Park Friends


The Loreto Bay National Park : Friends of the Park

The National Park (Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto) is one of the treasures of this area. The limits of the park extend onto the shores of the islands within the park as the shoreline is recognized as an essential component of the marine environment for shore birds and turtles, for example.  One of the characteristics of that shore environment, in some areas, is the presence of beaches and dunes.  In our community of Loreto Bay / Nopolo our residents enjoy this park for beach walks, paddling, swimming and snorkeling, observing marine life and for fishing.  In 2022 a group of residents in Loreto Bay created a group called "Friends of the Loreto Bay National Park" as a way to help protect and promote the park and to advocate for use of the Park in compliance with the spirit of the Park Rules.

The Park

Park Map

The Park was established by government decree on July 19, 1996, as the Parque Marino Nacional Bahía de Loreto and has an area of 206,580 hectares. Internationally it is recognized as a World Network of Biospheres Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site and as a Wetlands of International Importance

The Park was brought under the full jurisdiction of the Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) and renamed to Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto in June, 2000

Loreto Bay National Park is home to:

    891 fish species, including 90 endemic fishes
    a third of the world’s cetacean species (found in the Gulf of California)
    695 vascular plant species, more than in any marine and insular property on the World Heritage List

Management of the Park

The land surrounding the oceans in Mexico is managed by several organizations. The overall jurisdiction for environmental protection in all locations is the responsibility of the Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT). 

In all areas in Mexico adjacent to the ocean there is a 20m maritime protection zone called Zona Federal Marítimo Terrestre (ZOFEMAT) which is managed by SEMARNAT.

Also under SEMARNAT, national parks are administered by the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP).  The official boundaries of the Park do not extend onto the shore at the western boundary of the Park. The exact boundary of the Park is not defined along this western edge except to say it is "offshore" and runs from near Villa del Pal Mar up to Doctor's point near Coronado. In a practical sense if you are in or on the water along that western edge, you're in the Park.

Enforcement activity, including issueing fines and assessing penalties for environmental offences is the responsibility of Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA) - also part of SEMARNAT. 

Other players in our community include the Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo (FONATUR) which exists to promote tourism in Mexico but is not part of the Environmental Protection Department.

Beyond these zones up to private property is “Land reclaimed from the sea”. This extra land is also protected under the jurisdiction of SEMARNAT. In Loreto Bay, jurisdiction over all the land between the HOA boundary and the high tide line has been delegated to the local management of the Park.

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