Article

Havoc and Hope in Baja

| posted on July 22, 2010

One World Ed’s
Note:

Below are several
items from Serge Dedina at Wildcoast, an ocean organization
that
has been instrumental in the fight to keep Baja wild. The first is a series
of
photos of the Escalera
Nautica Project currently lined up to ruin some of Baja’s
best,
most rustic point breaks and fishing grounds. The second is a set of
photos
from a surf
contest
Wildcoast held at Punta Abreojos.


Which 100,000
Baja inhabitants will this project benefict exactly?

As you can see from the
pics, projects at Canoas and Rosalita are well underway.
Also
planned are projects at Abreojos, Colonet, Scorpion Bay and several other spots.
If you can imagine
what the Dana Point Harbor did to Killer Dana, then perhaps you
can
get an idea of what the ultimate vision may be.

Some of you might argue,
hell, it’s their country, let them do what they want. How can
we
have a problem with them developing their land when we have bulldozed nearly
everything in sight
in Southern California? I personally would argue that it’s
precisely
because we have bulldozed everything in Southern California that we can
say,
"look, see how screwed up this place is? Is this what you want too?"
But that’s just me.

It wasn’t so long
ago that you could camp on the beach at Trestles, surf all day
with
one or two friends,
and
dine over an open fire on hand-caught lobster and abalone.
There
are
places in
Baja where this is still possible…for now.

The second set of photos
comes from a grass-roots surf contest held at Punta Abreojos.
Abreojos
is on the front line of many of Baja’s current issues: Overfishing, sea turtle
harvests, drug running
and the Escalera Nautica Project. Speaking of drug running,
imagine
what a series of barely guarded, easily accessible, and utterly remote marinas
will
do for the Baja
drug trade.

Recognizing the value of
their home,
the people
of Abreojos are
fighting
back.
With your help,
maybe this is one town that can
be
saved.

–Chris Dixon


Dear Baja Team:

Here are some recent
photos of Escalera Nautica stuff —
Please
note the sign leading into Pta. Canoas — formerly the least known
Baja
“mysto” spot. That ends speculation on whether project was planned
there.

-Serge



Dear Baja Team:

Here are photos
from our Pta. Abreojos surf contest in late July– carried
out
with support from SIMA–celebrating protecting the Baja coast–and
carried
out at exactly in the same location where we stopped the Mitsubishi
corporation
from destroying the coast with a one mile long concrete pier and
industrial
facilities.

This is also a
proposed location for Escalera Nautica.
At
the contest the locals ripped–grommets ripped, and grandmas watched from
the
dunes.

The stoke level
was super high–more importantly Punta Abreojos as a
community
is behind coastal conservation. This sentiment was included in an
article
in the Economist that the community is against the marina
project!!!
That trip generated two AP stories — one on Nautica and one on
turtles.

FYI–independent
filmmaker Chris Figler is finishing shooting a feature
length
documentary on the Nautica project/Baja/surfing–that will include
the
contest and all of our work to stop the project. After shooting the pro
event
in San Miguel (next week?), Chris will return to LA and will also
crank
out an 8-10 minute video on the project and our work to stop it.

Photos courtesy
of Kama Dean at Pro Peninsula who also helped out greatly at
the
event.

Cheers,

===================================

Serge Dedina, Ph.D.

Director

WiLDCOAST

Baja California
CoastKeeper Program Director

WiLDCOAST is an
international conservation team preserving coastal

wildlands and endangered
marine species


Escalera
Nautica Press Release from February, 2002

PERFECT
BAJA POINT WAVES BEING DESTROYED

NAUTICAL ROUTE MARINA PROJECTS UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN BAJA CALIFORNIA
Construction Will Destroy Point Breaks in the Californias

Santa
Rosalillita, Baja California, Februrary 11, 2002 -The peaceful and isolated
San Andres Valley, along the Pacific Coast of Baja California, Mexico is being
dynamite-blasted into a quarry, for a two million dollar marina project under
construction a five miles to the south in Santa Rosalillita, a fishing village
known for excellent surfing and windsurfing.

The
project will destroy significant costal and marine habitats, as well as, a world-class
surfing break. And, the benefits of a marina of the proposed size have yet to
be demonstrated.

According
to Dr. Serge Dedina, an expert on coastal development and the Director of WiLDCOAST,
an international conservation team, “the project is also technically unsound
and has little chance of success.”

“There
is a demonstrated lack of planning here,” said Dedina. “For example, the heavy
movement of sand in the area, will require the marina to be dredged constantly.
Similar dredging operations at southern California marinas cost millions of
dollars annually. In Santa Rosalillita, is not clear who will pay for this down
the road. The project is also located in a heavy surf zone, subject to constant
fog. More importantly, no one has shown that there is a market for a large marina.
Irreversible damage is being done to a pristine beachfront and a significant
surfing break without full consideration of the consequences.”

The
marina project at Santa Rosalillita is the beginning of Mexico’s 1.6 billion
dollar Nautical Route Program that proposes the construction of 22 marinas and
resort developments throughout the region. Additional marinas are proposed for
Punta Canoas, Punta Abreojos and Scorpion Bay.

Officials
from Mexico1s National Tourism Fund (FONATUR) suggest that the Santa Rosalillita
marina will be part of a terrestrial bridge that will connect the Pacific to
the Sea of Cortez fishing village, Bahia de los Angeles.

“Those
of us who work in the ocean want to make a living in a way that does not hurt
the environment. This Nautical Route project represents the old way of doing
things,” said Adan Hernandez a fishermen turned conservationist who works in
Baja California.

About
WiLDCOAST:
WiLDCOAST is an international conservation team working to preserve the coastal
wildlands and endangered marine species of the California’s. Founded in 1999
by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols and Dr. Serge Dedina, WiLDCOAST is currently working
to protect 1.2 million acres of coastal wildlands and marine sites in the California’s.

For
more info go to: www.wildcoast.net

Photos
courtesy www.wildcoast.net

Can
you believe this nightmare? Talk about this environmental disaster now. Click
here.

 

Wildcoast Mailing
Address:

757 Emory St. PMB
161

Imperial Beach,
CA 91932, USA

Tel: 619.423.8530

Fax: 619.423.8488

sdedina@wildcoast.net

www.wildcoast.net

Office Address:

925 Seacoast Dr.

Imperial Beach,
CA 91932, USA

(Across from the
Imperial Beach Pier)

Dedina is Author
of:
Saving
the Gray Whale (University of Arizona Press 2000),

Available from
Amazon.com