The Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park is 70 miles north of Cabo San Lucas
and 90 miles south of La Paz
, on the east cape of Baja, California. The park is located near where the Gulf of California
and the Pacific Ocean meet.
The park was first established in 1995 by the Mexican Government, to protect the westernmost of three living coral reefs in North America; the other two are in Cozumel and the Florida Keys. Coral reefs are important because they offer an established feeding ground for thousands of species of sea life and affect the ecosystem of surrounding areas. However, coral reefs are very susceptible to many things, such as sea level change, pollution in the surrounding area and one of the more major problems: Tourism.
Currently over 90% of the coral reefs in the world are dead or dying. This is the result of some things that people would really prefer not to think about; Global Warming, Pollution, even human sewage.
Reef die-off is a serious threat to the environment throughout the world, and something must be done to protect against it. Residents from around the area realized this, and have started a group called “Patronato Alliance”. Patronato, along with help from the University of La Paz, has been tasked with the development of an “Integrated Area Management Plan”.
The students and Patronato are faced with a tough task however. They are asked to protect the fragile environment while increasing the value of the location. They are faced with the task of bettering Shore development (The reef’s need a nice shore with unimpeded run off as well), and reducing pollution in the area; while increasing tourist revenue. This also requires them to think ahead to what the increase in traffic will do to the reef. This creates an entirely new series of problems.
Okay, by now this probably sounds like a place you don’t want to step foot on the sand in fear of destroying the valuable coral reef… You’re right, don’t step in the sand, you’ll ruin the reef. Just kidding! When I first went to Cabo Pulmo, around 2 years ago, there were plenty of things to do there. There are 4 very cool places to snorkel, where visibility is around 18-30 feet down into the water (visibility is best during March-October). There are opportunities there for great kayaking, hiking and scuba diving in the area. If you want to see something really neat, you could even go out 2 kilometers and see a sunken fishing boat called the “Colima”.
Since it is a National Park, the following rules should be observed:
No fishing or anchoring is allowed in the park, but it is possible to fish the day away as soon as you are out of the marine boundaries.
Cabo Pulmo is a great experience for those interested in seeing a coral reef, whales, and dolphins. It is a great experience if you are just wanting to kick back, relax and possibly tan on almost 5 miles of open beaches. If you are ever in the Baja area, this is one of the most beautiful and amazing sites you could ever visit. Interesting and fun, this place has it all.
U.S. National Parks and Monuments