Each year, VSI connects hundreds of educators, researchers, adventurers, tourists, community members, and conservation professionals with the land and sea in Bahia de los Angeles. They come together to study field methods and collect citizen science data on whale sharks and microplastics in the Sea of Cortez.
This year, for the first time in half a century, VSI will not be hosting any field studies in June or July. This is out of an abundance of caution to protect both our travelers and our local community from COVID 19.
We have worked hard over the past 50 years to develop reliable and sustainable relationships with local families, local boat drivers, and local restaurants, and we want to continue to honor those commitments this summer. Though the money from our summer programs may not be coming in, with your help, we are hopeful that this lull in international field studies will provide us with new opportunities to work with the children and youth of Bahia de los Angeles to increase their involvement with our programs and the community.
We are also hoping to use this time to expand our environmental research power to include new topics of study such as guitarfish, eDNA, and more intensive study of whale sharks. Your donations will allow us to pay local boat drivers to guide our local children (Aventureros) through the Sea of Cortez to learn about its majesty. Your donations will minimally pay our small and devoted staff to develop and test new research protocols to help us better understand species and the environments of the Sea of Cortez. Your donations will continue to keep our lights on and our doors open to continue to provide this small community with access to needed resources, research equipment, and shared community spaces.