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The watershed surrounding Santa Rosalía comprises nine creeks that discharge into a strech of coast that over the years has experienced transformations both natural as well as anthropogenic. Five of nine creeks in the watershed are comprised within the city limits of the town Santa Rosalía. Waste rock, as the waste material from the extraction of copper is called, is hauled from a nearby mine site to the beaches of Santa Rosalía and contributes to heavy metal water contamination.The infamous black beaches of waste rock in Santa Rosalía currently have high elevations of copper and cadmium that impact marine wildlife such as clams and crustaceans. High levels of copper have been associated with diminishing marine animal species and molecular changes in algae.
As the Santa Rosalia Coastkeeper, Martin Rafael Peralta is the most recent addition to Baja’s growing family of Waterkeepers. He works with fellow Waterkeepers to collect and test water samples from designated beaches and document and report his findings. Today he test for bacteriological contamination, soon he hopes to test for heavy metal pollution from nearby mines. His breadth of professional experience spans communications stints at his local radio station and his ongoing role as a manager of his family’s food store, a staple of the town for 50 years. Martin has 25 years of experience in the sale and purchase of locally harvested seafood and manages the operations of a small handful of artisanal, family-owned fishing boats. As a local fisherman, Martin is keenly aware of the value of clean coastal waters for the health of both human and wild fish populations.
Avenida Profesor Marcelo Rubio Ruiz # 17
Colonia Mesa Mexico
Santa Rosalía, Baja California Sur 23920