The deserts of Baja California formed during the last two million years, and expanded into the peninsula during the last forty thousand years. The Sea of Cortés formed slowly during the last two million years into its present form. Glaciations and changes in sea level slowly molded its unique spectrum of life forms. The seas have survived and evolved all this time without human beings, but we cannot survive now without the seas. The desert has seen the arrival of human beings only but very recently. It does not need us to raise and develop its unique adaptations to arid life. However, we need the desert, to support our border cities, to keep our environment safe, and to conserve the precious little water that falls in the dry land.
The Ocean Oasis is facing destruction from human development: industries, tourism, fisheries, agriculture, waste, all are taking their toll in the biological diversity of Baja California and the Sea of Cortés. We must protect the riches of this region for our own sake, and for our children's. Perhaps more importantly, we should learn to respect nature, for its own sake. Conservation is not only about our own survival, it is about the survival of all species. It is about the endurance of life and beauty on Earth.
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Photograph of Isla Espíritu Santo by Bradford Hollingsworth
San Diego Natural History Museum & PRONATURA
© 2000 CinemaCorp of the Californias