Magdalena Bay

The gray whale has been frolicking in Magdalena Bay near the coastline of Baja California for millennia. In its calm waters, sheltered by sandy barrier islands, the species mates and bears its young before beginning its long migration up the coast and finally to the Bering and Chukchi seas to feed.

Gray whale migration is extremely important to marine science and the disappearance of the species would be a heartbreaking loss to environmentalists and ecotourists alike. In recent years, these gentle and human-friendly creatures were taken off the endangered species list. But they are now again in danger of extinction. If the gray whale is to survive the environmental effects of overfishing and commercial development in or near the protected waters that allow it to thrive, remedial action needs to be taken immediately, including promoting sustainable ecotourism and other methods to help Baja fisherman to maintain and enhance their livelihoods.

Pax Terra was founded to support the maintenance of a marine protected area at Magdalena Bay. It seeks to host low-impact, environmentally friendly sustainable ecotourism and fishing operations for the economic and social benefit of the local communities and Mexico. Our efforts will also benefit the wildlife that depends on the unique coastal marine ecosystem the gray whale migration needs if it is to continue to exist.

By late December to early January, the first of the gray whales begin to arrive in the calving lagoons of Baja. The first whales to arrive are usually pregnant mothers that look for the protection of the lagoons to give birth to their calves, along with single females seeking out male companions in order to mate. By mid-February to mid-March the bulk of the gray whales have arrived the lagoons. It is at this time that the lagoons are filled to capacity with nursing, calving and mating gray whales. The environmental effects of development and overfishing could have a devastating outcome for both the species and the local fisherman. We seek to work with the Mexican government, international corporations, and NGOs to ensure that the gray whale is protected from harm.

Pax Terra is the main organization working to protect the gray whale and encourage sustainable ecotourism for the region. Its success will be a model for other organizations that serve us all by serving the environment.