Save the World’s last Unspoiled Gray Whale Nursery at San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja, Mexico

Map of Baja, MexicoSave the World’s last Unspoiled Gray Whale Nursery at San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja, Mexico
Baja, Mexico (rushprnews) April 2, 2007 – The Mexican government has just announced that 109,000 acres of federal lands surrounding this spectacular whale habitat will be donated for conservation. This fantastic decision may well be the nail in the coffin of a decade-old Mitsubishi plan to build the world’s largest industrial saltworks on the shores of the whale sanctuary.

Mitsubishi withdrew the saltworks scheme in 2000, in the face of worldwide opposition spearheaded by NRDC. But its Mexican partner (ESSA) has always left open the frightening possibility of reviving the scheme. Any such revival has now been thwarted by Mexico’s decision to protect the acreage that was critical to the saltworks plan.

But there’s even more good news.

The government made its dramatic announcement in the midst of a full-day telethon on TV Azteca, one of Mexico’s biggest TV networks. The telethon conveyed our cause to 30 million viewers and raised $350,000 — money that will help our conservation alliance buy up even more development rights around the whale’s lagoon.

That’s important, because our fight to save the whale’s nursery is far from over.

San Ignacio Lagoon is still vulnerable to plans for oil and gas drilling . . . to proposed massive high-rise hotels . . . and to schemes for resort marinas and ocean-bound ships.

That’s why it’s absolutely critical that we press ahead with our visionary plan to permanently protect all ONE MILLION ACRES of land that surround the lagoon.

Thanks to the generosity of NRDC Members, our alliance has already acquired the development rights for 140,000 acres of communal and private lands — and put them off-limits to industry and developers forever.

When you add in the government’s 109,000 acres, we’ve now secured permanent protection for 249,000 acres around one of the greatest whale breeding grounds on earth. Two years ago, such protection was just a beautiful dream. It is fast becoming reality.

What does it mean for the whales? When hundreds of pregnant gray whales arrived at the lagoon this winter — after swimming 4,000 miles from the frigid Arctic — they did not find a lagoon transformed by Mitsubishi into a wasteland of round-the-clock industrial activity, toxic pollution and ocean-going tanker traffic.

Instead, they found what generations of whales before them have always found: the one place on earth where their newborns can enter the world as mother nature intended: wild and free.

With your help, we intend to keep it that way.

Frances Beinecke


Natural Resources Defense Council

P.S. You can learn more about the gray whale nursery and make a special donation that will help protect it forever by going to:


RUSH PR NEWS, press release services at

Anne Howard, writer and publicist at

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