At Vuori, we’re always stoked to partner with organizations that are as inspired by the beautiful Southern California coastline as we are. We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with WILDCOAST, a team of 22 conservationists working to preserve the coast along California and Mexico.
On July 20, a portion of every purchase made at Vuoriclothing.com will directly support the incredible efforts of WILDCOAST
“I am so pleased to partner with Vuori to highlight the need to protect our wild and blue spaces and magnificent ocean animals that we all hold dear. It is more important than ever to conserve the majestic and mighty oceans as well as address climate change in a way that brings us together in common purpose,” WILDCOAST Co-Founder, Serge Dedina.
What is the story behind WILDCOAST and the inspiration for its mission?
In 2000, Serge Dedina, who grew up on the U.S.-Mexico border helping to protect wetlands in California and Baja, co-founded WILDCOAST with marine biologist and now renowned author Wallace J. Nichols. While living in Baja in the early 1990’s as part of his doctoral research on gray whales, Serge helped to stop the Mitsubishi' plan to build an industrial salt harvesting operation that would have destroyed the gray whale breeding areas in Laguna San Ignacio, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Immediately after launching WILDCOAST, Dedina worked on an ambitious campaign to halt the black market trade in sea turtle eggs and meat in Mexico. He also initiated an innovative project to preserve the last wild Pacific coastline of Baja California that to date has protected 50 miles of coastal Baja wilderness.
Over the past 22 years WILDCOAST has helped to protect over 38 million acres of globally important coastal and marine ecosystems including gray whale breeding lagoons, sea turtle nesting beaches, coral reefs teeming with fish, leopard shark nurseries and the wildest coastlines in North America. Additionally, our efforts to protect and restore blue carbon ecosystems such as seagrass meadows, salt marsh wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs help to naturally sequester carbon and help communities adapt to climate change.
What types of projects does WILDCOAST focus on?
Our conservation strategy is robust yet simple. We establish and manage protected areas, protect and restore blue carbon ecosystems, and engage communities in the stewardship of healthy, thriving oceans, coastlines, and wildlife.
We currently have 10 conservation programs in the U.S. and Mexico. We’re conserving over 38 million acres of pristine coastlines, mangrove forests, gray whale lagoons, turquoise islands, stunning coral reefs, coastal wetlands, and open ocean ecosystems.
What makes WILDCOAST different from other conservation groups?
We work closely with communities, national park agencies and the private sector to protect the world’s most beautiful and ecologically important coastal and marine ecosystems that also help us to adapt to and mitigate climate change. We’ve played a critical role in helping save numerous wildlife species such as the olive ridley sea turtle, and the Eastern Pacific gray whale. And we are on the cutting edge of helping to preserve blue carbon ecosystems such as salt marsh wetlands and mangroves that help to sequester carbon as well as help to create jobs for local communities.
What has been a major win or a project that you are super stoked on?
Our trash boom in the Los Laureles Canyon, a tributary of the Tijuana River, has stopped more than 100,000 pounds of plastic, tires and solid waste from entering the Pacific Ocean at the US/Mexico border in the past year. We plan to install two more booms over the next year.
What is one thing WILDCOAST would love to accomplish by the end of 2022?
We are pioneers in the field of blue carbon. Blue carbon is any carbon stored in coastal ecosystems such as seagrass meadows, salt marshes and mangroves forests. By the end of 2022 we hope to reach our goal of planting 250,000 seedlings with more than 160,000 already planted. Mangroves capture carbon 5x better than any other terrestrial plant, even the rainforest. Mangroves also store carbon 50x more efficiently. We have expanded our blue carbon efforts into the U.S. where we are restoring several lagoons in San Diego County as these ecosystems are carbon sinks that can store carbon for millenia.
How does working on projects like this help to invest in yours and others happiness?
Rather than focusing on the paralyzing doom of it all, our nimble, diverse and dynamic WILDCOAST is committed to relentless positivity and high impact conservation. We have stepped forward as a global leader to drive innovative natural solutions that address the effects of our rapidly changing climate and build resilient coastal habitats. The coastal treasures that we conserve support an abundance of wildlife and are iconic recreation sites for people to enjoy. We have purchased and protected more than 50 miles of coastline in central Baja – in the Los Ciros area – home some of the world’s most pristine coastlines untouched by development. We are striving to protect nature for generations to enjoy.
What are the best ways for people to get involved, support, and help out?
We would not be able to carry out our mission without community support. Becoming a recurring donor or making a small contribution helps create the longest lasting impact. Signing up for our newsletter (wildcoast.org) + following us on social media are great ways for supporters to stay updated and hear about upcoming events, our conservation impact, volunteer opportunities, and ways to get involved. If interested in volunteering for Marine Protected Area Watch (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our Tidepool Ambassadors program (email@example.com), please contact us.
Individuals can do their part everyday to reduce the amount of waste they produce, eat sustainably, practice smart consumerism when purchasing goods, and become an activist in their local community.