Bahía de Banderas Restoration Project: Salvar la Bahia


Restore, clean and protect the Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit Mexico’s greatest natural resource. The Bahia de Banderas is in jeopardy from pollution and the Bay’s fragile ecosystem is at stake, and we need to act quickly and effectively before it is too late.

We are a new organization consisting of Mexican, United States, Canadian professionals and subject matter experts dedicated to the project who are willing to volunteer time and efforts to foster effective strategies.

1. Education and outreach encourage boaters anchored out the Marina Rivera Nayarit at La Cruz to use the pump-out service, dispose of waste and sewage responsibly, and reduce single-use plastic along the coast.
2. Establish native oyster reefs, not for eating but to filter and clean the water column of the bay. Oysters filter 50 gallons of water per day. They are a natural way to improve water clarity, which allows phytoplankton in the water to produce more oxygen, which supports the entire food chain and increases biodiversity. Promote sustainable harvesting of wild oysters to secure the local livelihood and ensure that we have a healthy oyster population for generations to come.
3. Encourage and support infrastructure to prevent sewage spills and beach runoff from construction projects along the coast. The frequency of spills is increasing, and the contamination jeopardizes our health, the bay’s health and enviably affects tourism and the livelihood of thousands of local businesses in Nayarit.
4. Establish a Community Education Program, in concert with other like-minded organizations in the area, regarding the protection of the Bay and how to take actions to reduce pollution.

We recognize the importance of involving local community in our project, and we plan to collaborate with the marine university students, local businesses and governments.

We will collaborate with the local stand-up paddle and surf communities to use citizen science and collect water samples and spill data.

We will leverage local events such as Bucerias Oyster Festival, Carnival, Bucerias Art Walk, Banderas Bay Regattas, International Marlin and Sailfish Fishing Tournament, Dias de Los Muertos, Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Festival Cultural de Mayo, Día de la Marina, and encouraging events such as the Semana Santa (April 10-16th) to reduce single-use plastic.

We will collaborate with the local municipalities as well as with the Tourism Board and the Riviera Nayarit Association local hotels, restaurants, churches, and businesses on our projects and communications efforts.

We will also work with the La Cruz harbormaster at the La Cruz Marina to prompt the free pump-outs on Thursday and needs our help to engage with the boating community to make sure they utilize the service. We will promote the use of reef-safe sunscreens.

We will model our project on the successful projects established in many places, such as the Billion Oyster Project in New York Manhattan Harbor, Chesapeake Oyster Restoration, and the Wild Oyster Project in San Francisco Bay. We will be collaborating with the Tehuamixtle Jalisco region to regenerate the wild oyster population. We have an Ocean conservation program manager specializing in projects like ours who has issued a report card of the current state of Bahia de Banderas so that we know exactly where we stand and how to measure progress. Please visit and join our Facebook page, the Bahia de Banderas Restoration Project, to see our upcoming events and progress. You can see videos of our meetings posted and the report cards results.