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Phosphate exploration threatens Scorpion Bay Mex

Phosphate exploration threatens Scorpion Bay Mex
Scorpion Bay © Sam Beebe

 

 

Environment Updates

Proposed mining site is abundant with marine life and endangered species  

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 30 October, 2014 - Exploraciones Oceánicas, S. de R. L. de C.V. has submitted its Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for the project called “Don Diego.”  The mining permits allow for phosphate exploration off the coast of Mexico in the Bahía de Ulloa, between Abreojos and San Lázaro.  Phosphate is exploited for its value as an agricultural ammendment and is used in large scale applications in the USA and around the world.  The project proposes using marine dredges to a) dredge phosphatic sand from the ocean floor and b) prepare it for transport using a desalination barge.  The work area is located 12 miles from the nearest point to the coast and adjacent to the fishing area called San Juanico.  If allowed, the scope of work entails dredge operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 50 years. 

Authorities close to the project claim that their EIS has been vetted and approved by multiple NGO's in Mexico, although none have been found yet who can verify this claim.  The proposed mining site is located in an area of ocean long studied by scientists for the abundance of marine mammals that inhabit the area.  It holds no less than 5 species of sea turtle, all listed as endangered on the IUCN red list of threatened species, as well as the Red Crabs, the main food source for Olive Ridley and Loggerhead turtles. The region is also considered a hot spot for Black Marlin, Swordfish, and Blue Whales.

What Can You Do?

José Carlos Cota Osuna, delegate for the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) has stated that a public information meeting for the Don Diego marine mining project, will be held on November 5th in the auditorium of the Valley of Santo Domingo Local Agricultural Association, in the city of Constitucion.  This meeting was previously scheduled for the 31st of October, but was unexpectedly changed.  Unfortunately, this practice is common and those interested in opposing the project are advised to stay aware and ready for news of this meeting as it could be changed yet again. 

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