The Preservation of Laguna San Ignacio

The Preservation of Laguna San Ignacio

Length: 1230 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Preservation of Laguna San Ignacio

In the 19th century the Pacific Gray Whale was nearly hunted to extinction when their products were in high demand. At the turn of the century, there existed only a few thousand of these precious whales. Soon after, the whales were placed onto the endangered species list where they were under the heavy protection of numerous national laws and international treaties. In 1993 the number of Gray Whales climbed to a miraculous 21,000 and by the end of 1994 the Pacific Gray Whale became the first mammal to be removed from the endangered species list. A few months after its removal from the endangered species list, the primary breeding and calving grounds of the Gray Whale, located in Baja California, was chosen by the Mitsubishi Corporation to become the worlds largest salt harvesting center.

The gray whale is a migratory species that spends the majority of its summers feeding in the Arctic Ocean near Alaska. Every winter thousands of gray whales, many of them pregnant, leave the hostile waters of Alaska and travel 4000 miles to the warm and salty lagoons of Mexico’s Baja California Coast. They cluster around 3 primary lagoons in which they stay until late April, however only one of them remains unmarred by human activity. This last remaining refuge, Laguna San Ignacio, is now in great danger of becoming invaded by the corporate world. The high salinity of the waters provide many benefits for the whales. Because of this high salt content, the whales become much more buoyant and expend much less energy remaining afloat. This proves to be very beneficial for the newborn calves that are just learning to swim and nurse. Another benefit the lagoons of Baja California possess is the warm water temperature in comparison to the chilly waters of the Arctic. This warmth provides heat to the newborns and prevents excessive losses of body temperature, thereby conserving energy that would otherwise be required to maintain a constant body temperature. Also, the seclusion of the lagoons from the dangers of the open seas, such as high waves created by storms, makes it a safer place for the newborn calves, as mother and child are less likely to become separated. These benefits substantially increase the survival rates of newborns as well as provide a more comfortable nursing environment. However the country of Mexico as well as the Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan project to make millions by the development and expansion of the salt factory, Exportadora de Sal.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Preservation of Laguna San Ignacio." 18 Jul 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Laguna San Ignacio Essay

- Laguna San Ignacio Japan’s leading trading company, the Mitsubishi Corporation, has proposed an expansion to its large salt-mining company that is located at Laguna Guerrero Negro. Mitsubishi wishes to expand south to an area surrounding Laguna San Ignacio, occupying 21,000 acres of protected land surrounding the lagoon. Laguna San Ignacio is the second largest breeding and calving area off the western coast of Baja California where Gray Whales visit during the winter months. Mitsubishi’s 7 million ton per year facility at Laguna Guerrero Negro has grown to capacity and the cost of loading and shipping salt has become too expensive because the salt at the facility has to be shipped to Cedr...   [tags: Trade Trading Japan Whaling Essays]

Free Essays
1609 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Chicano Studies: Ignacio M. Garcia and Guadalupe San Miguel

- The first article I have chosen is, “Juncture in the road: Chicano Studies Since: “El plan de Santa Barbara” by Ignacio M. Garcia. I have chosen this particular article for various reasons. One is because reading the first few paragraphs of the article stirred up many emotions within me. I found myself growing angry and once, again, repulsed by the United States discrimination system. The more knowledge I obtain on the United States, on its past and how it develops today, I can finally say that I resent everything it stands for and embarrassed being part of it....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1349 words (3.9 pages)

Essay Museum Chapters in Preservation Books

- When reading books on historic preservation, there are numerous strategies and sources of information informing the reader on the way in which countless properties and structures are lost or saved each year. While the books greatly pertain to historic preservation of sites and structures, there are chapters within the books Keeping Time by William Murtagh and Nearby History by David Kyvig and Myron Marty which pertain to instances and conditions that are more widely seen in museums. These two chapters pertain to the history and criteria of outdoor museums as well as what classifies artifact and how and where they are found....   [tags: historic preservation literature]

Research Papers
1293 words (3.7 pages)

The Earthquake Of San Francisco Earthquake Essay

- The earthquake that only lasted 45 to 60 seconds but “was felt from southern Oregon to south of Los Angeles and inland as far as central Nevada” was the disastrous 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (USGS 2012). A natural disaster that was responsible for structure damage and the lives of many people. Earthquakes are part of the natural process of the earth and are frequent around the world; they are usually small and not even felt by people. Unfortunately, there is also the magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes, which if trigger in big populated areas can become destructive in matter of seconds (Lutgens, F....   [tags: 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Earthquake]

Research Papers
1900 words (5.4 pages)

The San Francisco Earthquake And Fire Essay

- The San Francisco earthquake that took place in 1906 is fairly well-known because of its damage and intensity that would affect many lives. The online exhibit of The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire shows how much was lost during this natural disaster, and how the city was before. Many would wonder what is the purpose of documenting how it was before, and after the earthquake, but the fact that no one was expecting one so big impacted countless lives. Also, at the time San Francisco was becoming the most popular city, therefore it would appear in the headlines how a well-known place that most people loved would become damaged (The Bancroft Library, 2006)....   [tags: 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Earthquake]

Research Papers
797 words (2.3 pages)

The San Andreas Fault Line Essay

- The San Andreas fault line has causes constant development nightmares for large urban areas such as San Francisco and any other city that has been built on top of it. Fault lines are one of the side effects of the earth’s tectonic plates shifting that can result in devastating earthquakes. Some of the most devastating earthquakes in our modern era have occurred along the San Andreas fault line due to a dense population. The most notable earthquake on the San Andreas fault line occurred in San Francisco on 1906....   [tags: Earthquake, 1906 San Francisco earthquake]

Research Papers
1321 words (3.8 pages)

The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Essay

- The 1906 San Francisco earthquake a natural disaster that was estimated to be magnitude 7.8, which destroy the city, caused the casualties of 2,000 people’s death and an estimate of 2,000 residents in the streets (The Center for Legislative Archives, n.d.). In addition, the 99.7 chance for future earthquakes due to San Andreas Fault and the important measurements that every resident in California should take to reduce accidents and damage. 1906 San Francisco Earthquake The earthquake that only lasted 45 to 60 seconds, but “was felt from southern Oregon to south of Los Angeles and inland as far as central Nevada” was the disastrous 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (USGS 2012)....   [tags: 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Earthquake]

Research Papers
1908 words (5.5 pages)

San Francisco Earthquake Of 1906 Essay

- San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 One of the worst natural disasters in United States history to this date occurred almost 109 years ago. On April 18, 1906 at 5:15am in San Francisco, California, the earthquake of San Francisco occurred hitting between 7.9 and 8.3M on the Richter scale. The San Andreas Fault, which is about 600 miles long, running from the Gulf of California to Cape Mendocino and is an active strike-slip fault, cut through the continental lithosphere to cause the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906....   [tags: Earthquake, 1906 San Francisco earthquake]

Research Papers
1003 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about The University and Environmental Preservation

- The University and Environmental Preservation Caring for the environment has traditionally been thought of as a responsibility of environmental organizations such as Greenpeace or the Sierra Club. Universities have never been thought of as the leaders of environmental preservation—until now. Since universities are looked upon with high regard, many people including President Baker of Cal Poly, feel that it is the responsibility of the university to set an example of how the environment is respected and conserved....   [tags: Environment Environmental Preservation]

Research Papers
797 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on San Miguelito

- San Miguelito... It has what you like is officially founded April 14, 1597 by a group of tarascan Indians and Mexicans from the village of Tlaxcalilla, commanded by the Mexican Francisco Jocquinque. In the application of Foundation, approved by Luis Valderrama Saavedra, Mayor of San Luis Potosí, settled at the new town, you were granted 2 thousand 500 rods of land in table, measured from the orchard of the convent of San Francisco more or less in the present street of Pascual M. Hernandez. Quickly named a Government for the Administration and good order of the new settlement, initially consisting of a regular Mayor, one more Deputy and one or two topiles....   [tags: Mexican Indian History, San Luis Potosi]

Research Papers
1177 words (3.4 pages)

Related Searches

The creation of this factory will bring in an additional 100 million dollars in export revenue and produce between 200 and 500 new jobs to the country of Mexico. To accomplish this, the evaporation of 116 square miles of the lagoon will be required to crystallize the salt into a marketable good, boosting the annual production capacity by six to seven times, yielding a total of 13 to 14 million tons. Hence propelling Mexico into the world’s largest salt producers. In order to make the salt of use, the lagoon water will be pumped out at a rate of 6,000 gallons per second, reducing the precious salinity and water temperature that is very vital to the newborn whales. The expansion of the current factory, located in the Guerrero Negro Lagoon, will dramatically increase the number of tankers required for transport. The barge traffic has already taken its toll, creating at least 2 oil spills in the last 6 years. On top of this, a mile long concrete pier must be constructed to transport the salt onto the barges. The proposed location of this pier will act as a barricade for the incoming whales and provide considerable interference for the whale’s strenuous journey. These problems are of great concern to environmentalists and are contrary to the beliefs of those seeking material wealth.

In 1988 a refuge was created for the whales by President Miguel de la Madrid. The biosphere reserve, Vizcaino Region, spanned 6.2 million acres and included all three of the lagoons. Not only does this area comprise of the lagoons, but it also is a habitat for 14 different plant species and 72 different animals species that would be threatened without the reserve. Additionally, thousands of other animals and 35,000 Mexicans also occupy this region. Within this region the Expotadora de Sal has already made its presence felt. Although this region is protected, the Mexican government had allowed the company to develop within the other two lagoons, Ojo de Liebre and Guerrero Negro. The bioshpere is now in danger of losing its final lagoon to the salt industry and this is a great concern of the National Institute of Ecology, which claims that the changing of the habitat will drive the whales away from their destination and eventually to extinction. While this view is supported by environmentalists, the international groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, World Wildlife Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare, RARE Center for Tropical Conservation and Mexico’s Ecology Minister Gabriel Quadri, many groups feel that creating jobs and increasing the economy is of more significance than the salvation of the whale’s habitats. Mexico’s Commerce Minister, Herminio Blanco and local politicians such as Governer Guillermo back the expansion of the Exportadora de Sal and claim that all of the past saltworks have neither disrupted the whales nor harmed the environment. The evidence that they have to support their claims is convincing, however the future cannot be predicted if the last and final lagoon is altered and no alternative lagoons for the whales exists.

Exportadora de Sal is 51% owned by the Mexican government and 49% by the Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan. The Japanese government supports Mitsubishi’s proposed expansion since the majority of Japan’s salt is already produced and imported from Mexico. Past history is an indication of the apathy the Japanese government has for the Gray Whales. In 1986 the International Whaling Commission voted on a moratorium on commercial whaling, which was most opposed by the Japanese. Nevertheless, Japan was able to find a loophole in the ban and used the whaling as a "research" activity which enabled them to kill as many whales as they desired. In 1989 alone, 1,100 tons of whale meat was a "by-product" of their research. Japan’s lack of concern for the welfare of the whales is a clear implication that their desire is simply that of profit and not that of environmental interest. The future of the whale lies in the hands of the Mexican government and whether they will choose pesos or whales, commercial development or environmental protection.

In order for the development to be halted, international intervention is required. The United States is doing what it can to preserve the whale’s habitat, but without greater international attention, it is likely that the project will proceed. The recovery of the gray whale is perhaps one of the greatest success stories in the history of protecting endangered species, but that success will be short-lived if Mexico allows the whale’s final sanctuary, Laguna San Ignacio, to be controlled by the Mitsubishi Corporation.


Clifford, Frank. "Future of Whales’ Lagoon Grows Murky." Los Angeles Times 13 March 1997: A1, A26, A27.

"Whales and Habitat Preservation (MEXWHALE Case)"

"Japan-IWC Whale Dispute (JWHALE)"

"The Gray Whale Nursery at Laguna San Ignacio"

"Gray Whale Nursery Endangered"

Adams, John. Natural Resources Defense Council
Return to