Online Fund Drive, in Lieu of GALA, Raising Critical Funds for 2021 Programs;
Donations Matched 1:1 Until Oct. 31

Eco-Alianza staff photo
Richard Jackson accepts the 2019 Conservationist of the Year Award from Eco-Alianza President Hugo Quintero and Board of Directors Treasurer Linda Kinninger

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.

Four generous Eco-Alianza supporters have offered a fundraising challenge – for donations made before the end of October, they will match all donations 1:1, up to $40,000 USD. In other words, if you contribute $100, Eco-Alianza programs will benefit to the tune of $200. A $500 donation turns into $1,000. A $1,000 donation turns into $2,000. “Without any funds from a benefit auction this year, our Online Fund Drive is critical,” says Eco-Alianza Treasurer Linda Kinninger. “Obviously we want to take full advantage of this challenge match, so we’re asking all of our supporters to please donate generously by October 31.”

As further incentive, the fundraising committee is offering free raffle chances for donors at certain levels. Supporters contributing $500 or more will be entered into a raffle for two round-trip tickets from LAX to LTO on Alaska Airlines. Donors at $1,500 or more will also qualify for a raffle for a gourmet Mexican dinner for 10 at a luxurious oceanfront estate, catered by Hotel La Mision. Donors contributing $2,500 or more will also qualify for a raffle package including two round-trip Alaska Airlines tickets LAX to LTO, three nights at the Hotel La Mision for two, including a spa day, Sunday brunch buffet, and a romantic dinner at Los Olivos.

As a thank you to our supporters, all donors to the fund drive will be invited to a private garden reception in November where the raffle drawings will take place and Photographer and Conservationist Rick Jackson will present this year’s Eco-Alianza Conservationist of the Year award. Rick is a member of Eco-Alianza’s Board of Directors and was last year’s award recipient. The outdoor event will be catered by Hotel La Mision and all health safety protocols will be observed, including useful mementos given out to attendees – souvenir Eco-Alianza cloth facemasks hand crafted here in Loreto!

This Online Fund Drive could not be more critical for the continuation of Eco-Alianza’s important conservation and education programs, says Board Chairman Yvo Arias. With your help, we have educated more than 5,000 students and their families in hands-on environmental conservation. We continually sample and analyze seawater quality of local beaches and clam banks, partner with the Bay of Loreto National Park to protect and enhance our fisheries, conserve sea turtles, and so much more. Our cooperative work for watershed protection and appropriate land use has created an effective conservation ethic in our “Pueblo Magico,” and we are poised to increase our outreach and expand our presence, Yvo explains.

Without expending funds on GALA tickets, the silent auction, or the live auction, we are hopeful that compassionate Eco-Alianza supporters this year will choose to dig deeply for this Fund-a-Need campaign and exceed the $40,000 challenge. Click here to donate (by October 31 to qualify for the challenge match and the raffles).

From everyone at Eco-Alianza, thank you for your consideration!

Late this summer, work was completed on a new Eco-Alianza video that explores the mission and the cooperative aspects of Eco-Alianza’s many programs. An early version of the video was previewed at last year’s 12th Anniversary GALA. The expanded version includes additional dramatic footage shot within the Bay of Loreto National Park and in Loreto’s Sierra de la Giganta mountains.

Nora Salinas, who narrates a part of the film, is well known across México for her various roles in television and film. She has said that Loreto is one of her favorite places to visit and stay.

View the new video BY CLICKING HERE.

Eco-Alianza Renovates Collaboration Agreement with Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS)

Earlier this month, Dr. Dante Salgado, Rector of the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur, and Eco-Alianza Executive President Hugo Quintero, signed and renewed their general collaboration agreement. Due to the pandemic and thanks to technology in the modern era, a video conference bridged the miles between La Paz and Loreto, enabling Hugo and Dr. Salgado to meet “in person” along with other university officials to ratify the agreement.

“It is with great pride and commitment to formally collaborate with UABCS, since several members of our staff are alumni from the University” Hugo said to Salgado. “We hope soon to establish specific plans with UABCS’s disciplinary areas and directly link our programs with your projects. We are particularly interested in integrating the university into our recently created initiative for the Center for Environmental Studies (CEMA).” (Learn about the developing plans for CEMA in our next issue of Soundings)

Quintero and Dr. Salgado pledged to continue collaborating institutionally in protecting, conserving, and striving for sustainable use of natural resources in the Bahia de Loreto National Park. Salgado said the collaboration will open windows of opportunity for the university to influence the care of the environment and the strengthening of the community. He stressed that UABCS is persistent in expressing social responsibility, and this is the best way to do it.

For Eco-Alianza, Hugo has said, embracing a collaboration with our state university, while concurrently joining hands with American universities, will inevitably lead to international joint collaborations of scientific researchers from diverse fields of study, working across borders to study and pursue sustainable solutions to scientific and social challenges. Ultimately, collaborative research holds the promise to influence public policies to the benefit of our society, the Bahia de Loreto National Park, and the environment at large, he said.

This collaboration agreement reflects the currently being implemented management plan of the Bahia de Loreto National Park and also the strategic plan of Eco-Alianza. Both plans call for increased scientific study of the Park’s highly biodiverse natural resources to better enable management and conservation decision-making. With very limited financial resources to conduct studies, the Park is fighting an uphill battle. Eco-Alianza has slowly and deliberately put together a suite of cooperative agreements to provide and greatly expand high-level scientific study with the Park as the main beneficiary.

Collaboration with UABCS is an integral part of Eco-Alianza’s Center for Environmental Studies, along with the agreement signed last year in which Eco-Alianza is partnering with the University of California Natural Reserve System (UCNRS) in creating an international “Sister Reserve” here in Loreto. The agreement will result in graduate students and professors from any University of California campus conducting long-term scientific studies here, just as they do at the other 41 UCNRS Reserves. Studies will involve multiple universities from Mexico, like UABCS, with the end result of supporting and collaborating with the Bahia de Loreto National Park.

Another part of this big picture is the Sister Park agreement that Eco-Alianza facilitated three years ago between the Bahia de Loreto National Park and Channel Islands National Park in California. As an international program of CONANP and the US National Park Service, the agreement makes mutual support a part of the official mission of each park. That support may include exchange of science and expertise in conservation management, as well as human and material resources from both parks.

Photo courtesy of Richard Jackson

In a much-anticipated event held at Eco-Alianza’s Community Center for the Environment (CenCoMA) on October 23, the Clean Beaches Committee of the Municipality of Loreto was formally established.

On hand for the event were many members of LoretoIdeal, the collaborative leadership group that includes more than 15 local organizations and associations. After being initiated by Eco-Alianza, over the last two years LoretoIdeal has collectively identified and prioritized an array of major social, environmental, and economic challenges faced by Loreto, and is seeking to study and address these challenges working hand-in-hand with government authorities.

Mayor Arely Arce Peralta formally declared the Clean Beaches Committee’s membership, including representatives of different institutions, civil associations, and authorities of the three levels of government. The event was attended by Ing. Justo Cardoso García, director of the government agency CONAGUA (Comisión Nacional del Agua, or National Water Commission) in the state of Baja California Sur, who will serve as Technical Secretary of the committee.

Photo courtesy of Richard Jackson

The purpose of the committee is to protect the health of beach users, respecting the native ecology of these recreational sites through the improvement of their environmental quality. The committee will also seek to raise the levels of competitiveness of the beach sites with regard to tourism, so that Loreto continues to remain an environmentally responsible tourist destination.

Our municipality, shaped by the beauty of its marine environment next to its desert setting, forms a geography full of flora and fauna, where there are more than 200 kilometers of coastlines, including its five islands and islets. This coastline contains a large number of beaches, wetlands, salt flats, dunes and estuaries, representing immeasurable natural riches. These valuable and complex sites offer its inhabitants and visitors to Loreto, unique opportunities for recreation and economic generation.

However, even though progress has been made in establishing conservation and health measures in the municipality, some of our beaches continue to remain fragile due to the great pressure exerted by urban development and socio-economic activities that generate waste and pollutants.

To address these national challenges, the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) maintains the Clean Beaches, Water and Safe Environment Program (PROPLAYAS). The program follows a technical and administrative approach that involves restoring, conserving and developing the beaches of our country, through precise planning actions, thus seeking to prevent possible environmental impacts, to protect human health and the environment, and to guarantee a high quality offering of tourist services able to compete internationally.

Aware of the above, the government and society of Loreto, committed to the progress of sustainable development (after several preliminary dialogues and consensuses of the municipal government and the organizations that form the #LoretoIdeal movement) together agreed to promote the establishment of the Clean Beaches Committee of the Municipality of Loreto, integrated into a network of more than 40 committees in the 17 coastal states of Mexico.

“For our part, at Eco-Alianza,” said Ing. Hugo Quintero, “we wish the greatest success to the formation and operation of this Committee, thanking and congratulating all the members of the committee for taking the serious responsibility of participating and contributing.”

2021 Calendars Now Available in Loreto Stores

Eco-Alianza’s 2021 Calendar, featuring astounding landscapes and wildlife images by photographer Richard Jackson, is now available by mail and in Loreto shops near you, as well as at Eco-Alianza’s downtown headquarters. Loreto comes to life in these photos, so they make the perfect gift!