By José Antonio Pérez
On Saturday, Oct. 19th, a battalion of nearly 850 volunteers, stretched out from Cholla Bay to Puerto Lobos, removed 1561 kilos (or rather 1.72 tons) of trash from area beaches as part of the 2019 International Coastal Clean-up campaign.
Luis César García Gonzalez, coordinator of the Federal Maritime Land Zone (ZOFEMAT), detailed that cleaning efforts were concentrated on 15 sites including: Playa Bonita, Puerta Privada, Sonoran Sky, Malecon Fundadores, Pitahaya Bar, Manny’s Beach Club, Mi Playa, Las Conchas, the “bajada” panga launching area, Cholla Bay, Playa Encanto, Morua Estuary, Playa Encanto, and Puerto Lobos. He noted, in addition to all the volunteers on area beaches, the campaign included collaboration of 8 divers who took part in an underwater clean-up.
As in year’s past, participants in the annual clean-up were asked to register the types of trash found most prominently on area beaches as this will help in developing future campaigns. Volunteers could easily upload this data to the “Clean Swell” app as part of the campaign.
The 2019 International Coastal Clean Up campaign in Puerto Peñasco included participation of: city hall employees, the Local Clean Beach Committee, CEDO, Puerto Peñasco Rotary Club, Puerto Peñasco-Puerto Lobos Coastal Community Group, Civico Peñasco, Musicians Union, Street Vendors Union, Pentatlon Deportivo, educational institutions, civil organizations, many local and US “expat” residents and visitors alike, among many others.
Work to expand Clean Beach Certification area by 270 additional meters
Work to extend Puerto Peñasco’s Clean Beach Certification by an additional 270 meters has begun, which, once completed, will again make this the longest stretch of certified clean beach in Mexico.
Marcia Ortega Morales, head of the local Clean Beach Committee as well as newly appointed Director of the Municipal Ecology Office, detailed they seek to expand the Level II certified sustainable clean beach area from 1525 meters by an additional 795 meters by extending to the third phase of Las Palomas along Sandy Beach.
She furthered the biggest challenge will be an environmental audit scheduled for November. At that time, current certification will be corroborated, and extension considered. Puerto Peñasco has passed its last two environmental audits without a problem by meeting Mexican Beach Sustainability Law.
Ortega Morales added the goal of achieving Blue Flag certification for a couple of Puerto Peñasco’s beaches is also a possibility, pending a feasibility visit by the Mexican Standards and Certification Institute.