Part of the mission of A.C.T.S. is to protect and preserve our natural habitats in Baja California Sur. The Environmental Protection Committee's purpose is stewardship of those habitats. This is accomplished by actively supporting current environmental protection laws, by monitoring illegal construction in and/or on protected areas, collecting data on the impact of natural and man-made environmental stresses including storms and development, and more.
Subregional Development Program, also referred to as The Master Plan of Todos Santos and surrounding areas, came into effect on August 12, 2012, and is active legally and binding for this Municipality from Las Playitas (Agua Blanca) to the South Border of Ejido Plutarco Elias Calles.
To read the highlights of the program, including permitted land uses, lot coverage, permit regulations, zones and more click here.
The ECO Committee of A.C.T.S. collected nearly 600 petition signatures supporting the TS Urban Plan which does not allow permanent structures on our barrier dunes. Construction started on a dunes lot in early 2016 near calle los mangos, in violation of the law and without proper permits. All activity was stopped by Profepa and the owners were given ample time to produce proper permits and environmental report. They failed to do so.
As reported by Ecologia de Ayuntamento La Paz, this project has been shut down permanently and the owner heavily fined. The judge will hopefully order dunes restoration for the area they destroyed. A federal case is still pending
It is important to note that real estate agents, developers, contractors, and architects who mislead dune lot owners into believing they can build on a dunes lot are also subject to being prosecuted. Any homeowner who lives behind a home that has already been built on a dune also has the right to litigate for endangerment, due to compromising the safety and protection a dune provides.
For a summary on New Laws for Crimes Against the Environment 2015, click here.
In 2017, A.C.T.S. Baja headed up a monthly Beach Monitoring Program to provide data regarding erosion due to storms and construction, as part of a scientific study of the dunes. This was a massive undertaking, and we are proud of the work accomplished on behalf of preserving our environment.
Turtle release program: Visit Tortugueros Las Playitas to learn more about protection of turtle habitats in Baja California Sur and to participate in the turtle release program.
Three species of Sea Turtle (Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Black) nest on the beaches of Todos Santos. Olive Ridleys nest year round, Leatherbacks from October to April, and Blacks from September to February. Please do not drive ATV’s or cars on the beach. The whole Coastal Area around Todos Santos has turtle nesting going on a good portion of the year. There are local organizations working on conservation. For hatchling sites and more information go to: www.todostortugueros.org
The Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest, deepest diving, and most migratory, wide ranging of all sea turtles, weighing as much as 2,000 pounds.
Sea turtles are the last of our world’s ancient reptiles, and have existed for more than 200 million years,
even when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.
Five out of seven of the world’s sea turtle species (all listed as endangered, threatened or vulnerable by international treaty and the U.S. government) inhabit the nutrient-rich waters that surround the Baja California peninsula.
Each year, throughout the Baja California Peninsula, it is estimated that 35,000 sea turtles are illegally hunted and killed.
While several million green sea turtles once existed worldwide, today, it is estimated that fewer than
200,000 nesting females remain.
The story of a proposed open-pit gold mine project in Baja California Sur started well before 2009, and continues to be an ongoing battle as companies try to gain the mineral resources this land has to offer. Recently, the Los Cardones mine company has been seeking approval from the Department of Urban and Ecological Development of La Paz for a land-use change permit, which would allow mining to resume within a buffer zone of the UNESCO biosphere reserve Sierra de la Laguna, an area over 112,000 hectares. But concerns over its possible effects on groundwater and the fact that it wasn’t seen to be compatible with the area’s main economic driver, tourism, led to protests against the project by organizations such as the Frente Ciudadano en Defensa del Agua y La Vida, A.C. (Citizens’ Front in Defense of Water and Life, a coalition of social groups and organizations with a common goal of protecting BCS resources), and more.
Development: On 17 September 2018 Mexico’s President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised demonstrators that his incoming government will hold a public consultation on whether the Los Cardones gold mine project should be developed. A.C.T.S. Baja will continue to monitor the situation.
Attend meetings, get on contact lists, take action when called upon, and educate your friends, family, and neighbors about the proposed project and the impact of it. When using social media use hashtags (#) which will bring attention to specific topics so people can find a wider range of information. Support local Anti Mining Organizations.
Read and share the stories of the local fight, educate others about the impacts of mining, help make a stand against the major corporations that exploit life for their profit. Visit local websites and social media pages.
All The World’s Gold (2010)
Mining Facts.org (2012)
CBC News British Columbia (2014)
No Dirty Gold (2014)
Los Cardones (2014)