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Coastal Restoration
Climate Change Preparedness through Ecosystem Restoration, Conservation & Blue Carbon Capture 

The Infiernillo Channel is a shallow, naturally formed channel running two to five miles wide between the Mexican mainland from Isla Tiburon in the Gulf of California. It plays a unique ecological role as nursery grounds, a reservoir for biodiversity, and a natural marine sanctuary spanning the Sonoran coast of Mexico, and within the territory of the Comcaac Indigenous Community, known also as the Seris.

For more than 2000 years, the indigenous Comcaac have been stewards of this region, using their extensive ecological traditional knowledge to maintain their current habitats, fisheries, plant foods, medicines, and livelihoods.

SMImagen 3_Obtención de semillas de Zostera marina_Taken by Carmen Gabriela Suarez Gracida
Zonas de Manglar Canal I_Carmen Gabriela Suarez Gracida.jpg

Click to enlarge map. 

Sm Imagen 1_Isla Tiburón 2018_Taken by Carmen Gabriela Suarez Gracida.jpg
Sanctuary for Rare Species
Imagen 4_Tursiops truncatus_ Canal del Infiernillo_Take by Carmen Gabriela Suarez Gracida

This ecotone between the desert and deep seas is characterized by extensive seagrass beds, protected mangrove estuaries, seasonally flowing watercourse, freshwater upwellings rich in nutrients in the shallows, and small patches of rocky reefs. The seagrass beds are the largest concentration of annual marine grasses in the Eastern Pacific and form 96% of all left in the entire Gulf. The area is also a sanctuary for five of the eight surviving species of sea turtles, rare migratory waterfowl like the Brandt, the northernmost populations of Mangrove Warblers, as well as critical birthing and nursery habitat for Bottlenose Dolphins.


In 2009, the Infiernillo Canal was declared a RAMSAR site which is a coastal wetland complex of international importance disproportionate to its size covering approximately 30,000 hectares (~75,000 acres). Within it, there are 850 hectares of mangroves, half of which occur in one large estuary, El Sargento, and 7,000 hectares of eelgrass Zostera marina, as well as extensive beds of scallops, native oysters, clams, and blue-eating crabs. This place is a refuge for several species of resident and migratory birds.

Imagen 5_ Garceta Verde_Butorides virescens (Green Heron)_Taken by Horacio Cabrera Santiag
Climate Change & Indigenous Communities
Hurricane Map

As in other regions of the world, the fishing Comcaac communities of Punta Checa and Desemboque face climate change. Historically, the Comcaac have observed species such as lizards, coastal iguanas, and others that, due to climatic changes, have moved to territories further north.

Together with community leaders, we are working to protect the Comcaac territory and promote the development of sustainable livelihoods as resilience strategies against climate change.

Community Engagement

Activities are carried out from a biocultural point of view. Comcaac leaders guide youth and other participants in project activities, including workshops, festivals with educational purposes, and the rescue of traditional foods with high nutritional value.

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