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June 15, 2012

WiLDCOAST Celebrates the Cancellation of the Cabo Cortes Mega-Project

By Fay Crevoshay
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Ralph L. Hopkins

WiLDCOAST is happy to announce that Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón cancelled the building permits for the proposed mega-development Cabo Cortes on the East Cape of Baja California Sur that would have destroyed Cabo Pulmo’s Coral Reef .

The project would have brought more than 200,000 new residents to the edge of a national park that is considered to be the world’s most robust marine conservation area.

“We are so happy that President Calderón applied the law and cancelled this very destructive and speculative project,” said Serge Dedina WiLDCOAST’s Executive Director. ”This is a very important environmental victory for everyone: WiLDCOAST, the community of Cabo Pulmo, civil society, Mexico, and the world,”

WiLDCOAST has spent the last two years drawing international attention to the ill-conceived Cabo Cortes project that scientists believed would have damaged the Cabo Coral Reef, the only living reef in the Sea of Cortes.

The announcement was made three days before the start of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Los Cabos, Baja California South, Mexico—a 45-minute drive from Cabo Pulmo.

In 1995, the Mexican government declared the reef a protected area and later upgraded it to marine park status. Local residents, who transformed their economy from fishing to ecotourism, aided the effort and the amount of life on the reef blossomed.

Between 1999 and 2009, Cabo Pulmo saw a 460 percent increase in its total amount of fish—or biomass.

“Oceanographers such as Dr. Octavio Aburto from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, believed that Cabo Pulmo’s coral reef would not have survived for too long if the development moved forward”, said Fay Crevoshay, Communications Director of WiLDCOAST.

The developers, Hansa Baja Investments, planned to build a 9,400-acre (3,800-hectare) resort, with 18 hotels, condominiums, two golf courses, and a marina for 490 boats.

In his statement today President Calderon said, "Because of its size, we have to be absolutely certain that it (Cabo Cortes) wouldn't cause irreversible damage, and that absolute certainty simply hasn't been proved. To sum it up, Cabo Cortes won't be built.

WiLDCOAST is very grateful to all the people, institutions, and groups that came together to support this successful campaign to defend Cabo Pulmo.