This article is from the November 1999 The Mexico File newsletter.
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Creating an Artificial Reef in the Sea of Cortez  

by David Simmonds

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David Simmonds, president and founder of the Sea of Cortez International Preservation Foundation, has announced that SOCIPF is making a donation to assist in the sinking of two ships in the waters of La Paz Bay in Baja California Sur to take place in November, 1999. The project is headed by Pronatura, the Mexican government’s environmental organization. Mexican President Ernest Zedillo is expected to attend the sinking.

Also deeply involved in the project is environmentalist Tim Means, owner of Baja Expeditions, and a twenty-five year resident of La Paz, who has also contributed some of his own money to help fund the project. San Diego resident Al Bruton is serving as a consultant to Mexico for this project based on his expertise and many years of experience in similar boat-sinking projects on the West Coast of California. Many of the normal costs for this undertaking have been reduced through the assistance of the Mexican navy in towing and cleaning the boats to make them safe for scuba diving and for the environment.

Rubio’s Restaurants, Inc., a San Diego-based fish taco chain with locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Utah, is providing a grant to SOCIPF through its sales of collectible bean-bag fish at all of its outlets between November 1 and December 31, 1999. 

SOCIPF has identified this project as a top priority at this time since it will help to bolster a tourist-based economy for the Sea of Cortez rather than relying on the current environmentally-destructive practices of plundering the Sea of its natural biological resources – practices which threaten the ecological integrity of the Sea of Cortez. An artificial reef will provide an ecotouring and diving destination.

Interested contributors to this project can send tax-deductible donations to SOCIPF, a tax-exempt nonprofit foundation, to SOCIPF at 5580 La Jolla Boulevard, #306, La Jolla, CA 92037.