Manage episode 268847333 series 2768449
Zachary Plopper is the Associate Director of WILDCOAST, a 501c3 non-profit organization that conserves coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife in the United States, Cuba and Mexico. An avid surfer since his childhood in Solana Beach, California, Plopper started competing at age twelve and was sponsored by the time he was 13. He competed professionally during high school and won the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s collegiate state champion while attending UCSD. A few years later, while in grad school at UCLA, he was surfing Trestles and met Serge Dedina -the Executive Director of WILDCOAST. As they talked and surfed, Dedina suggested that Plopper write his graduate thesis on a new WILDCOAST conservation opportunity in the Valle de los Cirios (Seven-Sisters) region of Baja California.
Plopper’s 76-page thesis became the guiding document on the project, outlining the region’s threats and opportunities, and in 2008 -a full-time job for Plopper. Working with local landowners, Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Areas, and international funders, his efforts led to creating the Valle de Los Cirios Pacific Coast protected area, one of the largest private protectorates of coastal land in North America.
In this conservation, we cover Plopper’s eleven years of conservation work at WILDCOAST and some of the lessons learned from his years of travel in Baja’s remotest regions.
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