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The Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies (the Center) is a bi-national field station dedicated to community-based environmental conservation in the Gulf of California, Mexico. The biocultural landscape of the Eastern Midriff Region of the Gulf is unique on a global scale and the Center has had a constant presence in this region in since 1991. The great diversity of habitats and environmental conditions is linked to high productivity and species diversity. The region’s many islands are legally well-protected and provide habitat for globally important waterbird colonies, California Sea Lion reproduction, and Sonoran Desert flora and fauna, including many endemic species. The coasts and islands of the area are also traditional Comcaac territory, and the region continues to be home to diverse human communities with overlapping social, cultural, and economic relationships with each other and the natural environment. Local leaders, indigenous communities, fishermen, students, researchers, and resource managers co-exist in the region and have complimentary perspectives for addressing threats and promoting and supporting healthy ecosystems and human communities. We facilitate the co-creation of solutions to complex conservation challenges by promoting equitable dialog in which diverse perspectives are considered.

Community Partnerships have meaningful impact! Effective environmental conservation depends on community leadership. The Center's COMMUNITY PROJECTS PROGRAMS provide alternative economic options and build capacity for local Mexican and indigenous Comcaac (also known as Seri) community members to lead science, education and management initiatives that work. These projects contribute to mitigating conservation problems like habitat destruction, over-fishing and climate change by providing economically viable ways for local community members to be trained, to participate and to lead.


The Center's COMMUNITY PROJECTS PROGRAMS work in many ways to build capacity for community participation and leadership in conservation initiatives, including youth education, technical training, financial support, accompaniment and connection with government agents and civics processes.

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Sea turtle conservation

Grupo Tortugeuro protects feeding and nesting sea turtles by monitoring, educating and changing collective attitudes and behaviors from exploitation to conservation and
pride (since 2010).

Grupo Cooijac

This Comcaac (Seri) youth group is being trained to connect indigenous knowledge with waterbird monitoring techniques in order to promote and communicate the cultural and ecological importance of estuaries in Comcaac territory (since 2014).

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Interpretive signage in Estero Laguna La Cruz

Youth groups and networks, working with community members and academic institutions design and install signs to inform and inspire locals about the international importance of the estuary in their backyard (since 2019).

Clean-up initiatives in Estero Laguna La Cruz

Local fishermen who struggle economically during closed fishing seasons participate in clean-ups and see firsthand the impacts of fishing-related trash in the habitat in which they work (since 2020).

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The global Covid-19 pandemic has hit hardest in marginalized communities around the world and this is also true in our region. This year the Center strives to fund 15 community projects to relieve economic and ecological pressure and help to restore hope through collective action. We believe effective conservation is a collective action, and we invite you to join us in protecting some of the most bioculturally rich marine and coastal ecosystems in the world.