At a Nov. 21 Imperial Beach City Council meeting, Mayor Jim Janney suggested that IB and Los Cabos become sister cities.
IB is the most southwest city in the continental United States and Los Cabos is on the southern tip of Baja California.
On Nov. 16, a delegation from Baja California Sur visited the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (TRNERR) in Imperial Beach.
The group included the Mayor of Los Cabos, José Antonio Agúndez Montaño, the Director of Ecology and Environment for Los Cabos, Jesús Druk González, and the Rector of the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS), Gustavo Rodolfo Cruz Chávez.
They were accompanied by Paul Ganster, Director of the Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias at San Diego State University (SDSU).
Mayor Jim Janney welcomed the distinguished visitors to Imperial Beach where they were briefed on the history, functioning and ongoing research at the Tijuana Estuary by Mike and Patricia McCoy of the Southwest Wetlands Interpretative Association and by Jeff Crooks, Research Coordinator of TRNERR.
The presentations provoked a lively discussion regarding the similarities of the San José Estuary, which is located adjacent to the city of San José that is the seat of the municipal government of Los Cabos.
Mayor Janney suggested to Mayor Agúndez Montaño that the two cities consider cooperating for the benefit of their estuaries, a proposal heartily endorsed by his counterpart from Baja California Sur.
Paul Ganster noted that SDSU and UABCS are cooperating on a research project to assess the health of the San José Estuary. The research will provide options for improving the natural functioning of this critical ecosystem and for improving the estuary as an attraction for local residents and international visitors.
Jeff Crooks pointed out that many of the scientific research questions addressed at TRNERR over the years are quite relevant to the San José Estuary and that cooperation among researchers in Baja California Sur, the Tijuana Estuary and at SDSU would be mutually beneficial.
Earlier in the day, the Mexican visitors had meetings at SDSU that included representatives from the Mexican Space Agency. Discussions centered on SDSU collaboration with the agency through improved data sharing and joint work on applications for visualization of real time satellite images to support emergency response to natural disasters such as hurricanes, severe winter storms, and earthquakes.
The SDSU visit also included the signing of a new cooperative agreement between SDSU and the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur.
UABCS is the public university in the state and has had a long collaboration with SDSU on student exchange, faculty exchange, and research. The agreement was signed by Provost Nancy Marlin of SDSU and Rector Gustavo Rodolfo Cruz Chávez. Mayor Agúndez Montaño signed the document as an honorary witness.
This notice was written by the Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias at San Diego State University with additions from editor Khari Johnson.