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Program Area

The Cabo Pulmo National Park (PNCP) is a 17,571 acres Marine Protected Area (MPA) established in 1995 to protect the northern most coral read in the Eastern Pacific. It is now one of the most successful MPAs in the world.


The PNCP is one of the best examples of coastal zone protection in Mexico. Fishing is prohibited in Cabo Pulmo and the residents along with the Mexican government united forces to give new life to the reef which was at a time near extinction. According to Dr. Octavio Aburto, of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, coral reefs like the one found in Cabo Pulmo are very fragile ecosystems and nurseries essential for the populations of the ocean’s fish and other organisms.


Since the establishment of the MPA, fish populations have recuperated more than 400% which has demonstrated the effectiveness worldwide for MPAs to conserve natural marine resources.  Additionally, the environmental services provided by the PNCP have been valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, the local snorkel and scuba diving industry in Cabo Pulmo is valued at $590,000 annually.



Conservation Strategies

WILDCOAST has full time staff in Cabo Pulmo to promote the conservation of the coral reef among residents, visitors, tourism outfitters and government agencies. In collaboration with partner organizations and institutions, we are carrying out the following activities:


  • Support and strengthen the management of natural protected areas in the region (Cabo Pulmo National Park and the Cabo San Lucas Area of Protected Flora and Fauna.
  • Protect 13.6 miles of coastline adjacent to the MPA through conservation concessions in partnership with Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP).
  • Education about the importance to conserve ecosystem services through event outreach and workshops.
  • Organize community chapters as part of the WILDCOAST network to collaborate with partner organization and government offices on conservation issues.
  • Participate in the Cabo Pulmo Vivo coalition (a group formed by NGOs dedicated to protect Cabo Pulmo from unsustainable development.
  • Build community conservation capacity through WILDCOAST network workshops, events and collaboration with partner organizations and institutions.
  • Support wildlife monitoring such as bird reproduction in Cabo Pulmo.

To carry out these activities, WILDCOAST is collaborating with: CONANP, The Universidad Mundial, the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Federal Zone Agency (ZOFEMATAC), the San Jose del Cabo Organic Market, Friends of the Conservation of Cabo Pulmo, Cabo Pulmo tourism outfitters, Niparaja and Pronatura Noroeste.


Our 2016 accomplishments included:


Support the conservation of 8.7 miles of beach and 370 acres of coral reef in the Cabo Pulmo National Park (CPNP).

  1. Trained CPNP park rangers and staff with four SCUBA and first aid certifications, and two navigation licenses.
  2. Coordinated three coral reef monitoring events in collaboration with CONANP, Niparajá y the Autonomous University of Baja California.
  3. Signed an agreement with six other Natural Protected Areas in the Gulf of California and the Mexican Pacific, to standardize the coral reef monitoring protocols in this region.


Established a coastal conservation program in Cuba.

  1. Organized an exchanged of experiences between the staff from the Guanahacabibes National Park in Cuba and the Cabo Pulmo National Park to share lessons learned and successes.
  2. Created a diving guide with key marine species to strengthen visitor management.


In Cabo Pulmo, WILDCOAST has had significant success conserving the region’s rich marine resources. Some of our most significant accomplishments include:


  • The 2012 cancelation of the Cabo Cortes tourism mega-development through a communication campaign that reached 400 million people worldwide.
  • In partnership with CONANP, applied for conservation concessions for 13.6 miles of coastline adjacent to the MPA that are expected to be granted in 2014.
  • Established network chapters in Todos Santos, Cabo San Lucas, San jsoe del Cabo, Los Barriles and Zacatitos.
  • Implement management plans with CONANP for the Cabo Pulmo National Park and the Cabo San Lucas Area of Protected Flora and Fauna.
  • Produce and distribute brochures and other printed materials about ecosystem services associated with Cabo Pulmo.
  • Organize local beach cleanups with community and student volunteers.
  • Partake in the Clean Beaches Committee of Los Cabos.




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