the World’s last Unspoiled Gray Whale Nursery at San Ignacio
Lagoon in Baja, Mexico
Baja, Mexico (rushprnews) April 2, 2007 - The Mexican government has
just announced that 109,000 acres of federal lands surrounding this spectacular
whale habitat will be donated for conservation. This fantastic decision
may well be the nail in the coffin of a decade-old Mitsubishi plan to
build the world’s largest industrial saltworks on the shores of
the whale sanctuary.
Mitsubishi withdrew the saltworks scheme in 2000, in the face of worldwide
opposition spearheaded by NRDC. But its Mexican partner (ESSA) has always
left open the frightening possibility of reviving the scheme. Any such
revival has now been thwarted by Mexico’s decision to protect the
acreage that was critical to the saltworks plan.
even more good news.
The government made its dramatic announcement in the midst of a full-day
telethon on TV Azteca, one of Mexico’s biggest TV networks. The
telethon conveyed our cause to 30 million viewers and raised $350,000 — money
that will help our conservation alliance buy up even more development
rights around the whale’s lagoon.
That’s important, because our fight to save the whale’s nursery
is far from over.
San Ignacio Lagoon is still vulnerable to plans for oil and gas drilling
. . . to proposed massive high-rise hotels . . . and to schemes for resort
marinas and ocean-bound ships.
That’s why it’s absolutely critical that we press ahead with
our visionary plan to permanently protect all ONE MILLION ACRES of land
that surround the lagoon.
Thanks to the generosity of NRDC Members, our alliance has already acquired
the development rights for 140,000 acres of communal and private lands — and
put them off-limits to industry and developers forever.
When you add in the government’s 109,000 acres, we’ve now
secured permanent protection for 249,000 acres around one of the greatest
whale breeding grounds on earth. Two years ago, such protection was just
a beautiful dream. It is fast becoming reality.
What does it mean for the whales? When hundreds of pregnant gray whales
arrived at the lagoon this winter — after swimming 4,000 miles
from the frigid Arctic — they did not find a lagoon transformed
by Mitsubishi into a wasteland of round-the-clock industrial activity,
toxic pollution and ocean-going tanker traffic.
Instead, they found what generations of whales before them have always
found: the one place on earth where their newborns can enter the world
as mother nature intended: wild and free.
With your help, we intend to keep it that way.
Natural Resources Defense Council
P.S. You can learn more about the gray whale nursery by Clicking here.