Eco-Alianza de Loreto started Loreto Coastkeeper program in 2012 and began analyzing water quality at recreational sites along the coast of the Loreto Bay National Park (Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto), Mexico. We are currently monitoring water quality at 11 recreational beaches and 1 control site with the objective of promoting responsible and collaborative management of water bodies and recreational beaches in the municipality of Loreto, Baja California Sur.
Since the beginning of the Loreto Coastkeeper program, we have provided a reliable scientific basis on the impact of microbiological contamination (Enterococci) in Loreto Bay National Park, and offered a public health service to users of the protected natural area through the communication of our results via our social networks and the Swim Guide page. We also provided authorities with quarterly and annual reports on the health of our beaches. We also participate in the Municipal Board of Drinking Water and Sewerage of Loreto as presidents of the Governing Board.
In order to strengthen our laboratory and thus support the results of water quality monitoring performed in Loreto Coastkeeper, we started the certification process in 2020. Throughout these years we have been able to develop a Quality Management System for the Loreto Coastkeeper testing laboratory based on NMX-EC-17025-IMNC-2018 “General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories” (Mexican Standard).
To implement, we have initiated the following stages:
- Training: where the skills and capacities of 8 Eco-Alianza staff members were developed in relation to topics of the best laboratory practices, NMX-EC-17025-IMNC-2018, reference methods in appendices A and B of NMX-AA-120-SCFI-2016.
- Development of the Quality Management System Process Model: operational manuals, procedures, guides, and formats for each of the laboratory’s processes were designed.
- Facilities and infrastructure: the laboratory area was remodeled and expanded, as well as the acquisition of equipment and materials essential for the proper development of the analyses.
This achievement is part of a broader goal that is expected to be achieved this year with the Certification of the Testing Laboratory under the ISO 9001 “Quality Management Systems” Standard before a Certification entity. This will provide certainty to the users of the beaches for tourist use as well as to the competent authorities on the subject for better management of the watersheds of Loreto, Baja California Sur.
Loreto Coastkeeper is able to do this kind of important work thanks to the generous support from donors around the world. With additional funding, we would be able to test and analyze more water, and, by extension, keep more people safe while they recreate.