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By Azucena Mazón and Shandra Keesecker-Rivero
With the goal of continuing to work towards obtaining Clean Beach certification in Puerto Peñasco in 2016, the Clean Beach Committee of Puerto Peñasco recently swore in its new board, honorary President of which is Mayor Ernesto Kiko Munro.
After the swearing in of Munro, along with Héctor Vázquez del Mercado of the local Convention and Visitors Board (OCV) and Hiram Peña Bonilla from the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO), the Mayor made the commitment to work on having the municipality of Puerto Peñasco become the first destination in Sonora to receive clean beach certification. This entails first addressing 1800 lineal meters along the area stretching from Playa Bonita to Sandy Beach.
Munro remarked upon the importance of having Puerto Peñasco certified as a clean beach site given the added value this approval would have for both national and foreign tourism, which is an important incentive for service providers.
Julio López Hernández, Coordinator of Emergency Attention and Council for the Northwest Basin, remarked “the idea is that we are going to achieve this; we have all the support of the Federal and State government to reach this goal and in 2017 even hold the national Clean Beaches gathering in Puerto Peñasco.”
Marcia Ortega, who has been fundamental in the local Clean Beach certification process, explained numerous aspects the committee has already achieved and points that remain in order to fully comply with Clean Beach objectives. Among these, she detailed, are water studies that need to be redone to fulfill requirements and to once again sign a collaborative agreement with the Superior Technological Institute of Puerto Peñasco (ITSPP).
It’s worth noting there are 27 beaches in Mexico that have achieved clean beach certification, 24 of these are recreational and 3 are for preservation. Of these, 5 have also achieved international “blue flag” certification. VisitMexico.com
Participants at the Clean Beach Committee meeting included Jackeline Salazar Montaño from the State Water Commission, Puerto Peñasco Harbor Master Luis Castro Galan, SEMARNAT (Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources) representative Mario Joel Chavez, Navy Rear Admiral Commander Luis Manuel Perez Zurita, along with additional representatives from the State Water Commission (CEA), Puerto Peñasco Chamber of Commerce (CANACO), ITSPP, health regulation office, local hotel representatives, and beach vendors, along with members from the local Peñasco Limpio association, among others.