#SalvemosPuntaConejo : The movement to preserve over 3,500 acres of Oaxacan coastline for generations.

Nonprofit Save The Waves Coalition launches new campaign effort with local partners to establish a protected area for Punta Conejo, Punta Chivo and Punta Escondida

( March 13, 2024 ) Save The Waves Coalition has launched a new phase of its ongoing campaign to protect the iconic Oaxacan point break, Punta Conejo: a proposal for a 3500+ acre protected area. 

The proposed Punta Conejo Protected Area will preserve and safeguard over 3,500 acres of land, 6.5 miles of coastline including 3 surf breaks (Punta Conejo, Punta Chivo and Punta Escondida), and 1,277 acres of mangrove forest. Preserving this surf ecosystem would also conserve habitat for over 40 species of bird and 4 species of turtle, several of which are endangered

In pursuing this designation, Save The Waves and their local partners are advocating the first-ever coastal “Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna ” in Oaxaca.

“Everything we have been working for in this campaign is coming to a turning point. What we can do here, together, is preserve not only the amazing wave that is Punta Conejo, but everything around it. It’s the unique intersection of the surf ecosystem that we believe is worth protecting,” said Nik Strong-Cvetich, CEO of Save The Waves. 

Punta Conejo is a renowned surf break along the coastline of Southern Oaxaca and has been at risk from multiple threats, including the construction of an industrial port project.

In 2019, Save The Waves teamed up with Reservas de Surf Mexico, A.C., Wildcoast, and Union de Surfistas y Salvavidas de Salina Cruz, A.C. to find alternative solutions to the port project that would have a lower impact on the surf ecosystem and the local economies that depend on it.

Together, they launched an international petition to raise awareness and garnered over 290,000 signatures of support. 

Over the past four years, Save The Waves has hosted over 25 community workshops and meetings across 4 villages in the area of Salina Cruz to find the solution that would save Punta Conejo and the surrounding area.

“After a long but rewarding journey, joint efforts have resulted in the communities voting and advocating for the establishment of a coastal conservation area that includes wetlands, mangrove forests, beaches, surf breaks, and coastal dunes,” said Mara Arroyo, Conservation Program Manager at Save The Waves. “By uniting local partners, our coalition aims to safeguard these ecosystems.”

Now, Save The Waves Coalition and local partners are proposing legitimate and legal protection for not only the wave at Punta Conejo, but the surrounding coastal area in the first-ever coastal “Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna ” in Oaxaca. 

“An urgent decision must be made to protect the site from commodification and deforestation to guarantee the ecological services on which its inhabitants depend. The protection of wetlands and mangroves is an issue of national importance to fight against climate change and water scarcity,” said Efraín Olachea, Environmental Lawyer and STW coordinator of the campaign.

Save The Waves is once again reopening the petition for signatures, noting that international petitions such as this can go a long way in public awareness and even leverage in legislation. 

“I want to see Punta Conejo protected because it is a wonder of surfing, not only in Mexico but in the entire world. It must be preserved and protected so that it can be enjoyed by all human beings forever,” said Uriel Camacho, one of the local leaders and longtime Conejo defender. 

“We should all sign the petition since it is everyone’s responsibility to protect and keep safe these types of wonders that nature has given us. By signing you help make the world better”

To support the proposal to create a protected area for Punta Conejo and lend your voice to the campaign, sign the petition here

Learn more about the #SalvemosPuntaConejo campaign here

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