Lesson 907: Re-claiming the Gulf in Baja California

Only a few decades ago, Baja California was mostly unknow to the outside world, sparsely populated and difficult to visit and most of it, is very dry desert. But crowds and developers have discovered the southern part of the peninsula and have arrived in droves, threatening the very features that make the Peninsula such an unusual place. Meanwhile, over harvesting in the Gulf of California has cause fish stocks to plummet and threatened the entire ecosystem. Now, Mexicans and international experts are fighting back.

Learning Objective

Students will learn about the natural beauty of Baja California which attracted droves of developers, resulting in a threat to the entire ecosystem.

Social Studies Standards

People, Places, & Environments: E, G

Discussion Prompts

  • How might governments limit people’s movement to and from cities that are on the brink of exhausting their resources and experiencing extinction of their ecological richness? Is it possible or legal?
  • What kind of fees could be imposed on visitors and perhaps on locals to help continue to maintain the ecological richness of the area? Who is responsible for the maintenance: local people or government?
  • How might visitors and locals be able to enjoy themselves while helping to protect and restore the local resources, culture and communities? Why should visitors be bothered with conservation since they already help the local economy with their visits?
  • During the video we learn that the development for that area has been quite destructive, consumptive and extractive. When is development destructive and/or consumptive? Compare with the development in your region.

Lesson Activities

  • You are the natural resources writer for your school newspaper, and you are working on the effect of development in different areas of the world. The article must have 500 words and you are comparing the affect and effect of the development around Baja California with your area/region.
  • List and classify the actions of the developers of Baja California and the local people who use it as a source of food. Analyze the problem from the two different perspectives and write a conclusion agreeing or disagreeing with the grim perspective of the video. Display your findings to share with peers.
  • Create a billboard to educate visitors about the importance of protecting and restoring local resources, culture and communities. Include pictures and words on your creation. Write a paragraph explaining your concept.
  • Research and create a graph to show the process that the natives of the area used to restore the fisheries in the area. Illustrate the concept of planting eggs in the water and show the results. Write a conclusion validating or invalidating the process used for this purpose while acknowledging the loss of fish.


  • consumptive
  • destructive
  • droves
  • ecology
  • embargo
  • extractive
  • fisheries
  • haché
  • regenerate
  • sustaining


In the Americas Season 9 Lesson Episode 7