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Cabo Pulmo

Baja California, Mexico

Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park is home to the only living hard coral reef in Mexico's entire Gulf of California. After decades of unsustainable fishing practices degraded the coral reef system, the local community worked with the government and civil society to revive the area’s marine wildlife, and Cabo Pulmo again became a thriving habitat. But this spectacular marine sanctuary has been repeatedly endangered by a mega-tourism scheme proposed right next door that would build condos, hotels, golf courses, a private jet port and other infrastructure on 9,400 acres of this coastal paradise.

Such a massive project would imperil the coral reef's marine life and irreparably harm Cabo Pulmo's fragile ecosystem and the local communities who depend on it for their livelihoods.

In 2012, thanks to a strong campaign waged by NRDC and our partners — and the online activism of tens of thousands of BioGems Defenders — Mexico’s president rejected Cabo Cortés, the first major development project proposed for the region. Since then, our coalition has stopped two similar disastrous ventures.

But now Cabo Pulmo's marine sanctuary is once more at risk. A panel of judges overturned the Cabo Cortés cancellation, once more opening up the door for the project to move forward. Until Mexico irrevocably cancels Cabo Cortés once and for all and makes a strong, long-term commitment to keep Cabo Pulmo safe from such destructive projects, this irreplaceable natural treasure will remain vulnerable to rampant over-development that could devastate its environment, marine wildlife and communities forever.

What's at Stake

Located at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, Cabo Pulmo is teeming with an astonishing diversity of wildlife, including whales, porpoises, dolphins, orcas, sharks, sea lions and five of the seven species of endangered sea turtles.

  • Photo: what's at stake
  • Photo: what's at stake
  • Photo: what's at stake
  • Photo: what's at stake

Main images provided by: Octavio Aburto/iLCP and Ralph Lee Hopkins/iLCP.