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Blog Tags: Punta De Choros

The Race to Protect Northern Chilean Oceans

© OCEANA | Eduardo Sorensen

The coastline of La Higuera and Isla Chañaral in Northern Chile is different from any other coastline I have ever experienced.  I grew up in New York, next to the East River, with the Atlantic Ocean right around the corner.  I have travelled along many different coastlines, from Italy´s Amalfi Coast, to British Columbia´s Queen Charlotte Islands.  I am in Chile for the first time, interning at Oceana in Santiago for two months. 

The difference between Chile and other countries is that Chile surprises you at every turn.  The landscape and weather undergo dramatic changes kilometer to kilometer, minute to minute.  We are in Northern Chile in order to further Oceana´s plan to create a Marine Protected Area (MPA).  Alex Muñoz, Executive Director of Oceana Chile, and his team have been working with the local communities to achieve that goal since 2009. 


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Extra, Extra: Oceana’s Winter Magazine

The winter issue of the Oceana magazine is now online for your reading pleasure!

 We have lots of goodies for you in this issue:

* Visit lovely Punta de Choros, Chile, where we recently achieved a dramatic victory in stopping the construction of a coal-fired power plant.

* Sail into the Gulf of Mexico with the Oceana Latitude expedition.

* Explore Chile’s Sala y Gomez Island, whose waters were recently declared a no-take zone after our preliminary expedition there.

* Dive in with actress January Jones in her second trip with Oceana to swim with sharks. This time? The majestic whale shark.

And of course, read about our latest victories and events and find a tasty sustainable seafood recipe.  Enjoy and let us know what you think!


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The Greatest Ocean Hits of 2010

Chile's Sala y Gomez Island, a new marine reserve. [Photo illustration by Heather Ryan]

It’s that time of year when “best of” lists abound, so what better reason to sing the ocean’s greatest hits of 2010?

Raise your eggnog glasses high for these ocean victories that we helped accomplish this year, with your generous support and enthusiasm:

  • The Obama Administration reinstated a ban on offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast -- and that was after months of pressure by Oceana and more than 100,000 (!) of you said it was time to Stop the Drill.
  • After pressure from Oceana and our allies, the Chilean government halted the construction of a coal-fired thermoelectric plant near Punta de Choros, a marine reserve home to Humboldt penguins, bottlenose dolphins, and blue whales.
  • Two big bottom trawling victories: the U.S. banned bottom trawling in a 23,000 square mile area off the Southeast Atlantic coast, home to the largest area of pristine area of cold-water corals in the world. And in Belize, we helped pass a ban on all trawling in the country’s waters.

Photo Slideshow: Punta de Choros

As we told you last Friday, the ecologically rich region of Punta de Choros, Chile, was recently spared from the construction of a coal-fired power plant in a dramatic decision by President Sebastian Piñera.

The announcement was the culmination of hard work by our colleagues in Chile alongside local organizations, and immense grassroots pressure from Chileans.

So what, exactly, was at stake? Humboldt penguins, sea lions and blue whales, to name a few of the creatures that call the area home. But judging from your comments on last week’s post, many of you already know how incredible this place is.

Here is further photographic evidence, enjoy:

 


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Victory In Chile Against Coal-Fired Power Plant

We've been working in Chile to protect its incredible coastline from a proposed coal-fired power plant that would threaten Punta de Choros, home to amazing wildlife including endangered blue whales and Humboldt penguins. In recent days, grassroots opposition to the power plant grew after the power plant received its environmental permit, with peaceful demonstrations that were ultimately dispersed with tear gas and water cannons as well as a massive outpouring of criticism from Chileans online.

So it is with great satisfaction that I report that Chilean President Sebastian Piñera has announced he has persuaded Suez Energy not to build its power plant near Punta de Choros. In addition, he asked his cabinet to review all the industrial projects that produce environmental damage being considered in the country to see whether they could affect protected areas.

This is an incredible victory for Chileans, 94 percent of whom opposed the power plant in a recent poll. Against the odds, we changed a formal government decision, and the amazing marine ecosystem of Punta de Choros will remain protected.

Andy Sharpless is the CEO of Oceana.


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New Video from Oceana Chile

Our colleagues down in Chile have just released a fantastic new video featuring Chilean actress Leonor Varela, who recently visited the pristine region of Punta de Choros in Northern Chile to promote Oceana's Energy Campaign.

Our team in Chile has been working to prevent several proposed coal-fired power plants from being built near pristine marine reserves in Punta de Choros.

During her visit, Varela asked Chilean President Sebastián Piñera to keep his campaign promise to oppose all thermoelectric power plants that negatively affect communities, the environment and quality of life.

Check it out:

Andy Sharpless is the CEO of Oceana.


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