Magdalena Bay is a national treasure. While many areas along the Baja California peninsula have been irrevocably scarred, the ecosystem of Magdalena Bay remains mostly intact. Comparable to the Chesapeake Bay for its productivity and size, Magdalena Bay is considered one of the top ten wetland complexes in North America and one of the ten most important coastal habitats in Mexico, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Yet, it remains without any formal protected status, leaving its extensive shoreline vulnerable to industrial and tourism development.
No one is more familiar with the Magdalena Bay’s bounty and its threats than Julio Solís, a native of the region and the Magdalena Baykeeper; Julio’s path to becoming a Baykeeper shines a light on the transforming economic power of nature-focused tourism. Julio’s first interaction with the Bay was as a fisherman and sea turtle poacher, selling his illegal catch in Baja’s black market. It was later on while steering boats for the School for Field Studies, an educational organization and acting as a community representative of the Grupo Tortuguero de las Californias, a network of sea turtle conservationists, that Julio learned of the limits to the Bay’s bounty. He reversed course and pledged to protect the Bay.
Puerto San Carlos, Baja California Sur 23740