San Quintín Bay Waterkeeper


Ricardo H. Domínguez Reza
[email protected]


The San Quintín Lagoon Complex (SQLC) comprises the coastal wetlands and water bodies found between the San Quintín Bay and Laguna Figueroa, both located 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of the U.S.­Mexico border in the Municipality of Ensenada, Baja California. The complex extends for over 4,123 square kilometers of drainage area throughout 3 watersheds that originate in the central part of the peninsula in the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir mountain range. It has rare, valuable habitats like marshes, intertidal zones, coastal dunes and coastal scrub that are home to endemic species and species including endangered, threatened and vulnerable seabirds, mammals and reptiles. In addition to being the habitat of many vulnerable seabird species, it is home to the most important breeding populations of many bird species. It is also the wintering site of 30% ­ to 50% of the total population of migratory birds.  In the land adjacent to the SQLC there are at least ten endemic Mediterranean plant species and more than twenty endemic plant species.The coastal dune system is the most diverse in Baja California. The bay’s marsh sustains important populations of seagrass, one of the most important species in the region that is capable of maintaining the biological diversity by forming an ecosystem that is the foundation of a stable community of invertebrates.  The SQLC is located within one of the largest agricultural production regions in Baja California, both in crops and greenhouses. Agricultural activities comprise mostly crops for the export market (tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries and various vegetables) and employ the majority of the region’s economically active population. Oyster farming is also significant, with at least 23 companies dedicated to the cultivation of bivalve mollusks and some clams.  The main threats to the Bay’s water quality—mostly anthropogenic—are: overexploitation of aquifers for agricultural crops, waste discharge of desalination plants operating in the surrounding area, waste from commercial oyster farms, and contamination from industrial and municipal sources.

Ricardo H. Domínguez Reza is the San Quintín Bay Waterkeeper and the Marine Projects Officer at Terra Peninsular A.C., San Quintín Bay Waterkeeper’s parent organization. Ricardo is an Oceanographer who graduated from the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC, its Spanish acronym) and completed his master's degree at the Center for Research and Higher Education of Ensenada (CICESE, its Spanish acronym) in the Marine Ecology program. Ricardo coordinates all of the marine monitoring in San Quintín Bay.


Calle Tercera #1282 entre Calles Espinoza y Castillo, Zona Centro
Ensenada, Baja California C.P. 22800