Protecting Baja California Sur

The two seas surrounding Baja California Sur are teeming with the symphony of life and are home to over one third of the world’s cetaceans. This is part of the reason why this marine ecosystem is such a unique and critical stronghold of ocean life.

The mission

the mission

Photo credit

In November 2022, a group of key scientists and filmmakers embarked on an expedition to explore, survey, and document the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of Baja California Sur with the joint mission to protect it.

Our goal is to build a future for the aquarium of the world in Baja California Sur. Working with our colleagues in conservation and government officials who are dedicated to ocean and community health, we are working to establish a biosphere reserve that would secure the future of the southern Gulf of California, the northernmost point of the Eastern Tropical Pacific. In order to safeguard both the incredible diversity of life and local livelihoods along the Pacific coast and the Gulf of California we must create stronger protections that still allow for tourism and artisanal fisheries to thrive.

The results

cristina shot of fish school

In our quest to protect and rewild the ocean, SeaLegacy and our dedicated partners are demonstrating a unique ability to help rewrite the narrative for wildlife in the seas of Baja California Sur.

By protecting and managing 30% of our ocean within the next decade, we can ensure the future of our planet and at the same time, empower coastal communities to thrive for generations.

We have supported initiatives around the expansion of marine protected areas (MPA’s) across the Eastern Tropical Pacific marine corridor resulting in MPA expansions by Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica to connect and manage more than 500,000 square kilometers as an interconnected migratory swimway, in one of the most productive and biologically diverse areas in the ocean.

The year 2022 saw an extraordinary effort to expand marine protections, especially within the Eastern Tropical Pacific, with Panama reaching 50% protection and Colombia set to exceed 30% commitment. Creating more, interconnected, and community-led protected areas within the ocean will preserve critical habitats, boost biodiversity, and help mitigate rising sea levels and the effects of climate change.

And now we look to Baja California Sur to expand the marine protected areas coverage. Together with our partners and a large variety of stakeholders invested in the future of the Gulf of California and Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), we are helping to accelerate the establishment of Dos Mares, a magnificent marine biosphere reserve. With government officials, artisanal fishing communities, foundations, and scientists all gathering to meet each other eye-to-eye, we have made great strides toward increasing marine protections in the area and, in turn, the entire ETP region.⁠

Baja California Sur, Mexico

“We must protect our ocean at all levels from the smallest to the largest creature to maintain the diversity of the life it sustains.”

Cristina Mittermeier
Co-Founder & Lead Storyteller