As part of its One Ocean Initiative, Eco-Alianza earlier this month kicked off a new campaign to engage Loreto’s first-line service providers, captains of Pangas, in supporting and implementing the new Management Plan for the Bahia de Loreto National Park (PNBL). The campaign aims also to help promote the business culture and personal brand of the first-line workers – Capitanes Loretanos, who provide their services in the sport fishing and ecotour sectors, and traditionally have served as a magnet for Loreto tourism.
Eco-Alianza President and CEO Hugo Quintero said the effort includes regular meetings with skippers to encourage collaboration, share information, and build a sense of pride in the unique natural resources of PNBL. At the first meeting Loreto’s new Port Captain, Rafael Netzahualcoyotl Nárez Arementa, presented information and took questions regarding new boating regulations primarily focused on safety and operations.
Quintero said the success of the new management plan’s implementation will rely on the users of the Park, including the sport fishing and ecotour sector workers who are getting to know the new rules, are respectful of them, and understand that the Plan ultimately will work in everyone’s favor by protecting critical breeding areas and increasing biomass and biodiversity.
While the Plan’s elements begin to have a positive impact, he said, Eco-Alianza will help highlight and promote the work and personal brand of the captains, by means of exposing their services with marketing and communications tools, like having published their profiles and other information on the Loreto.com website. “Our goal and commitment is to support this livelihood because it is one that strengthens the entire tourism sector in Loreto, and also because these individuals can be catalysts to ensure the successful implementation of the Park’s new Management Plan,” he added.
At the gathering, Hugo summarized the new Park Management Plan, presenting the online interactive map of the new zoning of the Park, available HERE, and indicated Eco-Alianza’s involvement in creating printed durable maps. Also at the event Magda Gutierrez, Eco-Alianza’s communication and outreach director, presented the long-sleeved jersey shirt of the campaign, espousing themes and emblazoned with the One Ocean logo, which each one of the captains was very supportive to wear.
If you see the captains around town or at La Dársena wearing their white shirts, please thank them for conserving our Marine Park for the next generations. On the front they say “El futuro del oceano está en mis manos y en las tuyas” (The ocean’s future is in my hands and in yours), and on the back “Juntos podemos hacer una diferencia” (Together we can make a difference).
On behalf of the Board of Directors and Staff of Eco-Alianza, thank you to everyone who made this month’s 12th Anniversary GALA an overwhelming success! (View the GALA Photo Gallery by clicking here.) Financially, the event set a new record for Eco-Alianza, besting the 10th Anniversary event by more than 25%. Funds raised at the GALA will go a long way towards supporting Eco-Alianza’s mission – programs that directly benefit Loreto’s environment and natural resources.
Clearly Eco-Alianza supporters were in a good mood, as evidenced by the robust dancing that took place when the auction part of the evening was over. Dozens of revelers lingered in Hotel La Mision’s elegant Banquet Room well into the evening, socializing and dancing the night away.
One of the highlights of the evening came immediately after the auction, when Executive President Hugo Quintero and Treasurer Linda Kinninger presented the annual Environmental Stewardship Award to Richard Jackson. Rick serves on Eco-Alianza’s Board of Directors and also donates his stunning wildlife photography for all Eco-Alianza publications, including the annual calendar. The certificate presented to Rick cited him for his “unwavering commitment to strengthening the conservation ethic in Baja California Sur” and stated “we recognize Richard Jackson as an environmental hero.” In addition to the praise on the certificate, however, Rick received a sustained standing ovation from the entire crowd at the gala, and afterwards delivered heartfelt comments in accepting the award, pledging to continue his commitment to Loreto and its environs for as long as he’s able.
Special thanks are due to Scott Serven, owner of Hotel La Mision Loreto (the event underwriter) which set the tone by providing the perfect inspiring venue for the event. Manager Maria Gamez and her staff decorated the space elegantly, as well as providing the exceptional food and service for which the hotel is known.
A huge thank you is due also to all of the event sponsors and all the donors of items and experiences for the silent and live auctions, as well as our staff and volunteers, without whom the event would not be possible. And heartfelt thanks to the sell-out crowd of 180 supporters who bid so energetically in the silent and live auctions, and who so generously donated to the fundraising appeal.
We are excited to partner with each one of you in celebrating and protecting the wonders of Loreto!
Eco-Alianza’s educators, and those from Loreto’s environmental educators’ network (REAL), continue to strengthen their bona fides and their network of contacts. Earlier this month, a delegation of five attended the annual International Environmental Education Congress in Mazatlan, Sinaloa — making presentations, participating in workshops, and connecting with supportive institutions.
Alma Rico, Eco-Alianza’s Environmental Education Program Coordinator, said the invitation and connection to the event came more than a year ago from the Environmental Educators Network in Sinaloa, with which they had already collaborated and which was involved in organizing the Congress. They were able to work it into this year’s REAL budget. The cost of lodging and registration was raised through garage sales and sales of souvenirs such as key chains, straws, and bamboo toothbrushes. Transportation and food were paid by each attendee. More than 80 speakers from 12 different countries attended the four-day event, including keynote speakers such as Dolores Barrientos, the UN Environmental Program Representative in Mexico, and Mateo Castillo, representative of the Earth Charter in Mexico, in addition to more than 350 participants, teachers, and students who attended as listeners.
Brenda Garcia of Eco-Alianza’s conservation staff and Francisco Álvarez, an Environmental Education volunteer with Eco-Alianza, presented an explanatory poster designed by Magda Gutierrez of Eco-Alianza’s communications and outreach staff. The poster explained the development and collaborative goals of REAL. Alma Rico and Maira Romero presented a paper on waste reduction entitled Zero Waste to Protect All Species. Maira Romero works in the Ecology and Sustainability Department of Loreto’s municipal government. Also making the trip was teacher Marina Ortiz, a founding member of REAL who currently resides in Puebla but remains an important and active part of the group.
Plans are already being discussed to attend next year’s Congress in Cuba.
“Nature Notes” is a monthly short feature detailing some of the wondrous, seasonal activities taking place around us.
By Tom Haglund
The Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), that punkie-headed cartoon fave, is, in real life, not just a clever escapee from Wile E. Coyote, but is also a fearsome predator. It will take rodents, birds (and their eggs), invertebrates (including Tarantulas and Tarantula Hawks), and reptiles (including rattlesnakes). When a Roadrunner moves into a neighborhood, the local populations of a variety of prey species will likely take a pretty big hit.
Last month a pair of Roadrunners hatched a quartet of chicks near here, and the food sources in the territory around the nest surely faced a sudden increase in the danger of living nearby. If a single Roadrunner is a big factor in the lives of the fauna within its territory, imagine the impact of six of those appetites. When the young fledge, they will still mostly rely on their parents for food for some time before dispersing around the countryside to live on their own. Some relief is afforded as soon as the youngsters leave the nest, though, when the whole family begins to hunt farther from the somewhat restricted area around it.
Most native people throughout the Roadrunner’s large range have beliefs about them. They are feared, revered, and even eaten by various groups. The Roadrunner’s toes (four) are arranged two out front and two pointing rearward, making their footprints roughly X’es on the ground. The tracks reveal little information as to which way the bird was traveling. Interpretations of this range from benign magic to downright evil. Roadrunners figure in much indigenous folklore, religion, and even health and healing.
Roadrunners are regarded by some shotgunners as detrimental to upland game bird breeding success, and persecuted for it; by bird fanciers in general, as bad for smaller birds and their eggs; and even by many as hard on beneficial invertebrate populations. Roadrunners have coexisted with all of these food providers for millennia without, it would seem, much perturbation over that very long time. It just may be that the various negatives ascribed to them can be laid more succinctly at the doorstep of humanity.
Greater Roadrunner – Correcaminos Norteño
Baja California Coachwhip – Chirrionera
Make sure to pick up your 2020 Eco-Alianza Calendar, featuring the stunning wildlife photography of Richard Jackson. Stop by Eco-Alianza’s CenCoMA headquarters. In addition to CenCoMA, the calendar is available at Richard Jackson Gallery, Museo de Las Misiones, Hotel La Misión, Meditarráneo, Sea Coffee, El Gavilan, Geckos Curios, Tony’s Silver, Marina de Puerto Escondido, Silver Desert, Orlando’s Restaurant, Hotel Posada del Cortes and La Cholla MiniMarket (Loreto Bay).