“Who Saved The Whale Lagoon” is a project to document the remarkable interspecies connection, indeed love, between humans and whales at Laguna San Ignacio – a beautiful, isolated lagoon along the Pacific Coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. It is a tale of how this most pristine nursery for the gray whale was saved from a multimillion-dollar industrial salt factory proposed by the Mitsubishi Corporation and its Mexican government partner. Sparked by the concerns of local fishermen, the initial efforts of a few scientists and environmental advocates mushroomed into a global campaign reaching millions of people – one of the first to make full use of the new internet. In the end, it was a mysterious powerful encounter with a 30-ton whale in 2000 that swayed a nation’s president – and the world’s largest multinational – to choose to protect nature and not exploit it. Twenty years later, this is considered one of the greatest environmental success stories in history.
We want to tell the story of the Laguna through the recollections, insights, and memorabilia from the constellation of interesting powerful characters from Mexico, the U.S., and Japan involved in the fight to preserve the whales’ remote habitat – the local fishermen and their families, poets and politicians, scientists and celebrities, activists and journalists whose lives were changed through sharing the experience with the whales and one another. We will bring the story up to today with two decades of innovative measures to protect the region and support its local communities.
Through perseverance and hope, this continuing alliance between the local people and Mexican and international groups can inspire a new generation to battle ongoing threats posed by climate change, pollution, and the development of uniquely beautiful natural places – threats to humanity and the majestic creatures that we love. Our goal is to produce a feature-length film for a general audience, as well as other formats for more specialized audiences. We also want to create a platform to provide access to some 50-60 interviews that will for the first time tell the whole story from all the various perspectives of who saved the whale lagoon.