Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bridging Desert to Ocean Biodiversity

From Blue Frontier Campaign

Intercultural  Center for the Study of  Deserts and Oceans (CEDO) works to understand the natural and human links between the Upper Gulf of California that separates Baja from mainland Mexico and the surrounding Sonoran Desert the spans the U.S. Mexican border. Executive Director Peggy Boyer recalls how she and her husband Rick were involved in a University of Arizona research project that first brought them to Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, México in the late ‘70s. It was there in 1980 they founded CEDO, not simply to study the area but to, “share that information with the local community and engage them in conservation and management issues.” Today CEDO has a staff of 3 in Tucson and 30 in Puerto Penasco where they also have a biological research station and an Earthship visitors’ center built from natural and recycled products including used tires and cans. They work with over 1,700 fishermen from the area to try and develop sustainable practices that will minimize their impacts on edible and non-targeted marine wildlife (fish and mammals) while also maintaining the biodiversity of the upper Gulf that they helped to establish as a marine reserve in 1993.

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