Dr. Rafael Riosmena-Rodriguez announced last week that all of the marine seagrass species will receive formal recognition for conservation in Mexico from the Comisión Nacional Para El Conocimento y Uso de la Bioversidad. Dr. Riosmena-Rodriguez and his students have led the seagrass monitoring and research as part of the Laguna San Ignacio Ecosystem Science Program (LSIESP), a project of The Ocean Foundation, for the past 6-years and will continue to monitor and report on the status of the marine plants in the lagoon.
Dr. Riosmena-Rodriguez and his student Jorge Lopez were invited to participate in final round of CONABIO meetings to discuss the importance of including seagrasses as recognized species for special conservation consideration. Dr. Riosmena-Rodriguez has produced a database of marine plant species for Laguna San Ignacio that provided the background for this decision, and will support the justification for conservation and protection of eel grass (Zostera marina) and other seagrasses in Laguna San Ignacio and elsewhere in Baja California.
In addition, CONABIO has approved a program to monitor mangrove estuaries at 42 sites around the Mexican Pacific, and Laguna San Ignacio is one of those sites. As a key monitoring site, Dr. Riosmena-Rodriguez and his students will begin an inventory of the mangroves in Laguna San Ignacio to establish a baseline, and continue to monitor the status of those mangroves in future years.