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.
Eco-Alianza's 2020 and early 2021 programs and events posed unique challenges for all of us on how to connect with family and friends. We sincerely miss seeing many of you in person.
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.
One Ocean Film Festival Earmarked to Support Environmental Education - April 24, 2021 After a year that felt like “everything on hold,” we are happy to announce a resumption of our annual One Ocean Film Festival. Due to ongoing challenges with COVID restrictions, we are changing the venue this year and shortening the duration. Originially scheduled for March of last year, Eco-Alianza's third One Ocean Film Festival is now slated as a one-evening event honoring Earth Day, [...]
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.
For the last six months, Eco-Alianza's employees, donors, and volunteers have played a critical role in seeing Loreto through an extraordinary time – the sudden exodus of most part-year Loreto residents, rampant unexpected unemployment, and the uneasy arrival of the Covid pandemic. At its peak, Eco-Alianza's Temporary Food Security Program for Unemployed Workers was providing twice-monthly food “despensas” to 2,300 local families. With an average of 4.0 people per family served, that's 9,200 people, or roughly half of Loreto's population.
If we are going to protect Loreto and this One Ocean, we see now more than ever that we cannot just treat the symptoms. The center of it all is sustainable economic development and food security. Caring for people and building community through the shared ethic of conservation has been Eco-Alianza's core mission from the beginning.
In celebration of this year's Loreto Blue Whale Festival, we spoke with Mariana Salgado, Park Ranger and Biologist for the Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto (PNBL) and also to Bryan Olachea, a Blue Whale researcher who will present “Gigantes del Mar,” a free, bilingual Visiting Scientist talk at the Chili Willy large open-air palapa on the Loreto Malecon, just north of the lighthouse at 5:00 p.m. on March 20.