By Elizabeth Dalila Frausto Sotelo*

A number of months ago, some people began to clearcut La Puntilla, a mangrove forest located within the Federal Zone, an act that is illegal because of Article 15 of the General Environmental Protection Law (LGEEPA in Spanish).

They are cutting down trees and burning everything in their paths, justifying their actions by saying that the area has no houses.

However, some of the individuals involved have been identified, one of whom is the owner of several homes in the port of San Blas.

The vegetation being cut down is what has protected the residents of the municipality of San Blas from winds, storm surges, and hurricanes.

The municipality is located in the northern part of the the state of Nayarit, with its boundaries between latitudes 21° 20´ and 21° 43´ North, 105° 02´ and 105° 27´ West.

The community relies primarily on fishing and tourism because of its large natural areas, mangrove forests, wetlands, beaches and estuaries.

When followed, LGEEPA protects these natural resources, allowing them in turn to serve as refuges for a large number of species that make add greatly to their potential for ecotourism.

The environment also offers many goods and services related to the town’s survival and security, from food, water, and oxygen to sand dunes and mangrove forests that act as natural barriers against storms.

Many residents remember that in 2002, Hurricane Kena hit the port so fiercely that winds destroyed everything in its path, and that had it not been for the dunes and mangroves protecting the town, the damage would have been much worse.

However, now that years have passed since the disaster, some residents seem to have forgotten about it, and are destroying the very same vegetation that helps prevent the beach from eroding and storm surges from entering the port.

Meanwhile, the group Ecolocos is calling on the residents of San Blas to think about ways to improve the socioeconomic status of families that is not at the cost of the environment which provides so many free services to the municipality.

Ecolocos is a student collective from the Center for Marine Technology Studies (CETMar No. 26) that is interested in participating with the community in environmental conservation and education activities, so that everyone can live in a better world, and as their motto proclaims, “give a voice to the voiceless.”

The young men and women ask: “if we use up our natural heritage, what are we going to leave for our children?”

“It is our responsibility to do something about the mangroves.  It is important that we all unite to care for these natural resources, and not lose the soul of our port because of a few irresponsible people,” they declared.

*Ecolocos Member

Journalism to Raise Environmental Awareness
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In violation of the General Environmental Protection Law (LGEEPA), mangroves in La Puntilla, located within the federal zone, are being clearcut and burned for development. (Photo: Elizabeth Dalila Frausto Sotelo)
Ecolocos Demand Protection for Dunes and Mangroves
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