World Surfing Reserve Protects Classic Baja Surf Spot from Destruction

‘3Ms’ Threatened By Industrial Lobster Facility

The Bahía de Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve in Baja California, Mexico is currently leading a community effort to protect one of the area’s premier waves, ‘3M’s’, from an industrial outfall that would destroy the wave and endanger surfers in the lineup. Over the past few weeks, the Save The Waves WSR Baja Manager, Mara Arroyo Rodriguez, has worked tirelessly with a variety of stakeholders to ensure that a live lobster export facility’s proposed seawater intake and outfall system do not negatively impact the wave at 3M’s and does not disrupt the sensitive coastal dynamics.

Mara’s leadership and the area’s WSR status have led the proposed project to be significantly modified to account for recreational value of the surf and mitigate the potential environmental impacts. The original project design proposed running the water intake/outfall system directly through the surf lineup and over the reef at 3Ms; this represented a significant safety risk to surfers, would carry disastrous consequences for the reef and adjacent beaches, and ultimately impact the quality of the wave.

By working alongside key community partners and incorporating their input, we have been able to pause the project’s progress and are now carrying out the needed studies to assess the environmental risks of this project and propose a project design of minimal impact. More importantly, we have created positive relationships with the authorities responsible for this project and are collaboratively identifying the best course forward.

Mara added, “Our main concern is the location and the system to be used to anchor the pipeline into the reef. There are no technical studies and every infrastructure proposal in the area should be subjected to a technical study. We are very grateful with the Port’s administration for supporting our petitions. Our intention is to guide and give the necessary recommendations so that this proposed pipeline can be carried out without any environmental risks or danger to the surfers.”

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