A Wave Worthy of Protection: Punta Conejo Campaign Update
On September 20th, at the invitation of the local community, Save The Waves Coalition headed to southern Mexico to the village of Playa Brasil, a small coastal community next to the renowned point break Punta Conejo. The key objective of the trip was to listen and learn from the surfers, local businesses, fishermen, and community leaders about a potential port project that could do irreparable harm to the local surf ecosystem.
In partnership with Wildcoast and Union de Surfistas y Salvavidas A.C, Save The Waves carried out a community workshop to better understand critical components of the surrounding ecosystem and socio-economic landscape.
During this workshop, Save The Waves learned how the wave at Punta Conejo is highly dependent on the movement of sediment as the wind, currents and estuarine habitat interact to move sediment towards the point. It also became evident that the ecosystem of Punta Conejo hosts an incredible array of wildlife, including threatened and rare species as well as critical “botoncillo” mangrove forest which is protected under Mexican law. It became that that Punta Conejo hosts a complex and sensitive ecosystem and the proposed industrial infrastructure could have a profound impact on not only the wave, but the surrounding biodiversity.
While the construction of an industrial port at Punta Conejo remains as an existential threat, the local community is organizing to proactively protect this incredibly special place. With the help of our partners and at the direction of the local community, Save The Waves is committed to gathering essential scientific information and baseline studies of the area in order to develop a coastal protection strategy.
We are also developing a robust campaign plan to ensure that the wave, wildlife, and human livelihoods dependent on this iconic place are prioritized and protected in coastal planning decisions.
On the last day at Conejo, the team woke up with the sun to enjoy the endless bounty of waves that the point provides daily to starry eyed surfers. The Save The Waves team, together with some local partners, enjoyed the perfectly peeling rights the place is famous for. If it wasn’t already evident from the interactions with the local community, one wave is all you need to know that Punta Conejo is a special place worthy of protection.
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