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March 23, 2012

Blue on Tour in the Mexican Senate

Students and Senators in Mexico City learn why coral and mangroves are non-negotiable...and how to help
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Baja California Sur and Cabo Pulmo ocean advocate, Mario Castro, and students of the region. Credit: WiLDCOAST

Students and Senators in Mexico City learned about the importance of ocean conservation and what they can do to make a difference.

Interesting films about reefs, sea turtles, white shark, whale sharks and mangroves served to inspire participants at the Blue Ocean Festival. With expression of “Oh” and “poor things,” the crowd was ready to defend sea turtles and the ocean!

First, Senator Cardenas gave a warm welcome to the “new house of all Mexicans” – the Senate of the Republic – and thanked the representatives of the communities and the students for attending this exciting event.

The presenters explained with enthusiasm their conservation successes and the threats to their communities and environment:

Mario Castro is proud to be from Cabo Pulmo, Baja California Sur, Mexico (1 hr north of Los Cabos). Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park is considered the “best marine reserve in the planet” by National Geographic and other scientific institutions. Castro asked for the support of Senators and the public for their help so his community can continue protecting the reef ecosystem at Cabo Pulmo.

Araceli Oregón, Ejido Leader and 4th generation conservationist in her community, explained with a map how a wetland concession of Fonatur will eventually destroy 1125 acres of mangroves (sal tolerant trees found along the coast) in Barra de Potosi in Petatlan Guerrero (located 45min from Zihuatanejo), which are considered the lungs of the “Costa Grande” region.

Fay Crevoshay, Director of Communications from WiLDCOAST stated that 22,000 acres of mangroves are destroyed in Mexico each year, despite laws that protect the species. She asked senators to uphold the existing law and make fines more stringent. 2.5 acres of mangroves annually produce approximately 1 million fish of commercial species, such as red snapper and pargo, popular in restaurants.

WiLDCOAST thanks the support of Lic. Mario Alberto Serafín, Technical Secretary for the Commission for Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries of the Senate of the Republic of Mexico and the President of the Commission, Lic. Francisco Agundiz Arias, for their invitation to the event.