Laguna San Ignacio is a protected bay of Baja California, a little more than half way down the long peninsula's Pacific Coast. One of several such bays, Laguna San Ignacio is a known nursing area for the California Gray Whale, and is famous among nursing grounds for its "friendly encounters." Every season, hundreds of people from all over the world come here to see the whales up close, even to touch them, as the whales here are just as curious about the human visitors. Recognized for its importance in birthing and raising young whales, Laguna San Ignacio is a protected bioreserve under Mexican law, and has received numerous international recognitions.
In recent years, Laguna San Ignacio has become an environmental and political battleground as Japanese industrial giant Mitsubishi has teamed up with the Mexican federal government to built a large, state of the art salt evaporation complex within the protected bioreserve. The controversial project has drawn increased criticism from various environmental groups, and has also seen an increased amount of support from those would gain financially from the project, including the Mexican federal government.
While this is an internal Mexican government matter, international concern about the facility is a valid matter, since the Gray Whale is protected under international treaty. Further, international tourism is a vital local economic activity, which relies on the pristine lagoon and the friendly Gray Whales to bring visitors.
The above background discussion is from "Mexico Online."
For an additional, more detailed introductory discussion of this case, go to : "Whales and Habitat Preservation (MEXWHALE Case)" from the Mandala Projects which is a collection of cross-discipline efforts to examine the impact of globalization of peoples and people. It looks across disciplines, boundaries, media and other "virtual" barriers to provide integrated information and research.