZOFEMAT in Laguna San Ignacio

Through the ZOFEMAT acuerdos de destino process, WiLDCOAST and Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) have achieved the protection of 73.5 miles of ZOFEMAT in Laguna San Ignacio and surrounding coastline. The ZOFEMAT (Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone) refers to the first 20 meters of shoreline above the high tide line in Mexico. Concessions to the ZOFEMAT can be granted for development or mining purposes even within Mexico’s federally decreed protected areas; as has occurred in the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve (ESSA’s salt works facility), the Valle de los Cirios (an Escalera Nautica marina) as well as other development ventures throughout coastal Mexico.

Fortunately, concessions for conservation (or acuerdos de destino) can be granted to NGOs or CONANP. Since 2008, WiLDCOAST has been providing technical and logistical support to CONANP to carry out the rigorous field work and applications required to apply for ZOFEMAT acuerdos de destino. WiLDCOAST is assisting CONANP to achieve acuerdos de destino in the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve (including Laguna San Ignacio), Bahia Magdalena, the Valle de los Cirios, Cabo Pulmo, Loreto, Bahia Concepcion and the islands of the Gulf of California.

It was recently announced that CONANP was awarded acuerdos de destino for 19.6 miles of coastline around the southern arm of Laguna San Ignacio. In 2010 and early 2011, 53.9 miles were protected in the central region of the lagoon as well as near San Hipolito and Asuncion north of the lagoon. To date, a total of 73.5 miles of coastline have been protected through acuerdos de destino in Laguna San Ignacio.

Applications for a total of 290 miles of ZOFEMAT in the lagoon were submitted in 2009. Approvals are expected to be complete in 2011.