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Local School Program
Beginning in 2009, LSIESP researchers began visiting local schools and providing classroom presentations on the lagoonâ€™s wildlife and its significance as a coastal resource for marine life and the local economy. Primary and secondary students make site visits to the lagoon where they participate in â€śhands onâ€ť learning activities led by LSIESP researches. These science based information and education programs strengthen the studentsâ€™ awareness of the need to conserve Laguna San Ignacio and its living marine resources for the future.
Annual community workshops (“Reunions”) review scientific findings and conclusions, and provide a public forum for the exchange of information on the lagoon and human activities that affect it. The workshop participants include subject experts, representatives of government regulatory agencies (e.g., the Director of the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve), eco-tourism operators, local residents, non-government environmental organizations, students and instructors from local schools, and interested public. Information generated by the LSIESP is distributed via the program’s internet Website (www.lsiecosystem.org), in peer reviewed published articles, in the local media, at professional scientific meetings, and in local publications.
School Field Trips
LSIESP conducts field trips to the lagoon for local schools where LSIESP researchers conduct â€śmin-coursesâ€ť on marine science for primary and secondary students. In February 2010 LSIESP researchers and Jordan Bailey (Philanthropiece) met with the school teachers at the Ejido Luis Echeverria School to plan classroom presentations about Laguna San Ignacioâ€™s marine life and, the importance of conserving the lagoon habitat, and the natural history of gray whales. LSIESP researchers gave 8 presentations to primary, secondary, and middle-school students. The following week LSIESP researchers collaborated with the Eco-Tour Companies, NRDC and Philanthropiece to organize a whale-watching field trip for 105 of the students and their instructors, many of which had never seen a whale before.
TenYear Conservation Celebration
On 28 February LSIESP researchers collaborated with the Eco-Tourism Operatorâ€™s Association (ARIC), Philanthropiece, the International Community Foundation (ICF), The Ocean Foundation (TOF) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to host a symposium and community celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the March 2nd decision by the Mexican governmentâ€™s cancellation of the solar salt production facility at Laguna San Ignacio.
The celebration showcased local economic and social achievements during the past decade, and provided a forum to share ideas and hopes for future sustainable development and conservation of the Laguna San Ignacio. Presentations included: Local Economic Development in Ejido Luis Echeverria; Eco-Tourism Development by AsociaciĂłn Rural de InterĂ©s Colectivo (ARIC); Laguna San Ignacio Conservation Plan by Pronatura; the Ecosystem Science and Research program (LSIESP); and educational programs by Ecology Programs International (EPI). A panel of NGO, local business and civic representatives discussed topical local issues and concerns of the community. The symposium/celebration was attended by more than 100 guests that represented the local community, businesses, scientists, writers, conservationists, students, and interested visitors.