Eco-Alianza de Loreto proudly announces the selection of Sula Vanderplank, Ph.D, as Executive Director of the newly established CEMA, Centro de Estudios del Medio Ambiente, a planned international field station for research, conservation and public service, based in Loreto, Baja California Sur. Sula brings her broad background in conservation-science projects focused on coastal systems to bear upon this exciting project. CEMA, is an international partnership begun six years ago with the University of California. Born from Sister Park initiative in collaboration with the Channel Islands National Park, Ventura, California, which resulted in an international treaty signed by the United States and Mexico, CEMA is unique in its mission.
At the end of October this year, the first permanent GPS station was installed in Loreto. Permanent, geodetic-grade GPS is a quantum leap beyond the GPS device you take hiking or operating inside your smartphone. “Geodesy” refers to high-precision measurements of the surface of the earth, changes in the land surface, and precise positioning or navigation. Geodetic GPS equipment can measure locations hundreds of times more accurately than hand-held GPS equipment, providing the levels of precision needed for most scientific and many commercial applications. Permanent GPS receivers operate at a fixed location, taking measurements constantly, and providing a base station for any other GPS surveying or measurement in the region.
It starts with an idea and a dream. A dream of a research field station in Loreto, BCS, born of international partnerships and alliances, a hub bustling with the activities of researchers, students, professors, journalists, and scientists from across the globe. A dream of an educational center to support exploration of the physiological treasures in the region, create a baseline of information upon which to build a data bank, and extend an awareness and understanding of the Baja peninsula.
On April 24, Eco-Alianza hosted the Third Annual “One Ocean Film Festival” on the elegant grounds of Rancho El Jaral overlooking the beautiful Gulf of California and Parque Nacional Bahía de Lore, our very special place on Earth we all work to conserve and protect.
More than 125 supporters enjoyed an outdoor program of nature-related films and presentations after an enjoyable social time and delicious meal served by culinary sponsor, Hotel La Misión Loreto. While following all COVID safety protocols, participants at the fundraising event enjoyed mingling in an outdoor setting. As a result of the generosity of Eco-Alianza’s supporters, attending or absent, sufficient funds were raised to support Environmental Education programs for 2021.
Although Eco-Alianza's traditional anniversary GALA wasn't possible this year due to Covid-19 precautions, an outdoor awards ceremony last month honored Trudi Angell, this year's recipient of Eco-Alianza's Environmental Stewardship Award (commonly referred to as “Conservationist of the Year”).
As reported in our September Soundings, because of Covid-19 precautions, Eco-Alianza's 13th Anniversary will be celebrated along with next year's 14th Anniversary GALA in November of 2021 at the Hotel La Mision. Proceeds from the GALA normally provide the majority of funding for all Eco-Alianza conservation and education programs, so to raise the necessary program funding for the coming year, we are currently holding an Online Fund Drive that officially wraps up on October 31.