There are 244 islets, islands and coastal areas in the Gulf of California, northern Mexico. The UNESCO listed World Heritage Site occupies an area of 688,558 hectares and has been given a buffer zone that equates to 1,210,477 hectares.
For a long time now, the Sea of Cortez has been a laboratory that helps scientists study speciation. About 90% of the oceanographic activities that occur in the planet’s oceans occur in the Sea of Cortez, further enhancing its place as a major oceanographic destination.
The natural beauty of the property is an undeniable fact. It boasts of rugged islands that feature towering cliffs and sandy beaches that give a refreshing contrast against the turquoise sea waters. The site is home to 695 species of vascular plants which is more than any marine-insular property in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The property also happens to be home to 891 species of fish, of which 90 are endemic to the Sea of Cortez. About 39% or World total marine mammals, and a third of marine cetacean species call this eco-region their home.
The property has, over a very short distance, a series of ‘bridge islands’ that were formed by decline of sea waters during the glaciation period. The other type of islands is called ‘oceanic islands’. The oceanographic processes that go on in this ecosystem have supported the high marine productivity and biodiversity of the area, a richness that characterize the whole expanse of the Gulf of California.
The diversity that is made up of marine life and submarine forms has made this destination a diver’s paradise. Whether you just love snorkeling or are a marine biologist, you will find something interesting to do in this ecosystem. I daresay that this region is easily the second best diving destination in the world after the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Trust me; you do not want to soak in the sun at the beach throughout your summer holiday. You would want to head to Islands and Protected Areas in the Gulf of California and get to learn a new skill. It is an expensive endeavor, but the fun derived is more than worth it.
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