|2020 was a challenging year, in the extreme, for the entire world due to the coronavirus pandemic, itself a result of environmental degradation caused by the unsustainable actions of humans on our environment. Scientists have long predicted that declining natural habitat and increased exploitation of wild species virtually assures human exposure to potentially devastating novel diseases in the future. Virtually the whole world is confronting the enormous challenge of how we must reorganize how we live and how we work.
CEDO’s programs integrate people, knowledge, and solutions to foster resilient communities and ecosystems in and around the Sea of Cortez and surrounding desert areas. We catalyze and empower these communities to self-development and to self-manage for their own well-being. And ours, too! We at CEDO promote the sustainability of our region’s main fisheries by raising environmental awareness and undertaking actions for the protection, conservation and sustainable use of habitats and species.
The message of our 2021 tide calendar is “Biodiversity Nourishes Us”. Throughout the year, our activities will connect the biocultural heritage of the region where the Sonoran Desert meets the Sea of Cortez—from the ancient Tohono O’odham people, who lived lightly in this land. It was shaped by the Spanish colonial expansion and the establishment of fishing communities.
With 2021, come exciting opportunities:
We will continue to work with fishing cooperatives by promoting fishery improvement projects (FIPs), market incentives, and culinary conservation. Culinary Conservation means leveraging informed and empowered consumers to support the work being done by responsible fisherfolk, in collaboration with partners like CEDO, to make our seafood more sustainable, economically viable, and environmentally responsible.
With the launching of CEDO’s school of the sea, we will work to certify the labor skills of fishers and practitioners and dignify the fishers’ work. This work, already endorsed by the Mexican government, dignifies the fishers’ work by enabling recognition and structure for their labor force.
We will tackle the long an unresolved issue of waste from fishing and tourism activities. 80% of the marine debris comes from land-based activities. We will focus our efforts on linking businesses through a circular economy approach, creating environmental clubs, cleaning beaches, and removing derelict fishing gear that is hazardous to wildlife.
Our conservation work will focus on estuary conservation, migratory bird monitoring, sea lion disentanglement, vaquita marina educational activities, desert pupfish conservation, and establishing a center to aid injured or abandoned wildlife.
Finally, we will improve our exhibitions at our field station and visitor center, “the Campus”, in Puerto Peñasco. These facilities host thousands of people every year, and are recognized as an important learning center and attraction for various visitors, including tourists, school groups, members of the general public, academic institutions, fishers, and other organizations.
We recognize the scope and magnitude of the challenges faced by CEDO and its partners and we believe that we can confront and work systematically to overcome these obstacles. CEDO stands and continues in service to our mission: To foster vibrant communities and resilient ecosystems in the Northern Gulf of California and other ecoregions by integrating people, knowledge and solutions. We need your continued support to keep the lights on in our Tucson office and to retain our talented team members.