by Wendy Lemlin
Having fun and conserving our coastlines on both sides of the border..
These days, everyone loves Baja, especially her beaches and coastal areas. In fact, people love Baja so much, that much of her once mostly-deserted 1900 miles of coastlines have fallen under targeted assault from increased development and industrial growth. Coral reefs and mangrove forests teeming with fish and sealife, pristine beaches where endangered sea turtles nest, and bays that are the birthing areas for gentle California grey whales—all are in danger of disappearing, and the marine species and other fauna that depend on these fragile ecosystems are also in peril.
Luckily, 16 years ago WILDCOAST (aka COSTASALVAJE in Spanish) began working to watchdog and protect the marine ecosystems and wildlife on Baja’s coasts, as well as coastal areas in San Diego and in other Mexican and Latin American regions.
Founded in 2000 by Serge Dedina, currently mayor of Imperial Beach, CA, WILDCOAST has boasted many successes over the year. Some of these include helping to conserve:
- more than 3.2 million acres of globally significant bays, beaches, lagoons, coral reefs and islands
- 17,536 acres of Marine Protected Areas in Southern California
- 1,125 acres of coral reefs in Mexico
- 71,415 acres of mangroves in Baja California Sur
WILDCOAST’s programs benefit such species as sea turtles, grey whales, sharks and other sea life, as well as California condors and coastal birds, pronghorn antelope, and desert big horn sheep .
On Saturday, June 25, WILDCOAST will hold its 4th annual Baja Bash to support the organization’s important conservation programs. Held at the Coronado Cays Yacht Club from 5pm-9pm, the event always puts the “fun” in “fundraiser”, and will be a celebration of Baja California’s natural beauty and the opportunity for adventure it holds. The organization’s work to conserve the peninsula’s most beautiful and wild beaches, islands, and lagoons will be spotlighted and the festivities will feature Baja-inspired sustainable cuisine, a silent auction, and music. Proceeds from the event will benefit WILDCOAST’s continued efforts to conserve the most threatened coastal habitats and wildlife in the California’s and Southern Mexico.
The pre-gala festivities for Baja Bash will kick off at 3:30 pm, with an Electric Boat Fundraising Challenge, in which several teams of 8-10 guests will compete for two different trophies, and in the process raise a projected $40,000 to conserve coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. The electric boats will gently cruise through the enchanting canals of the Coronado Cays, stopping at three different docks, while the onboard contestants will compete in Trivia, Memory, Time, and Accuracy Challenges, all the while enjoying drinks, the views and camaraderie. As of today, over $34,650 out of the aimed-for $40,000 has been raised!
The Gala itself begins at 5pm, during which guests will enjoy delicious bites from several of Baja and San Diego’s most celebrated chefs:
- Javier Plascencia of Misiòn 19 in Tijuana, Finca Altozano in Valle De Guadalupe, Bracero in San Diego, and others
- Drew Deckman of Deckman’s En El Mogor in Valle de Guadalupe, and an upcoming restaurant in San Diego
- Rob Ruiz of The Land & Water Company
- Bianca Castro Cerio, Pastry Cheff at Biscotti’s Venuzzi Reposteria in Tijuana.
Live music will be provided by Jarabe Mexicano (dancing is encouraged!!) and Baja beers, tequila, and Valle de Guadalupe wines from Lomita, Paolini, and Monte Xanic and others will put everyone in the party spirit. A photo exhibit and silent auction will entertain and entice.
Tickets are $85 and are available by clicking here or at the door.
Colorado Cays Yacht Club is located at 30 Caribe Cay Boulevard, Coronado, CA 92118
If you love our coastlines, and the creatures that are trying to survive in and nearby them, please consider donating to WILDCOAST, even if you aren’t able to attend Baja Bash.