The Baja peninsula is a breathtaking landscape of dramatic mountains, cacti-studded desert and vast open spaces that feels like being on another planet. But the more than 2,000 miles of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez is Baja’s most amazing feature. The beauty of the coastal areas and abundance of their oceanic inhabitants is unmatched elsewhere on earth. Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau famously named the Sea of Cortez, home to a huge variety of fish and marine mammals and birds, “the world’s aquarium.” It’s easy to fall in love with this part of Mexico.
As an avid scuba diver, I have seen the magic of the marine world on a deeper level. Being underwater is truly like experiencing something out of your dreams. However, as I have become more connected with this world, I also learned disturbing facts: the ocean is in trouble. In deep trouble (no pun intended). Our beautiful oceans are being seriously polluted with plastic waste (among other contaminants), they are being overfished, and they are also threatened by climate change from increased temperatures and acidity levels.
Overdevelopment and destruction of coastal areas including mangroves are serious issues as well. Since the 1980’s, it is estimated that over one-third of the world’s mangrove ecosystems have been lost. This is particularly harmful because mangroves are so important to the health of our oceans. Mangroves are critical nursery habitat for thousands of fish species, allowing them to reproduce. The loss of this nursery habitat combined with rampant overfishing makes it harder for fish populations to recover. Mangroves are also carbon storage superpowers, sequestering more carbon than even rainforests. And mangroves help buffer communities from sea level rise and storm surges, and also act as natural filtration systems.
Since learning about these issues, I knew that I wanted to use my business as a way to make positive change (however small it may be). Because mangroves have such an outsize influence on the critical issues facing the ocean, it resonated with me to join the global pledge to save the mangroves.
To help save the mangroves and our oceans, we partner with WILDCOAST, a non-profit organization based in Southern California & Mexico. WILDCOAST works to ensure the long term conservation of marine ecosystems and the diversity of wildlife found within them. They have had many incredible success stories over the past 20 years, including the establishment of marine protected areas (MPA’s), protection of coastlines and islands in California and Mexico, protecting turtle nesting beaches in Oaxaca, protecting and restoring critical gray whale habitat in Baja, and much more. To date, WILDCOAST has managed, restored and protected 40,000 acres of mangrove forest in northwest Mexico, with a new goal to plant one million mangroves.
With every purchase we donate 5% of the proceeds to WILDCOAST to plant, restore and protect mangroves in Baja, Mexico. Your support will help reverse the global decline of mangrove ecosystems, sequester carbon emissions, and protect critical habitat to fish, and marine birds and mammals for future generations. Together we can Save the Mangroves.