Isla Natividad

June 2011

Two cabins for ecotourists, surfers, and scuba divers, in exchange for the protection of a 1,120-acre area, including three islets, for a minimum of 10 years

The island of Natividad is inhabited by 400 people, most of whom are part of the local fishing cooperative (Buzos y Pescadores de Baja California). Abalone and lobster are their main catches. The island and five kilometers of surrounding waters are also part of El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve. The island is about 4.2 miles long by 1.4 miles wide, and holds more than 85 percent (30,000 nests) of the world’s population of the black-vented shearwater, a bird species endemic to the west coast of Mexico and southern California. It also provides nesting grounds for gulls, cormorants, and pelicans. The beaches are breeding grounds for elephant seals, sea lions, and the common seal.

The community is working to conserve their natural resources by recycling, minimizing pollution, and obtaining green certification for their products.  They wish to protect the northern portion of the island and three nearby islets by prohibiting access, except in emergencies. Federal Natural Protected Area managers will assist with protocols, regulations, and enforcement, and will monitor the agreement.

The cooperative is seeking new sustainable livelihoods and has attracted interest from surfers, scuba divers, and ecotourists. But they need better accommodations for guests. Seacology is funding construction of two cabins to host visitors to the island. The benefits from the rental of the cabins will go toward improvements in the community and conservation of the island.

Project Updates
February 2014
The two cabins were rented many times in 2013 and occupied by a total of 95 people for an average of two days at a time. Most were Americans arriving by their own planes, or by boat from Punta...
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June 2013
The cabins are being rented already, primarily by surfers. A Seacology expedition visited this project in February 2013.
January 2012
The cooperative leaders have obtained the permit needed from the El Vizcaino Natural Protected Area to build the cabin. The project is being changed to build two cabins, with cooperative members...
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Berkeley, CA 94707 USA

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