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National Action Party mayoral candidate for Ensenada Francisco Sánchez Corona said Wednesday that he wants to protect La Lagunita wetland, El Mexicano newspaper reported. The paper took a picture of him with students on a day they participated in a beach cleanup for the International Day for Biological Diversity. He said he wanted the wetland named a natural protected area; he also said he wanted the wetland preserved without slowing the city's development. The story did not mention the desalination plant planned for the immediate area. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
The previous day's paper had the national PRI's representative to the city saying Sánchez Corona trailed PRI mayoral candidate Gilberto Hirata Chico by 20 points. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Baja California is beginning a 60-day process to have 48 square hectares (118 acres) of Ensenada become a protected area, state environmental protection chief Efraín Nieblas Ortiz told Mexican media on Thursday. He said the state would try to come to some agreement with the owners over the use of the property.
El Vigia reported that Nieblas said the proposed protected designation for La Lagunita El Ciprés wetland would be the first by the state and has nothing to do with a dispute over putting in a desalination plant nearby. Ensenada recently OK'd a land-use change to allow the plant. Nieblas said a federal environmental ministry (Semarnat) study found that the plant would not affect the wetland.
Nieblas also spoke of the wetland becoming a state park.
Attending the media conference were Laura Martínez Ríos, president of Proesteros (Pro-Estuaries) and Miriam Carballo of Haciendo lo Necesario (Doing What is Necessary), El Vigia reported.
Story, U-T San Diego
Update, April 1: The former head of the small pelagic fish area of the Regional Fisheries Research Center said he is favor of a desalination plant, just not one located at Ensenada's only remaining wetland. Walterio García Franco indicated that the brine the plant would release would damage ocean life.
Small pelagic fish include mackerel and sardines.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
The Baja California state legislature on Friday asked that the federal, state and municipal governments work together to provide protected status for Ensenada's La Lagunita wetland. It is in the Naranjo area in the Chapultepec sector of Ensenada just north of the Ensenada airport.
The measure presented by Francisco Sánchez Corona asks the federal Congress to take action on a measure presented on Nov. 23, 2010 that seeks for the lagoon to be given protected status. Sánchez said the lagoon, a sanctuary or stopping place for more than 100 bird species, is being threatened by current and proposed future development.
The measure seeks to have the state follow Ensenada's 2030 plan and not allow a desalination plant at the lagoon. The plan says such a plant could be built in the Sauzal and Maneadero areas. The measure calls on the Ensenada city government to listen to experts and citizens while deciding whether to allow a desalination plant in the Chapultepec sector.
Update, March 11: Ensenada OKs land-use change to allow desalination plant. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Story, Uniradioinforma. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
2011 Zeta story on the threat to La Lagunita.
December 2012 Monitor Económico story on SEMARNAT (federal Environment and Natural Resources Ministry) environment impact statement that appears to give a go-ahead for the desalination plant.
CICESE (Center for Scientific Study and Higher Learning) article on La Lagunita by Enrique D. Zamora Hernández