, Director of Swimmable Water Programs
Posted: May 16, 2014 at 1:25 am

Ahhh Baja. Visitors are barely through the door and the beauty of Baja has them scrambling to find ways to stay forever on the peninsula.

The clear blue waters in the Gulf of California and off Baja’s Pacific Coast are very literally teeming with life. A whopping third of the planet’s marine mammal species reside in Baja’s waters, including the endemic vaquita porpoise and the blue whale.

Several species of sea turtle, octopodes,700 fish species, and nearly 200 species of seabirds also call Baja’s estuaries, islands, bays, and shores home.

Photo by Robert Nunn

The wealth of life found in Baja’s stunning coastal landscape enchants tourists and has sustained local communities for over ten thousand years.

But sadly, the peninsula’s marine ecosystems are under heavy fire from unsound fishing practices, development, and pollution. Lack of enforcement of existing environmental regulations makes these problems worse.

Waterkeepers Baja Californias works very hard with its communities to protect a clean and blue Baja. Waterkeepers Baja Californias is a collaboration between Tijuana WaterkeeperBahia de Los Angeles CoastkeeperLoreto CoastkeeperMagdalena BaykeeperLa Paz Waterkeeper, and Los Cabos Coastkeeper.They are all local nonprofit organizations, built from the ground up by community members passionately committed to protecting their water.

With over 3,000 km of coastline there is a lot for these Waterkeepers to do. Waterkeepers Baja Californias and their partner organization Amigos para la Conservación de Cabo Pulmo, A.C. (ACCP) have even taken it upon themselves to monitor water quality at 75 sites on the Baja Peninsula. They are the first group of nonprofit organizations to do so in Mexico. Without their efforts, there would be no other up-to-date water quality information available to Baja’s eight million residents and numerous visitors.

Photo by Sam Beebe

Waterkeepers Baja Californias’ water quality monitoring program guarantees that visitors to their beaches have an answer to their #1 question: “Is the water swimmable?”

More importantly, the data they are collecting will bring attention to Baja’s waters, inspiring action to address current threats and restore and protect the peninsula’s glorious marine ecosystems.

The motto of Waterkeepers Baja Californias is “Yo amo el agua.” I love water. Yes, Waterkeepers Baja Californias, you most certainly do and you continue to remind others just how much they do too.

On 9 April 2014 Swim Guide Mexico was launched on the Baja Peninsula. We are so excited to have them on board as our first group of Swim Guide affiliates outside of Canada and the USA.

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