Laguna San Ignacio

Laguna San Ignacio

Length: 1609 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
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 Cedros Island. Then the salt has to be transferred onto cargo ships for international export, leading to the "double-handling" of salt. In moving south to Laguna San Ignacio the corporation will lower cost by increasing the amount of salt exported and eliminate the "double-handling" of salt, by creating a mile long pier that can carry the salt out to cargo ships. The irony is that this project would never of been considered if the Gray Whales were not removed from the Endangered Species list, yet, only a month after the Gray Whale was removed from the Endangered Species list the salt project proposal was submitted, possibly endangering this species once again.

THE GRAY WHALE

The Gray whale (Eschrichtius Robustus) is believed by scientists to play an intricate part in the web of life that is not fully understood. Yet, people chose to exploit whales for their resources, not taking into consideration the long-term effects it may have. Humans have twice driven the Gray Whales to near extinction for the convenience of oil or other superficial needs. Fortunately, with the help of the moratorium on commercial whaling and groups such as Grupo de los Cien, Natural Resources Defense Council, World Wildlife Fund, Pro Esteros and others, the Gray Whale numbers are at pre-exploitation, somewhere around 21,000. This salt expansion project could once again cause damage to the Gray Whale population along with the rich biodiversity that inhabits Laguna San Ignacio. The Laguna San Ignacio is the last undeveloped lagoon that Gray Whales can still visit without the interference of man’s progress.

THE POLITICS

Mitsubishi and the Mexican governments’ industrial salt company, Exportadora de Sal (ESSA-which Mitsubishi owns 49%), have set up a web site that describes the impact that they have had on the Laguna Guerrero Negro, the coastal environment and the biodiversity.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Laguna San Ignacio." 123HelpMe.com. 24 Aug 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=43563>.

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)

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)

The Earthquake Of San Francisco Essay

- At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, the people of San Francisco were abruptly awaken to one of the world’s most expensive and impacting earthquakes of the 20th century. The magnitude of the earthquake is debatable, ranging from 7.7 to as high as 8.2. However, the most accepted measurement is 7.9. The main shock epicenter occurred offshore 3.2 km from the city, near Mussel Rock. It ruptured along the San Andreas Fault northward and southward for 476 km (296 miles). The quake was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, inland as far as Nevtada....   [tags: 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Earthquake]

Research Papers
2545 words (7.3 pages)

What I Love San Francisco Essay

- “Oh, San Francisco, you never let me down” I said after watching a group of young kids break dancing down on the end of Pier 39. Tourists were coming from all directions to throw a few bucks in the enormous bucket labeled “tips”. My friend Joey couldn’t believe his eyes going on to say “they make more tips in one show then I do working all day!” Coming from the Bay area, San Francisco has always been my favorite get away. I’m able to spend hours in The City with no prior planning at all. I love San Francisco for its amazing scenery, outstanding choices in food, as well as its unique culture and people....   [tags: San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area]

Research Papers
1055 words (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

On the web site, furnished by Mitsubishi and ESSA, it states frankly that "gray whale populations migrating to that region (Laguna Guerrero Negro) reached record numbers in 1997 affirming that whales can co-exist and thrive in a habitat located near such a facility" (bajasalt.com). They seemingly have taken credit for the increased number of whales near Laguna Guerrero Negro facility. The correlation made about the increased number of whales near and around the lagoon is misleading. One could hardly say that it "affirms that whales can co-exist and thrive". At "Laguna Guerrero Negro, ship traffic and pollution now prevents female Gray Whales from nursing and calving their young" (earthisland.org). This causes the nursing whales to move south to the safety of Scammons Bay. Another reason they travel south to Scammons is perhaps due to the lowering of salinity levels at Laguna Guerrero Negro. It is believed that the Gray Whales enjoy the high salinity levels because it gives them that extra buoyancy that keeps them afloat, which is needed for nursing (gurukul.ucc.).

Mitsubishi and ESSA have expressed their concerns about the Gray Whales and state in their web site, "we are committed to a thorough study of the possible impacts of the proposed project on the Gray Whale and on the ecosystem in general"(bajasalt.com). Their deep concerns go back as far as 1994 when their environmental impact statement described the lagoon and surrounding areas as "terrestrial wastelands, with little biodiversity and no known productive use" (Audubon 18). If their environmental impact statement was accurate in its depiction there would probably be no problem in converting 116 square miles of fragile terrain surrounding the lagoon to evaporation ponds. The 6,000 gallons of seawater that would be pumped out from the lagoon each second would not necessarily cause much damage to a so-called "wasteland." Nor the construction of roads, structures, or the "one mile pier which would allow salt to be moved by conveyor belt from a million-ton stockpile on shore to massive container ships anchored in deeper water" (Audubon 18), effect an area of "little biodiversity and no known productive use."

ESSA also insists that the local people are supportive of the project. Homero Aridjis, the director of Grupo De Los Cien, states just the opposite, that the "new saltworks is firmly opposed by the local population, who earn a good livelihood from fishing and whale-watching-related activities" (earthisland.org). The six small villages that total an estimated population of 320 are skeptical of the government. "They based this opinion on the situation at Guerrero Negro, where the local population continues to have a dismal standard of living while the Japanese employees of the saltworks live in a fenced-off compound" (gurukul.ucc.). People from Latin America are all to aware of the disappointing promises brought on by large corporations. Most corporations that move to Latin America do so because of the cheap labor and the less stringent environmental laws.

PROTECTION OF HABITAT

The Mexican government has shown great support in protecting its natural resources. In 1984 under the administration of President Miguel De la Madrid to administer the federal law of Environmental Protection, establishing a National System of Protected Areas comprising of four categories: National Parks, Natural Monuments, Ecological Reserves, and Biosphere Reserves (scilib.ucsd.4.1.2.). In 1988 the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection was enacted, bringing two administrative sub-agencies responsible for the environmental conservation and enforcement. These were the National Institute of Ecology (INE) and the Federal Attorney General’s Office for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA). Actions of this sort enabled Mexico to reestablished control over their territory and natural resources

The Biosphere Reserves were created because they contained important representations of ecosystems that are in need of government protection in order to ensure the survival of endangered flora and fauna. It is obvious once one visits Laguna San Ignacio why it is within the boundaries of such a reserve. The Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve covers 2,346,790 hectare, the largest protected area in Latin America. Many of the marine and terrestrial plant and animal species are threatened or endangered of extinction. Laguna San Ignacio is home to sea turtles, dolphins, the endangered pronghorn antelope, mountain lions, coyotes, peregrine falcons, golden eagles, black brant geese, osprey, blue-wing teals, and the list goes on. Sections of the ecosystem consist of shallow waters and mangroves, which provide habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl. Serving "as an important hatchery for commercially valuable fish and shellfish species" (scilib.ucsd.2.1.2). Hardly the wasteland described in ESSA’s 1994 EIS.

Laguna San Ignacio has for centuries been ideal for Gray Whales and their calves in that it provides shelter from ocean storms, crashing waves and killer whales that are the Gray Whales number one predator. Thousands of Gray Whales must migrate from the cold, hostile waters of the, Arctic Ocean near Alaska, in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas, travelling sometimes 6,000 to 8,000 km to the warm waters of Baja California. The lagoon increases the success rate of the whales’ delivery and the calves’ survival, adding to the number of Gray Whales. Fortunately for the Gray Whale, Laguna San Ignacio has remained one of the least manipulated and human populated lagoons.

PLAN OF ACTION

First and utmost, there needs to be a thorough and accurate environmental impact assessment on Laguna San Ignacio and its surrounding areas. It is imperative that all structures to be planned and their immediate long term impacts taken into consideration. Chemicals must be approved along with the security measures that will be applied to them. Levels of temperature, salinity, noise, etc. need to be observed, monitored, and measured to ensure the protection of the biodiversity of this area. Several things need to be taken into account, especially the local people. The local people are just as part of the lagoon as the Gray Whales, and need to be given priority of jobs and benefits if in fact their way of living is going to be disturbed.

Progress should not include the conquering of nature. The short term, upward stride that includes the depletion of our natural resources, species or healthy environment should not exist in a developing country. Understanding and using the precautionary principal ensures that our planet will not allow detrimental decisions to mold our future or the future of generations to come. Detailed observation and monitoring of all Gray Whale activities during all phases of this project is the key to making sure we do not make any major impacts on the Gray Whale populations. The full extent of the Gray Whales role is not certain, therefore we should not allow any chance of eradicating this species because of the knowledge we lack. Let us bestow the same treatment to all species that we have on our own.

Bibliography

Does Japan own Baja California?
http://www.earthisland.org/journal/f96-16B.html

Reynolds, Susan. "Dooming a Whales Last Best Birthplace." Audubon July/August 1997: 18

The Gray Whale Nursery at Laguna San Ignacio
http://www.nrdc.org/nrdc/nrdc/nrdcpro/graywhale/grwnuint.html

United States. Dept. of Geography and Regional Development. United States Marine Mammal Commission. Conservation and Development in the Gray Whale Lagoons of Baja California Sur, Mexico. Washington: GPO, 1997.
http://scilib.ucsd.edu/sio/guide/z-serge.html

Welcome to the San Ignacio Solar Evaporation Facility Information Center
http://www.bajasalt.com

Whales and Habitat Preservation (MEXWHALE Case)
http://gurukul.ucc.american.edu/ted/mexwhale.htm
Return to 123HelpMe.com