Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Resource management options
 Proposed land use management...
 Handbook of development guidelines...
 Nayarit Coastal Zone reserves and...
 Literature cited
 Management plan maps

Title: Emergy analysis perspectives public policy options, and development guidelines for the coastal zone of Nayarit, Mexico. Volume 1: Coastal Zone Managem
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00016671/00001
 Material Information
Title: Emergy analysis perspectives public policy options, and development guidelines for the coastal zone of Nayarit, Mexico. Volume 1: Coastal Zone Managem
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Brown, Mark T.
Green, Pamela
Gonzalez, Agustin
Venegas, Javier
Publisher: Center for Wetlands and Water Resources, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Copyright Date: September, 1992
General Note: Report to the Cousteau Society and the Government of Nayarit, Mexico
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00016671
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA9288

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Page i
        Page ii
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    Resource management options
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    Proposed land use management plan
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    Handbook of development guidelines and considerations for the Nayarit Coastal Zone
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    Nayarit Coastal Zone reserves and protected areas plan
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    Literature cited
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    Management plan maps
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Full Text


Report to
The Cousteau Society
and the
Government of Nayarit, Mexico

Coastal Zone Management Plan and
Development Guidelines


Mark T. Brown
Pamela Green, Agustin Gonzalez, and Javier Venegas

September, 1992

Center for Wetlands and Water Resources
University of Florida
Phelps Lab, Museum Road
Gainesville, Florida
Tel (904) 392-2424 Fax (904) 392-3624


Report to
The Cousteau Society
and the
Government of Nayarit, Mexico

Volume 1: Coastal Zone Management Plan and Development Guidelines

Mark T. Brown, Pamela Green, Agustin Gonzalez, and Javier Venegas

Research Studies Conducted Under Contract No. 90071109

September, 1992

Center for Wetlands and Water Resources
University of Florida
Phelps lab, Museum Road
Gainesville, Florida
Tel. (904) 392-2424 Fax (904) 392-3624


Volume 1: Coastal Zone Management Plan and Development Guidelines


INTRODUCTION ...................................... ......................... ii
SECTION 1: The Coastal Zone of Nayarit ........................................ 1-1
SECTION 2: Environmental Constraints and Opportunities for Development ................. 1-21
SECTION 3: Social/Cultural Constraints and Opportunities for Development ................. 1-50
SECTION 4: Goals and Objectives for Protecting the Resources of Nayarit ............. ... .. 1-57
SECTION 5: The Regulatory Framework ...................................... 1-59
SECTION 6: Generation of the Plan ......................................... 1-63
Introduction .............................. ... ..... .......... .......... 2-1
Proposed Nayarit Coastal Zone Management Plan ................................... 2-2
Nayarit Coastal Zone Management Plan Concept .............................. 2-2
Goals and Objectives ........ ............................ ........... 2-3
D definitions ...................................................... 2-5
Land Development Intensity Districts and Overlay Districts ...................... 2-10
Nayarit Coastal Zone Management Plan Maps .............................. 2-14
Procedural Requirements ............................................ 2-15
Introduction .................... .. ................................... 3-1
D definitions ... ..... .................................... ... ..... ... .... 3-9
Procedural Requirements for Developers ....................................... 3-12
Land Development Regulations .......... ... .. ................ ................ 3-23
Site Development Regulations ........... .................................... 3-28
Introduction ............ .................................. ........... 4-1
The Present Situation ...................................................... 4-1
Development of the System .............................. ..................... 4-2
M management Requirements .................................................. 4-6
M management Program .................................................... 4-12

LITERATURE CITED ...................................... .................... 5-1

MANAGEMENT PLAN MAPS 1-26 .................. ........... ...................... 6-1


Volume 1: Coastal Zone Management Plan and Development Guidelines


Mark T. Brown, Pamela Green, Agustin Gonzalez, and Javier Venegas


This document is the first of a two volume report to The Cousteau Society and the Government of the State of
Nayarit, Mexico. It is an outgrowth of a 2 year study to develop recommendations for a master plan for the coastal zone
of Nayarit. As part of our effort we conducted several Emergy analysis studies of fisheries, tourism, water use, and
heath care within the coastal zone (given in Volume 2). These studies provided necessary background information for
public policy decisions regarding the best use of resources and for determining carrying capacity of the coastal zone for
future development. As part of our efforts, two Mexican students were trained in methods of emergy analysis and
environmental planning.
Our intention from the outset was to develop recommendations for a Master Plan comprised of a complete set of
planning documents that included a map of overall development potential, a regulatory framework and the necessary
legislation for implementation. This volume, in essence then, is the Master Plan for the coastal zone. It contains a Land
Use Management Plan, A Developers Handbook, and a Reserves and Protected Areas Plan, along with documentation.
These comprise the set of planning documents that, if implemented, will achieve the State's goal of protecting the
environmental and social/cultural resources of the coastal zone.
This volume is comprised of 4 parts :

Part 1: Resource Management Options Part 1 provides the necessary background information that lays the framework
for the management plan in 6 sections:

Section 1: The Coastal Zone of Nayarit a description of the coastal zone and its environmental resources.

Section 2: Environmental Constraints and Opportunities for Development a discussion of the development
potential of the environmental resources within the coastal zone that includes criteria and suggested
regulations for their protection.

Section 3: Social/Cultural Constraints and Opportunities for Development A discussion of social and cultural
issues that affect development potential that includes criteria and suggested regulations for minimizing
development impacts.

Section 4: Goals and Objectives for Protecting the Environmental and Social/Cultural Resources a compilation
of goals and objectives that are an outgrowth of the environmental and social/cultural constraints and
opportunities for development.

Section 5: The Regulatory Framework suggestions for a development review board and a review process that
will insure the execution of the management plan.

Section 6: Generation of the Plan a summary section of the methods and background materials used in
determining constraints and opportunities for development and the Overall Development Potential Map
of the coastal zone.

Part 2: Proposed Land Use Management Plan The Management Plan includes a regulatory framework and legislative
component, written as an ordinance, so that it may be adopted as the key element for the protection of the
coastal resources of the State.

Part 3: Handbook of Development Guidelines Called the "Developers Handbook", Part 3 is the set of development
guidelines for developers that provides information and instructions for developing within the coastal zone.

Part 4: Reserves and Protected Areas Plan The Reserves and Protected Areas plan contains suggestions for
preservation and management of areas of special significance.



The physical and biological endowment of Nayarit is bountiful and rich in its potential for supporting multiple
human activities. But it has its limits. Increasingly, humanity is learning that it must accept the ecological constraints set
by these limits and recognize that fragile resources, once destroyed, cannot be easily replaced (Barlowe, 1979).
Nayarit's coastal zone contains many critical ecological areas, which are extremely vulnerable to destruction.
For example, coastal wetlands provide a critical link between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and provide a vital
service for the marine ecosystem. It is estimated that over 70 percent of all commercially valuable marine fishes rely on
estuarine areas during at least part of their lives. Half of the biological productivity of the world's oceans occurs along
the coast, and estuaries are the most productive fishing areas known on earth (Rau, 1980).

Navarit Coastal Zone Biogeograohv

The State of Nayarit is located in the northwestern portion of central Mexico (Figure 1). It borders on the north
with the states of Durango and Sinaloa, on the south with Jalisco, on the east with Jalisco, Durango and Zacatecas, and
on the west with the Pacific Ocean, with a coastline length of 289 km.
In this report, the Nayarit Coastal Zone (NCZ) is divided into three general regions, according to characteristic
geological features. The 3 zones are: (1) the North Pacific Coastal Plain Zone (NPCPZ), (2) the Central Neovolcanic
Axis Coastal Zone (CNVACZ), and (3) South Sierra Madre Coastal Zone (SSMCZ). These zones are defined as follows:

(1) The North Pacific Coastal Plain Zone (NPCPZ) lies within the northwestern province of the state with a
length of approximately 100 km. It is characterized by its low relief, and is comprised of great flood plains, lagoons and
wetlands, and is aligned parallel to the coastline. This portion of the coastal plain consists of a fringe of large littoral
ridges, which include numerous marshes interspersed between sand bars.
Most of the area's soils are alluvial, lacustrine and palustrine deposits, which come from the Cenozoic era and
the Quaternary period. It is possible that peat deposits could be discovered in the coastal plain, as well as salt and other
minerals which are formed under conditions similar to those that prevail in this province. Until recently there has not
been much knowledge of the geologic resources in this region (SPP, 1981).

Best copy available
missing page 1-2

Due to the presence of sea water within the marshlands and parallel bar ridges, soils have high concentrations of
salts, which make them incapable of sustaining agriculture, except when they are thoroughly washed. The predominant
soil class is Solonchak (gleyco, ortico and takirico), as well as some Regosol eutrico.
The climate in this region is hot, and varies from dry to subhumid. The predominant vegetation associations are
mangrove forest and low deciduous tropical forest. Halophytic vegetation predominates, but there are also medium
deciduous tropical forests; induced grassland; palms; and salt marsh vegetation (see the following section for descriptions
of the vegetation communities).
One important aspect worth mentioning is that this coastal plain extends into the Pacific Ocean, creating an
ample continental shelf, which offers rich fisheries for the coastal communities. The Tres Marias islands are considered
part of this province, but they are not included as part of this study.

(2) The Central Neovolcanic Axis Coastal Zone (CNVACZ) lies within the western part of the province, with
a coastal length of approximately 80 km. It is characterized by a very complex physiography, with some plains and
sierras which are part of the Neovolcanic Axis bordering the Pacific Ocean. The lithology of this zone is comprised of
acidic, extrusive igneous rocks, and basic, intermediate and sedimentary rocks. The predominant soil present in the plain
is Cambisol eutrico, while in the sierra Feozem haplico is the dominant soil, characteristics of being highly erodible at
steep slopes.
The climate in this zone is hot subhumid, with winter rain less than 5% of the annual total. The vegetation that
predominates is subdeciduous medium tropical forest, but there are also some mangrove communities, as well as irrigated
and non-irrigated agriculture.

(3) The South Sierra Madre Coastal Zone (SSMCZ) lies in the northwestern part of the South Sierra Madre
Province, which is one of the most complex and less known regions of Mexico. Its characteristic features are due to its
relation with the Cocos Plate, which in turn gives this whole region a high seismicity, particularly in the coasts of
Guerrero and Oaxaca.
The coastal length of approximately 110 km is characterized mainly by Sierra Vallejo, which has a mixed
lithology. It also consists of coastal plain, with a delta at the border of Nayarit and Jalisco where the Banderas Valley is
located, and some ramified valleys with an association of hills along the San Marcos River. These drain into the Pacific
Ocean, and consist of alluvial soil surrounded by hills with volcanic rocks.
The predominant soil in this zone is the Feozem haplico, with the exception of a small band at the Banderas
Valley consisting of Fluvisol eutrico soil. The climate of this region is mainly hot subhumid, with winter rains of less
than 5% of the annual total. An exception is the area at the Banderas Valley, which is less humid than the others. The
vegetation is dominated by subdeciduous, medium tropical forest, with areas of palms, mangroves, small patches of
deciduous low tropical forest, and non-irrigated agriculture.

Description of Resources of the Coastal Zone

The following descriptions of resource characteristics are general for the coastal zone of Nayarit. The
community types as identified here are shown on MAP 1--Land Cover. These are broad classes of vegetation
associations, representing rather homogeneous stands of vegetation or human-dominated land uses. These broad classes
of communities easily lend themselves to development of land-use management controls that will best protect the
Ten major community or land-use types were identified in this study. They are described as follows:

1. Sand Dunes (Dunas Costeras) (DC). This vegetation community is found on sand dunes located along the
coastline, and has an important role in establishing and maintaining the structural integrity of coastal
ecosystems, protecting the valuable estuarine and shoreland systems behind them from storm damage and
erosion. In most instances, dune vegetation is found landward of sand beaches.

Common species:
(Opuntia dillenii) Nopal.
Sea grape (Coccoloba s.p.) Uva Marina.
(Bromeia pingun) Timbiriche.
(Pectis spp.)
(Trianthema portulacastrum)
(Okenia hpogna)
(Jouvea straminea)
(Prosopis iuliflora)
(Celtis i2uanae)
(Crateaeva tapia)
(Acacia cochliacantha)
(Crescentia alata)
(Gouinia virgata)

2. Mangroves (Manglar) (MA). Mangroves are found primarily around estuaries, coastal lagoons and marshes.
Typical species include: white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), which is the dominant species overall in the
mangrove forests of the NCZ; and red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), taller than 20 m, dominant in fringing
areas of the river deltas and near the inlets of lagoons. Behind these fringe and riverine forests, white
mangroves occur in practically monospecific stands (Flores-Verdugo et al., 1990). Gomez-Pompa (1978)
describes the presence of white mangrove as characteristic of perturbed zones or areas with higher

sedimentation; therefore, the presence of monospecific populations of white mangrove in estuaries and lagoons
may indicate a drastic perturbation and high rate of sedimentation.
The presence of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) is variable. It is very uncommon in Agua
Brava lagoon, with isolated patches in the lagoons at Bahia de Banderas, but is the dominant species fringing the
parallel linear coastal lagoons formed by stranded beach ridges. In this area it is possible to observe a distinct
zonation pattern in a short transect, with white mangrove in the fringe, black in the middle, and buttonwood
(Conocarpus erectus) on the top of the sand barriers (Flores-Verdugo et al., 1990). In some estuarine areas like
that of La Tovara, there are mangrove-associated species such as cat-tail (Tvoha spp.), arrowroot (Thalia spp.)
and knot-grass (Paspalum spp.), which is indicative of a higher freshwater input than the other mangrove areas
in the northern coastal plain of Nayarit.

Common species:
White Mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) Mangle blanco.
Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) Mangle rojo o Candelon.
Black Mangrove (Avicennia nitida) Puyeque.
Buttonwood (Conocarpus erecta) Boncahui.
Arrowroot (Thalia spp.) Quento.
Cat-tail (Tyvha spp.) Tule.
(Paspalum spp.)
(Cvnodon spp.)

3. Wetland (Popal) (PO). This is an herbaceous community characteristic of swampy marshes of the coastal plain,
with permanent water with depths of approximately 1 m. The vegetation is rooted at the bottom, but their
broad leaves are above the water surface.

Common species:
Water-lilies (Nymphaea spp.) Lirio.
(Calathe spp.) Popoay.
Arrowroot (Thali spp.) Quento.
Cat-tail (Tvha spp.) Tule.

4. Palms (Palmar) (PA). With a density of approximately 500 trees per hectare, this community is found in the
parallel bars of the coastal lagoon system. There is one representative species: guacuyul (Orbignva guacuvule).
In other areas, such as the southern part of the NCZ, another type of palm can be found, the palmetto (Sabal
mexicana). This species is frequently present in humid and subhumid zones of low altitude. The northern limit
of the distribution of the guacuyul palm is at Nayarit (Pennington and Sarukhan, 1968). Some palm
communities are the product of human perturbation, while others are naturally occurring (Gomez-Pompa, 1978).

Common species:
(Orbignva guacuvule) Guacuyul.
(Sabal mexicana) Sabal.

5. Deciduous Tropical Forest (Selva) (FS). These are communities formed by arboreal vegetation, composed of a
great mixture and number of species. They are fairly open, relatively low forests of broad-leaved trees, with
some epiphytes and vines. Much of the foliage is lost in the dry season.
Three types of this category are classified according to the height of the trees in the community. The
High Deciduous Tropical Forest (Selva alta), with tree heights greater than 30 m, is not found in the NCZ.
The following types of Deciduous Tropical Forests are communities found within the coastal zone of Nayarit:

5a. Medium Deciduous Tropical Forest (Selva median) (FSm). Trees in this community attain heights of
between 15-25 meters. During the driest part of the year they loose between 25-50% of their leaves. They are
present under different climates, but mainly in areas with 1400 mm or more rain per year and with a
pronounced dry season. This community is difficult to characterize, due to its diverse vegetative composition.
It is composed of dry-tolerant species of the high tropical forest, along with representative species of more
humid areas of the low tropical forest, plus some species which only grow in this community.

Common species:
(Enterolobium cyclocarpum) Guanacaste o Parota.
(Ficus spp.) Chalate o Higueron.
(Tabebuia rose) Rosamorada.
(Ceiba etandra) Ceiba.
(Roseodendron donell) Primavera.
(Cochlospemum vitofolium) Rosa amarilla.
(Cecroi obtuse) Trompeta.
(Brosimum alicastrum) Capomo.
(Orbignva guagcuvu Guacuyul.
(Coccoloba spp.) Juanper.
(Bursera spp.) Palo Blanco.
(Pithecellobium dulce) Guamuchil.
(Hymenaea courbaril) Guapinol.
(Sabal spp.) Palma de viga.
(Acacia cornigera) Cornezuelo.
(Pidium guaiava) Guayaba.
(Bursera simaruba) Papelillo.
( spp.) Capulin.

(Croton draco) Sangre de Drago.
(Guazuma spp.) Guacima.
(Acrocomia spp.) Coyul.
(Byrsonima crassifolia) Nanche.
(Swietenia humilis) Venadillo.
(Hura polvandra) Haba.
(Vitex mollis) Ahuilote.
(Cedrela spp.) Cedro.
(Inga spIa) Guamo.
(Andira inermis) Tololote.
(Trichilia glaba) Limoncillo.
(Bursera simaruba) Jiote.
(Gliricida sepium) Cacahuananche.
(Lonchocarpus spp.) Cabo de hacha.
(Lysiloma divaricata) Tepemezquite.
(Karwinskia humboldtiana)
(Ouercus spp.) Encino.
(omoea spp.) Osote.
(Cordia elaeagnoides) Barcino.
(Astronium graveolens) Palo de cera.
(Annona squamosa)
(Heliocarpus spp.) Majahua.

5b. Low Deciduous Tropical Forest (Selva bqja) (FSb). Vegetation in this community reaches heights of between
4 and 15 meters. Species of the low deciduous forest lose more than 75% of their leaves during the driest part
of the year. This type of vegetation is found mainly in low hill areas and along some of the sierras, such as
Sierra Vallejo, where it is the dominant community. The vegetation plays an important role in soil retention,
protecting these areas from erosion.

Common species:
(Coccoloba spp.) Juanper.
(Acacia cochliacantha)
(Cochlospemum vitofolium) Rosa amarilla.
(Enterolobium cyclocarpum) Guanacaste o Parota.
(Ficus spp.) Chalate.
(Brosimum alicastrum) Capomo.
(Tabebuia rose) Rosamorada.

(Juliana adstringens) Cuachalate.
(Ceiba etanda) Ceiba.
(Cedrela spp.) Cedro.
(Cecroia obtusa) Trompeta.
(Hura polvandra) Haba.
(Inga spua) Guamo.
(Ceiba spp.) Pochote.
(Pseudobombax ellipticum)
(Guazuma spp.) Guacima.
(Gliricida sei) Cacahuananche.
(Sabal spp.) Palma de viga.
(Leucaena glauca) Tepemezquite.
(Acacia spp.) Huizache.
(Acacia pannatula) Tepame.
(Hymenaea courbaril) Guapinol.
(Cochlospernum spp.)
(Acacia cornigera) Cornezuelo.
(Heliocarpus spp.)
(Tabebuia spp.)
(Leucaena spp.)
(Byrsonima crassifolia) Nanche.
(Quercus spp.) Encino.
(Lysiloma acapulcensis) Tepeguaje.
(Belotia mexicana)
(Orbignva cohune) Coco de aceite o Palo mulato.
(Plumeria rubra) Rosa blanca.
(Bursera simaruba) Jiote o Papelillo.
(Acronomia spp.) Cuyul.
(Swietenia humilis) Venadillo.
(Brumelia persimilis)
(Andira inermis) Tololote.
(Roseodendron donnell)
(Psidium gzuaia) Guayaba.
(Croton draco) Jaral o Tacote.
(Pithecellobium dulce) Guamuchil.
(Cresentia cuiute) Guastecomate.

6. Halophytic Vegetation (Vegetacion Halofita) (H). This vegetation association is developed in soils with a high
content of salts. It is mainly found in the low lands of closed basins, and in the low areas surrounding
estuaries, lagoons and salt marshes, where it is dependent on tides or periodic flooding. The vegetation is
associated with mangrove forest.

Common species:
(Pnicum spp.)
(Bromus spp.)
(Dactyloctenium spp.)
(Laguncularia racemosa) Mangle blanco.
(Rhizophora mangle) Candelon o Mangle rojo.
(Concocarpus erect) Botoncahui.
(Cynodon spp.)
(leusine app.)
Knot-grass (Paspalum spp.)
(Dactylotenium spp.)
(Acacia spp.)
(Avicennia nitida) Puyeque.
(Phithecellobium dulce) Guamuchil.
(Sporobolus spp.) Zacate malin.
(Batis maritima) Vidrillo.
(Acacia spp.) Huizachillo.
(Opuntia leptocaulis) Tasajillo.

7. Induced Grassland (Pastizal Inducido) (Pi). This type of vegetation appears when the original dominant
vegetation of an area is eliminated either by clearing of land or in abandoned agricultural areas, as well as in
burned areas due to frequent fires. Savanna is frequently included in this vegetation type.

Common species:
(Cvnodon spp.)
(Sporobolus spp.)
(Bouteloua spp.)
(Chloris spp.)
(Muhlenbergia spp.)
(Dactyloctenium spp.)
(Aristd pp.)
(Byrsonima crassifolia) Nanche.

(Acacia spp.)
(Sabal spp.)
(Tabebuia spp.) Amapa prieta.
(Orbignva spp.) Guacuyul.
(Psidium spp.) Guayabo.
(Crescentia alata)
(Coccoloba barbadensis)
(Sanium spp.)
(Opuntia puberula)
(Rauwolfia tetraphylla)
(Schizachyrium hirtiflorum)

8. Agriculture (Agricultura) (A). This category includes all of those concepts related to the use of land and soil
management with the purpose of producing crops. Classification is made on water use for crops and according
to the length of time the crop grows on the land. Agricultural categories are as follows:

8a. Irrigated Agriculture (Agricultura de Riego) (Ar). These are areas transformed for the specific purpose of
agriculture. The use of land is intensive, with alternated crops. This particular type of agriculture is practiced
in those lands where the vegetative cycle of crops is assured by water from irrigation, for at least 80% of the
year, for a certain period of time.

According to length of the crops:
(Ara) Irrigated agriculture, annual. This means that the crops spend no more than one year under cultivation.
There may be crop rotation during a single year on the same land, or every other year. Included in this
category are crops such as corn, beans, wheat, etc.

(Arp) Irrigated agriculture, permanent. This means that the crops spend a period of several years under
cultivation, and generally more than 10 years.

Common species:
Sugar cane (cana de azucar), soy bean (soya), onion (cebolla), garlic (ajo), peanuts (cacahuate), corn (maiz),
mango (mango), watermelon (sandia), tobacco (tabaco), banana (platano), rice (arroz), etc.

8b. Non-Irrigated Agriculture (Agricultura de Temporal) (At). This type of agriculture is practiced on those
lands where the vegetative cycle of the crops depends on rain water. These lands could be left without
cultivation for some time, but they must be under cultivation at least for 80% of the years for a certain period
of time.

Common species:
Corn (maiz), soy bean (soya), peanut (cacahuate), banana (platano), mango (mango), etc.

Bernal Diaz del Castillo was the first to record some impressions of Mexico. He noted the striking variety in
land types of the so called "New World". Even though the vegetation has been much altered, the basic types remain in
vivid contrast as Diaz described them. Variety in Mexican topography, climate, and vegetation has given rise quite
naturally to an equally varied animal life (Leopold, 1972). Unfortunately, the animal wealth is shrinking in both variety
and abundance as the Mexican landscape is cleared and put to economic uses.

Nayarit abounds in birds. The following list includes the more important game birds, as well as the birds most
likely to be seen by tourists and bird watchers. Eight major groups of birds are defined, which identifies them mainly
with their habitat or importance as a resource for some human activities.
Each group is followed by a list of most of the species of birds known to inhabit the coastal zone of Nayarit,
based on the works of scholars such as Edwards (1955, 1968); Gulick (1965); Leopold (1959, 1972); Arellano y Rojas
(1956); and Peterson and Chalif (1973). The English common name of the bird is first listed, followed by scientific
name and then the Mexican common name.

1. Marine and seashore birds: In this category are included all the birds whose habitat is mainly marine and or along
the shore of the NCZ. Some of these may be resident or migratory.

Common marine and seashore birds:
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalus) Pelicano.
Frigate Bird (Fregata magnificens) Tijereta o Fragata comun.
Olivaceaus Cormorant (Phalacrocorax olivaceous) Pato buzo o Cormoran.
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) Tildio grande
Heermann's Gull (Larus heermanni) Gaviota obscura.
Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla) Gaviota.
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) Gaviota.
California Gull (Larus californicus) Gaviota.
Bonaparte's Gull (Larus philadelphia) Gaviota menor.
Bridled Tern (Sterna anaethetus) Golondrina marina collareja.
Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) Golondrina marina real.
Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegant) Golondrina marina elegant.
Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus) Golondrina marina gorriblanca.

Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) Rabijunco piquirrojo.
Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) Sula piesazulez.
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) Sula cuellioscura.
Willet (Catoptrophorus seminalmatus) Playero pihuihui.
Wandering Tattler (Heteroscelus incanus) Playero sencillo.
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia) Playero alzacolita.
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interres) Vuelvepiedras comun.
Surfbird (Avhriza virata Playero roquero.
Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) Zarapito piquilargo.
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus Zarapito cabezirrayado.
Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) Chorlito
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) Chorlito tildio.

2. Wading birds: Included in this category are those birds that feed along shorelines or in shallow waters, mainly in
estuaries and marshes. Some nest in the mangrove forest, and some only winter there.

Common wading birds:
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Mescuan.
Common Egret (Casmerodius albus) Garza comun.
Snowy Egret (Leucophoyx thula) Garza.
Egrets: (Egretta caerulea) Garza azul.
(Egretta tricolor) Garza vientriblanca.
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) Garza ganadera.
Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax violaceus) Garza nocturna coroniclara.
White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi) Ibis obscure.
Wood Stork (Mvcteria americana) Ciguena americana.
White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) Borregon o Ibis blanco.
Roseate Spoonbill (ALaia alaja) Espatula.
Northern Jacana (Jacana sinosa) Jacana.
Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius) Macaco.

3. Resident Waterfowl: In this category are those waterbirds known to be resident in the NCZ, and that are important
game birds, widely hunted either for sport or for food. Their habitat is mainly in the estuarine lagoons and
marshes, as well as some freshwater bodies.

Common resident waterfowl:
Black-bellied Tree Duck (Dendrocvgna autumnalis) Pato Pichichin.

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata) Pato real o Perulero.

4. Migratory waterfowl: Here are included the water game birds whose wintering grounds are located along the coastal
zone of Nayarit. The habitat is mainly the same as that for the resident waterfowl.

Common migratory waterfowl:
Blue-winged Teals (Anas cyanoptera and Anas discors) Cerceta cafe y Cerceta de alas azules.
Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) Cerceta de lista verde.
Pintail (Anas acuta) Pato Golondrino.
Baldpate (Mareca americana) Pato calvo o panadero.
Gadwall (Ana strera) Pato Pinto.
Shoveler (Spatula clyeaa) Pato cucharon o cuaresmeno.
Canvasback (Avthva valisineria) Pato Coacoxtle o borrado.
Redhead (Avthva americana) Pato cabeza roja o Guayareja.
Lesser Scaup (Avthva affinis) Pato Boludo.
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) Pato Tepalcate o Sonso.
Snow Goose (Chen hyperborea) Ansar blanco
White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) Ganso frente blanca.
Coot (Fulica americana) Gallareta.
Common Gallinule (Gallinula cloropus) Gallareta frentiroja.
Purple Gallinule (Porphyrula martinica) Gallareta morada.

5. Terrestrial gamebirds: This category encompasses most of the widely hunted gamebirds whose habitat is terrestrial,
and can be found in terrestrial areas bordering coastal marshes and estuaries, as well as forested areas of the

Common terrestrial game birds:
Rubescent Tinamou (Crypturellus cinnamomeus) Perdiz canela.
Crested Guan (Penelope purpurascens) Choncho o Faisan griton.
Chachalaca (Ortalis poliocephala) Chachalaca.
Tree Quail (Dendrortyx macroura) Codorniz coluda.
Douglas Quail (Lophortx douglasii) Codorniz de Douglas o Chacuaca.
Red-billed Pigeon (Columba flavirostris) Patagona o Torcaza.
Mourning Dove (Zenaidura macroura) Huilota o Rundacha.
White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) Paloma de Alas Blancas o Huilota Costera.
White-tipped Dove (Letotila verreauxi) Alcabuz o Cuizula.
Ruddy Quail-dove (Geotrvgon montana) Paloma montanera.

Inca Dove (Scardafella inca) Cocochita o Torcacita.
Rock Dove (Columba livia) Paloma domestic.
Red-billed Pigeon (Columba flavirostris) Paloma morada ventriobscura.
Common Ground Dove (Columbina Passerina) Tortolita pechipunteada.

6. Birds of prey: This category includes the birds that prey on other vertebrates and reptiles, as well as those that feed
on dead vertebrates and reptiles not killed by them.

Common birds of prey:
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo iamaicensis) Gavilan.
Common Black Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) Aguililla.
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) Quelele.
Black Vulture (Coravgys atratus) Zopilote.
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) Aura.
Sparrow Hawk (Falco sparverius) Halcon Cernicalo.
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) Halcon Peregrino.
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Aguila pescadora.
Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus) Aguililla aura.
Wood Owl (Ciccaba virgata) Mochuelo cafe.
Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) Tecolotillo rayado.

7. Ornamental and singing birds: In this category are those birds that are trapped for aesthetic purpose, either for their
sheer beauty or for their singing. Also included are those species frequently sought by birdwatchers.

Common ornamental and singing birds:
Blue Mockingbird (Melanotis caerulescens) Mulato.
Common Mockingbird (Mimus polvylottos) Cenzontle.
Brown-backed Solitaire (Mvadestes obscurus) Jilguero.
Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) Carretero.
Yellow-winged Cacique (Cassiculus melanicterus) Calandria o Galantina.
(Aimophila ruficauda) Gorrion cachetinegro tropical.
(Passerculus sandwichensis) Gorrion sabanero comun.
Streak-backed Oriole (Icterus pustulatus) Calandria.
Military Macaw (Ara militaris) Guacamaya verde.
Orange-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga canicularis) Periquito o Cotorrita frentinaranja.
White-fronted Parrot (Amazona albifrons) Perico o Loro.
Lilac-crowned Parrot (Amazona finschi) Perico o Loro.

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) Colorin.
Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus) Tirano tropical.
Elegant Trogon (Trogon elegans) Coa.
Citreoline Trogon (Trogon citreolus) Coa.

8. Other birds to watch: This category includes the rest of the birds that were not included in the other categories.

Colibris o Chuparrosas:
Long-tailed Hermit (Phaethornis suprciliosus)
Broad-billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris)
Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila)

Carpinteros o Chacos:
Golden-cheeked Woodpecker (Centurus chrvsogenvs)
Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos scalaris)
Pale-billed Woodpecker (Phloeoceastes guatemalensis)

Roughed-winged Swallow (Steleidopteryx ruficollis)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica.
Grey-breasted Martin (Progne chabea).
Swallow (Stelgidopterix serripensis).

Martin pescadores:
Belted Kingfisher (Megacervle alcyon)
Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana)

Other Common Birds:
(Cacicus melanicterus) Tordo aliamarillo.
(Icterus pustulatus) Bolsero pustulato.
(Agelaius phoeniceus) Tordo sargento.
(Bombvyilla cedrorum) Ampelis americano.
(Lanius ludovicianus) Verdugo americano.
Cactus wren (Campylorhinchus brunneicapillus) Matraca desertica.
Happy wren (Thyrothorus felix) Troglodita feliz.
Boat-tailed Grackle (Cassidix mexicanus) Zanate.
San Blas Jay (Cissilopha san-blasiana) Chereque.

Magpie Jay (Calocitta formosa) Urraca.
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) Cacalote.
Raven (Corvus corax) Cuervo.
Lesser Roadrunner (Geococcyx velox) Correcamino o Faisancillo.
Groove-billed Ani (Crotophaga sulcirostris) Ticuz o Chicurra.
Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis) Tapacamino pucuyo.

The following is a list of most of the mammals that can be found in the coastal zone of Nayarit, some of which
are threatened or endangered in Mexico or in other parts of the world:

Common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) Tlacuache.
(Marmosa canescens) Tlacuachin.
Nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) Armadillo.
White-sided jackrabbit (Levus alleni) Liebre.
Mexican cottontail rabbit (Svlvilagus cunicularis) Conejo.
Eastern cottontail rabbit (Svlvilagus floridanus) Conejo.
Gray squirrel (Sciurus colliaei) Ardilla.
Coyote (Canis latrans) Coyote.
Gray fox (Urocvon cinereoargenteus) Zorra gris.
Ring-tailed cat (Bassariscus astutus) Cacomixtle.
Raccoon (Procvon lotor) Mapache.
Coati (Nasua narica) Tejon o Coati.
Weasel (Mustela frenata) Comadreja.
Hooded skunk (Mephitis macroura) Zorrillo listado.
Spotted skunk (Spiogale pygaea) Zorrillo manchado.
Hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus mesoleucus) Zorrillo.
River otter (Lutra annectens) Nutria o Perro de agua.
River otter (Lutra longicaudis) Nutria o Perro de agua.
Jaguar (Felis onca) or (Panthera onca) Jaguar o Tigre.
Ocelot (Felis ardalis) Ocelote o Mojocuan.
Margay (Felis wiedii) Tigrillo o Winduri.
Puma (Felis concolor) Puma o Leon de montana.
Jaguarundi (Felis vagouaroundi) Oncilla o Jaguarundi.
Bobcat Lynx rufus) Gato montes.
Collared Peccary (Pecari taiu) Jabalin o Pecari de collar.
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virzinianus) Venado cola blanca.

Balantiopteryx plicata
Diclidurus virgo
Noctilio leorinus (Murcielago pescador)
Pteronotus davvi
Pteronotus arnellii
Pteronotus personatus
Mormoops megalophvlla
Glossophaga comissarisi
Glossophaga soricina
Choeronyscus godmani
Leptonycteris sanbomi
Stumira lilium
Chiroderma salvini
Artibeus intermedius
Artibeus iamaicensis
Artibeus phaeotis
Artibeus toltecus
Centurio senex
Desmodus rotundus (Vampiro)
Natalus stramineus
Myotis fortidens
Lasiurus borealis
Lasiurus ega
Lasiurus intermedius
Rhogeessa parvula
Nyctinomops aurispinosus
Molossus ater
Molossus molossus

Rats & Mice/Ratas y Ratones:

Oryzomys melanotis
Oryzomys valustris
Reithrodontomys fulvescens
Peromyscus banderanus
Peromyscus nerfulvus

Baiomvs musculus
Sigmodon mascotensis
Neotoma alleni
Liomvs pictus

Studies on the herpetofauna of Nayarit have not been published yet, but there is good information on the
Mexican herpetofauna generally, published by Smith and Smith (1977). Based on this synopsis, and other bibliographic
resources such as Gulick (1965) and HABB et al., (1990), the following list of reptiles of the coastal zone of Nayarit has
been compiled:

Aquatic Reptiles:
American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) Caiman o Cocodrilo.
Water snake (Natrix valida) Culebra de agua.

Marine Reptiles:
Sea Turtles:
Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) Tortuga Laud o de Canal.
Green turtle (Chelonia mvdas ) Tortuga verde o Cahuama.
Olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) Tortuga Golfina.
Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) Tortuga de Carey.
Sea Snakes:
Yellow-bellied sea snake (Pelamis platurus) Serpiente Marina.

Terrestrial Reptiles:
Mexican iguana guan iguana) Iguana verde.
Spine-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura pectiata) Iguana negra.
Beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum) Escorpion.
Spiny swift (Sceloporus sp.) Lagartija escamosa.

Gecko (Peropus mutilatus)
(Phyllodactylus lanei)
Anole (Anolis nebulosis) Camaleon.
Race Runner (Cnemidophorus sp.)
Skink (Eumeces callicephalus)

(Eumeces parvulus)

Poisonous Snakes:
Mexican rattlesnake (Crotalus triseriatus triseriatus) Vibora de Cascabel.
Mexican moccasin (Aakistrodon bilineatus) Cantil.
Coral snake (Micrurus diastema distans) Coralilla.

Non-poisonous Snakes:
Boa (Constrictor constrictor imperator) Boa o Ilamacoa.
Ring-necked snake (Diadophis dugesii
(Lampropeltis triangulum nelsonii)
(Lampropeltis triangulum schmidti)
Garter snake (Thamnophis sp.)

Other Snakes:
(Hypsiglena toruaa) Culebra.
(Masticophis striolatus) Culebra corredora.

Mud turtle (Kinosternon hirtipes)
(Kinosternon intearum)

Endangered Wildlife Species
One of the most important aspects of environmental conservation is the protection of endangered or threatened
species. The world conservation community has focused much of its attention on the plight of tropical forests. Millions
of hectares have been transformed to logged forest or shifting cultivation, and several other millions had been entirely lost
(permanently cleared) for agriculture, grazing lands, various kinds of plantations, and other land uses, such as industrial
or urban use. Deforestation is high in some areas of the world, and most of the forest on these so called "hotspots" of
deforestation will be completely disturbed in less than thirty years. An assault of this magnitude will have profound
consequences on the global pool of species. At the present time, the recorded extinction rate for higher vertebrates has
been kept at a respectable 151 species over the past 400 years. Tragically, however, for every species listed as
endangered or extinct, at least a hundred more will probably disappear unrecorded (Wilcox, 1988).
The presence of highly valuable species of wildlife in the coastal zone of Nayarit requires urgent measures for
protection and conservation. The following is a list of the species listed by the IUCN (HABB, 1990) as threatened or
endangered species for Mexico, which are found in the coastal zone of Nayarit:

Ocelot (Felis ardalis) Ocelote.
Jaguarundi (Fells vagouaroundi) Jaguarundi.
Margay (Felis wiedii) Tigrillo o Winduri.
Jaguar (Panthera onca) Jaguar.
River otter (Lutra longicaudis)

American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) Caiman o Cocodrilo.
Green turtle (Cheloni mvdas) Tortuga Verde o Cahuama.
Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys cori Tortuga Laud o de Canal.
Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) Tortuga de Carey.
Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivac) Tortuga Golfma.

Peregrine falcon (Falco veregrinus) Halcon Peregrino.
Crested guan (Penelote purpurascens) Choncho.
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Aguila Pescadora.
Common black hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) Aguililla Negra.
Zone-tailed hawk (Buteo albonotatus) Aguililla Aura.
Orange-fronted parakeet (Aratinga canicularis) Cotorrita Frentinaranja.



The Nayarit Coastal Zone (NCZ) has for a long time been a great prospect for the development of tourism,
and in recent times for the development of aquaculture and other fisheries-related activities. The pressure which has
lately been exerted for the development of the coastline will tend to shrink undeveloped lands and strain environmental
resources, if it is not properly planned for and controlled. The importance of determining, prior to development, where
the most suitable and most sensitive lands are, and setting in place guidelines and regulations to insure that they will
remain intact, cannot be overstated. Their value to wildlife, economic vitality, and future generations should not be
overlooked. Fortunately, the State government has considered the potential consequences if development is not regulated
and properly planned, and has stated its desire that the environmental resources of the NCZ should be protected.
Presumably, without a wider perspective, that is, without a landscape perspective, effective planning and
management that might preserve portions of the landscape mosaic is not possible. The first stage in developing a
landscape perspective is to identify environmental constraints and opportunities for development. The second stage is to
recommend development guidelines and a regulatory framework that will ensure that development is consistent with the
goals of environmental protection.
The quality of an environment results from an interplay of both natural ecological communities (e.g., forest,
wetlands, grasslands) and lands which have been put to residential, commercial and agricultural uses. Often, most
emphasis is placed on the developed uses and little attention is given to maintaining a portion of the landscape in wild and
scenic uses. Sometimes it is quite difficult to express the value of these wildlands to regions that are experiencing rapid
development pressure, since wildlands are in great supply (and therefore little valued) and development lands are in short
supply (and therefore much valued) (Brown, 1989). The value and importance of wildlands is often seen when they are
already overdeveloped and not much is left to conserve or protect.
The value of environmental resources to tourist economies is increasingly recognized, as travelers all over the
world seek destinations that have not become overdeveloped. Resources that are treated as integral parts of a tourist
development plan become no-cost, self-sustaining amenities that have the potential to increase total number of tourists,
number of tourist days and, ultimately, total revenues received (Brown, 1989). In addition, a healthy environment is
essential for economic vitality.
The coastal zone of Nayarit offers a unique and relatively pristine environment that is rich in marine and
terrestrial resources. These resources may become the basis for expansion of the state economy through increased tourist
revenues. The importance of these resources to developing the tourist potentials of the coastal zone of Nayarit cannot be

Sound resource management should involve: (1) preservation of unique ecological communities, (2) preservation
of important wildlife habitats, (3) development of a network of wildlands, (4) regulation of development impacts, (5)
enhancement of existing ecological communities and wildlife habitats, and (6) encouragement of site-sensitive
development patterns (Brown, 1989). By incorporating these principles, it is expected that development in the NCZ will
avoid, and in some areas reverse, the decline in environmental quality and will enhance the terrestrial and marine
environments through careful development siting and management. Issues related to the development of the NCZ can be
grouped into three broad categories: those related to the direct losses of unique ecological communities and environmental
services; those related to secondary impacts of development; and those resulting from increased human access.

Direct and Indirect Effects of Development Activities

Direct Losses of Ecological Communities
As lands are developed to accommodate human uses, by necessity the natural organization of vegetation cover is
altered. For the most part, the development process clears land of vegetation, recontours the land surface where
necessary, and covers the land with roads, buildings and landscaping. As a result, a portion of the landscape is directly
converted from natural ecological communities to developed lands.
Generally, the loss of ecological communities directly impacts wildlife that depend on these areas for feeding,
breeding, and nesting sites. The more widespread the development, the greater the area disturbed and the greater the
losses of wildlife species. Compact development that leaves large contiguous areas of lands undeveloped helps to
maintain ecological communities and wildlife populations.
The wildlife habitat value in developing landscapes is more related to the size of undisturbed lands than to the
total area. With a given area of undisturbed land, the best configuration is one that produces large blocks of
interconnected wildlands instead of many small patches (Harris, 1984). Connections (or corridors) between wildlands
help to increase their value as wildlife habitat. The increased mobility and exchange of wildlife species and individuals
between wildland patches helps to ensure continued viability of wildlife populations and increased access to food and

Secondary Impacts on Ecological Communities
The most important secondary impacts from development are: 1) erosion of unstable lands, resulting in
sedimentation and increases turbidity in downstream areas, and 2) release of waste by-products (sewage, solid wastes, and
storm water runoff) to the environment. These are considered secondary impacts since the development of lands results
in secondary affects on the surrounding environment. Secondary impacts, for the most part, are avoidable with proper
siting and regulation.
The severity of potential impacts from erosion and downstream sedimentation is related to the physiographic
characteristics of coastal lands. The NCZ is divided into 3 physiographic regions as described in Part 1, Section 1 of this
volume: the North Pacific Coastal Plain Zone (NPCPZ); the Central Neo-Volcanic Axis Coastal Zone (CNVACZ); and
the South Sierra Madre Coastal Zone (SSMCZ). This division clearly depicts two different types of terrain: a northern

coastal plain, and a mixture of plains, hills and sierras in the south, where some terrain is relatively rugged, with areas of
extreme slope.
The northern coastal plain (NPCPZ), while prone to floods, has relatively flat terrain, and the severity of
erosion potential is low (although still important). The southern portion of the NCZ, which includes CNVACZ and
SSMCZ, has more relief. The high relief, combined with sparse vegetative cover and highly erodible soils, creates
conditions of soil instability that are easily aggravated.
Areas that are cleared for development have the potential of affecting down-slope areas if cuts, clearings and
excess materials are not stabilized rapidly. Once soil surfaces are exposed, the energy in rainfall is not dissipated by
vegetation, and soil particles are easily lifted from the soil surface and carried down-slope with surface runoff.
Continued exposure to rainfall removes soil from the bases of rocks, eventually causing them to loosen and tumble down
In all, once erosion on the higher slopes begins, the effect on down-slope ecological communities can be
extremely devastating. First, eroded materials may be deposited in down-slope locations in sufficient quantity to bury
vegetation. Second, loosened rocks that have sufficient energy may clear paths in vegetation as they roll downhill,
exposing additional soil and increasing the potential for further erosion. And third, soil that is repeatedly exposed to
rainfall may erode faster than vegetation can become established in sufficient quantity to stabilize the slope.
Secondary impacts can easily affect an area equal to or greater than the area that was originally cleared.
Indeed, one of the greatest potential impacts is increased sedimentation and turbidity in nearshore waters that may extend
over several thousands of hectares after a single rainfall event. Yet these impacts are easily controlled if proper
development guidelines are implemented, and land owners are encouraged to pay particular attention to erosion control
measures. In general, shoreland developments should be regulated so that the amount of impervious surface is minimized
and barren soils are rapidly stabilized.

Indirect Impacts Resulting from Increased Access
If a previously undeveloped area is suddenly easily accessed by an increasing number of people, indirect losses
of environmental quality will result. In addition, the impacts of wastes like sewage effluent and garbage from an
increasing population can cause significant deterioration. Indirect losses associated with an increased presence of human
population include: trampling and cutting of vegetation, increased erosion, pollution, increased occurrence of fire, and the
flight of wildlife (Brown, 1989).
Wherever human use of the landscape increases, the potential for the decline in the overall quality of the area is
increased. Through increased traffic, waste, noise, and the like, greater stress is placed on the ecological communities of
the area. Both vehicular and foot traffic trample vegetation and expose the soil to the action of wind and rain. Increased
gathering of wood, seeds, fruit, and wildlife may over-exploit the resources and drive them to extinction (Brown, 1989).
The northern area of the coastline has been used as a hunting ground for several wildlife species, such as waterfowl,
jaguar, bobcat, collared peccary, rabbit, and quail. Some trade with exotic birds is also a current practice.
The demand for marine resources in areas surrounding urban concentrations usually far exceeds sustainable
yields. First, the increased population density increases demand. Second, urban populations with higher income also

increase demand. And third, urbanization often results in a high concentration of poor who, by necessity, extract
resources from the local environment.
While the direct impacts of conversion are somewhat easier to visualize and are generally assumed to be of
primary importance in maintaining a high quality environment, the indirect effects associated with development often have
greater potential to compromise environmental quality. To minimize indirect impacts, access to selected areas of the
coastal zone need to be controlled, and the secondary impacts from waste products and erosion need to be regulated.
The release of waste by-products from developed areas is another important secondary impact. Development
within the coastal zone affects the both quality and quantity of surface water after storm events. With increased areas of
impervious surface, the speed and volume of runoff from developed lands after storm events are increased. Stormwater
runoff carries with it silt and sediments, oil residues, heavy metals, and trash.
Increased population density means increased spatial density of wastes. Where populations are concentrated in
the coastal zone, human and industrial wastes are often discharged in ocean outfalls, often untreated. Further inland,
sewage wastes from developed areas are usually discharged to a nearby river that carries them downstream toward
nearshore waters and estuaries. In some areas of the world, a third alternative for sewage waste management is the
injection of untreated sewage directly into below-ground aquifers.
Solid waste disposal in the coastal zone is problematic. Often, solid wastes are dumped in "low" areas (marshes
and mangrove swamps) or directly in the ocean. Accumulations of solid wastes in streets, if not removed regularly, are
washed with the next rainfall to the nearshore environment.
The impacts of the release of waste by-products from developed lands act to stimulate aquatic production, and
often cause changes in fresh water and marine community structure. When high-nutrient waters characteristic of sewage
outfalls come in contact with coral reefs or sea grass beds, the over-nutrification often shifts communities to lower
diversity ones, having lower values as nursery grounds or for artisinal fishing. Over-nutrified lakes and streams have
lower dissolved oxygen, and fish populations often shift to less commercially-desirable varieties.


There are 4 main activities that occur (or potentially may occur) within the NCZ that are directly related to the
quality of its marine and terrestrial resources. These include: tourism development, marine construction, mariculture
development, and fishing. In addition, two broad areas of activities, development in rural watersheds and development
activities in urban watersheds, while not necessarily within the coastal zone, have profound impacts on coastal resources
and have been included in the analysis of human impacts. Table 2.1 lists marine related activities, major problems
associated with each activity, and their primary and secondary impacts on the terrestrial and marine environments of the
coastal zone. Brief discussions of each activity are given next.

Tourism Development

Tourism development has become an important alternative for needed foreign currency throughout the world in
developing countries. In island nations with extensive coastal shorelines and associated beaches, reefs and marine grass
beds, the potential is significant. Limitations to resort development are both external and internal. The major external
limitation is developing a sufficient "market share" to warrant increased resort development, and while all indications are
that world tourism is still growing, it represents a limitation not easily overcome. Often, in the rush to develop tourist
resorts, the very resources which attract tourists are neglected, not protected, and lost. Once gone, reefs, beaches, and
coastal habitats are not easily replaced.
In the Nayarit, like many other places world-wide, the major internal limitation is the lack of adequate
infrastructure in the form of road networks, airports, public water supplies, and waste treatment technologies. Provision
of the needed infrastructure represents a significant investment that must be financed from external sources. The net
benefits from tourism development under these circumstances are questionable, when both economic and environmental
costs are considered (Brown and Murphy, in press; Oliver-Smith et al., 1989). As a result of this lack of public
infrastructure, many hotels are required to provide their own services at varying degrees of success and efficiency.

Maior Problems and Resulting Impacts
The major problems and resulting primary and secondary impacts from the three main activities of tourism
development are summarized in Table 2.1. The general trend is an increase in the pressure on the local environment as
tourism development increases. The major problems that result can be grouped into 3 broad areas: (1) release of
pollutants, (2) direct conversion of terrestrial and marine habitats, and (3) increased demand for resources.

Release of pollutants. There are several sources of pollutants resulting from tourism development in the coastal zone.
The largest is domestic sewage from beach-front hotels and ancillary developments. Other sources of pollutants include
stormwater runoff, dumping of solid wastes, and oil and fuel from marinas and boat operation. In some areas, the
dumping of solid wastes directly into coastal waters can represent a significant source of potentially hazardous material.
In well-mixed surf zones and tidal locations the ultimate consequences of ocean outfalls for domestic sewage are
disputed. The enrichment of marine waters that are notoriously low in available nutrients may actually increase
productivity, yet net increases in productivity alone may not justify the practice. Since both of these communities depend
on extremely clear waters, over-enrichment from sewage outfalls and the resulting increases in algae production can have
serious impact on water transparency, and thus on coral reefs and marine grass beds (Snedaker and Getter, 1985). Coral
reefs are particularly sensitive to toxins that may be released as non-point sources of storm water runoff or from marinas
(fuel and oil).
Maintenance of good water quality is not only important to marine organisms, it can seriously affect human use
of marine resources as well. With the release of sewage and non-point source stormwater runoff, water quality can be
negatively affected to the point that recreational uses and harvest of marine resources for consumption are impaired.

Table 2.1 Matrix of coastal related activities, problems, and impacts

Activities Major Problem Coastal Impacts
Primary Secondary

I. Tourism Development-
Hotel & infrastructure
construction & operation

Release of pollutants
& toxins

Direct conversion of
terr. & marine habitats

Increased resource

Marina construction & operation

Direct conversion of
terr. & marine habitats

Release of toxins

Recreational activities

II. Marine Construction

Im. Mariculture Development

IV. Fishing





Water pollution

Loss of habitat &
foodchain support

resource depletion

Loss of habitat &
foodchain support

Water pollution


Physical destruction/
turbidity increases

Physical destruction/
turbidity increases

Loss of fishery/
habitat destruction

Shifts in comm. structure of marine
habitats, violation of safe water
quality standards

Shifts in community structure,
decreases in organism abundance,
loss of fishery potential

Collapse of reef community, loss of
fishery potential, destruction of
terrestrial habitats

Destruction of reefs & terr.
habitats, loss of fishery potential

Alteration of marine systems &
violation of safe water quality

Destruction of reefs & grassbeds

Destruction of
reefs/grassbeds/mangroves & other
terr. communities

Loss of mangrove, salina, and
marine grassbed ecosystems;
Impacts on ecosystem

Collapse of fishery

Table 2.1 (continued)

Activities Major Problem Coastal Impacts
Primary Secondary

V. Activities in rural watersheds

VI. Development of urban watersheds

Inflows of sediments

Inflows of

Altered freshwater

Inflows of sediments

Inflows of

Altered freshwater

Increased resource

Solid waste dumping

Increased turbidity

Water pollution

Increased &/or
decreased freshwater

Increased turbidity

Water pollution

Increased freshwater

resource depletion

Water pollution

Loss of marine ecosystems

Alteration of marine ecosystems &
violation of safe water quality

Alteration of estuarine/mangrove

Loss of marine ecosystems

Alteration of marine ecosystems &
violation of safe water quality

Alteration of estuarine ecosystems

Collapse of fishery/reef

Aesthetics/damage to marine

While many beaches have well-mixed surf zones, others can easily concentrate human wastes resulting in
dangerously high levels where water quality standards for human recreational use are exceeded. While indications are
that some marine organisms (bottom fish) do not concentrate trace metals from sewage outfalls (Mearns, 1981) there is
still cause for concern regarding benthic invertebrates, filter feeding mollusks, and other invertebrates like crabs, shrimp,
and lobster.

Direct conversion of terrestrial and marine habitats. With the construction of tourist resorts, marinas and associated
infrastructure, terrestrial communities like beach and dunes, back dune areas, mangroves, and areas of salina are directly
converted. Often, coral reefs are removed or channels blasted to provide access to open waters. Marine grass beds and
mangrove swamps are often dredged to provide boat access to marinas. These conversions are direct and irreparable.
The connections between terrestrial and marine habitats, the values of fringing mangroves and reefs as buffers
against storm waves, not to mention the importance of many of these habitats to indigenous and migrating fauna, make
their conversion problematic. Conversion of any of the coastal communities, because they are tightly coupled, causes
loss of habitat value and food chain support throughout the coastal zone. The impacts are manifested in shifts in the
community structure of reefs and grass beds, decreases in the abundance of certain marine organisms, and the eventual
loss of fishery potential.

Increased demand for resources. The international tourist consumes nearly 20 times the resources that a local citizen
consumes (Brown and Murphy, in press). The net effect of an increased population of tourists is to increase demands on
the environment to a much larger degree than would occur with "normal" population growth.
Wherever concentrations of human populations increase, there is an increased demand for resources from the
surrounding environment. Tourism development increases the demand for fishery resources, potable water, land, labor,
and even such obscure resources as palm fronds for thatching of beach front palapas. With increased demand comes the
potential for over-exploitation. Many of the reefs and grass beds throughout the world in tourist areas exhibit indications
of over-fishing of such desirable marine organisms as lobster, conch, and the larger reef fish (Snedaker and Getter,
The demand for curio items like corals and sea shells can easily outstrip the potential of the marine environment
to provide them on a sustainable basis in areas of intense tourist development. As these resources are exploited,
associated secondary impacts include the complete collapse of reef communities. These communities cannot sustain high
levels of harvest of top levels of the food chain without serious shifts in populations of lower food chain organisms
(McClanahan, 1991). Economic dislocation of artisanal fisherman follows the initial increase in income and numbers of
fishermen as over-exploitation eliminates the resource base upon which they depend.

Current Status in the NCZ
Sewage treatment is probably the single most important service (other than potable water supply) necessary to
protect the health and safety of people living (or visiting) in the coastal zone, and yet it is the one most often neglected by
public and private development. In many areas of the coastal zone, development, whether for tourism or urban

expansion, is not serviced by a central sewage treatment system, or small package facilities. The common practice is to
discharge wastes directly to nearshore waters. Public waste treatment facilities in the coastal zone are inadequate. The
consequences are staggering. Virtually all existing development in the coastal zone and much of the new development
either discharges domestic sewage untreated directly into coastal waters or uses leach-fields or septic pits where space and
soil types permit. All of these practices degrade the quality of the resource base for tourism and threaten the health of
the permanent population and visitors alike.
In areas of existing tourism development, and radiating outward along the coasts, associated impacts on the
marine and terrestrial communities are pervasive. Wherever beach-side development of tourist resort facilities was
observed, complete alteration of beach and dune communities throughout the immediate area of each complex was
standard practice. Associated road networks and nearby commercial developments contributed further to destruction of
dune and back-dune vegetation.
Evidence of destruction of reef communities and marine grass beds is more difficult to document without
extensive investigation. The mechanical disturbance of marine grass beds has become a serious problem in areas where
there is heavy boat traffic and may be surmised to be of minor importance in most of the coastal zone, since the number
of boats and marinas in areas of seagrass bed communities is relatively small. The construction of beach groins is
standard practice in many beach-side developments that results from constructing too close to the water's edge. Beaches
are by nature shifting systems, at times having a positive flow of incoming sand and at times having a negative balance.
Once constructed, groins rob "downstream" locations of their sand supply. The problem of beach erosion is displaced
from one location to the next with the net effect that no net increase in beach is achieved. There was little evidence of
beach groins and jettys within the NCZ.
Discharge of sewage to nearshore waters resulting directly from tourism development, while occurring at most
locations of coastal development, was relatively small in magnitude except in Bandaras Bay. Tourism development in the
Bandaras Bay can be surmised to be contributing to an already-serious situation, since many direct discharges to the
nearshore waters already exist.

Marine Construction

Major Problems
The construction, maintenance, and operation of port facilities can represent a significant impact on the
environment. Dredging of habitats for port creation, channel maintenance, and release of toxins and other pollutants are
the major problems. A brief discussion of each follows.

Dredging and ietty construction. In nearshore waters, deep water access to ports for ocean going vessels must be
provided and maintained. The process of dredging, whether for new port construction or for maintenance of existing
facilities, directly converts marine and terrestrial habitats, increases turbidity, and can be a source of pollutants from
accumulations in sediments. The process of dredging converts habitat directly, and disposal of dredge spoil often further

damages habitat. Physical destruction of habitats threatens listed wildlife species, impacts fisheries, and causes loss of
sediment trapping capacity and loss of storm surge protection.

Release of toxins, sewage, and garbage. In both nearshore waters and deep water shipping lanes, the release of ballast,
sewage, and garbage can pose a threat to marine resources. Ballast often contains toxic substances which, if released in
open waters, probably do not reach concentrations that may be significant. Yet oil residue often forms tar mats that are
unsightly and unpleasant to tourists and present an ecological problem on beaches and fringing reefs. Sewage discharges
at sea do not present the problems of shore-based discharges. Open sea dumping of garbage is problematic because of
the prevalence of non-biodegradable plastics that foul beaches and can be ingested by marine mammals, fishes, and birds.

Current Status
Little is known concerning the current status.


General Description
Typically, the construction of ponds for mariculture occurs in salina areas. The salinas are often upland, but
immediately adjacent to mangroves, but are sometimes found next to bays or lagoons separated from these open water
systems by a natural dike of coral rock or sand bar. Sometimes upland fringes of mangroves are converted, and in the
more serious cases ponds are constructed next to estuaries within mangrove forests. In field surveys of the coastal zone,
there is evidence of mariculture operations in the NPCPZ.

Major Problems
Where mariculture operations are constructed directly within mangrove communities, estuarine food chains can
be seriously degraded from the loss of organic matter inputs. Large expanses of mariculture ponds immediately upland
from mangrove communities alter, and in the worst cases, eliminate overland flow of rain water into the mangrove. The
increased soil salinities that result can kill trees.
Access by local populations to open waters via tidal creeks can be inhibited, and in some cases mariculture
dikes provide access to mangroves for wood cutting that otherwise may not have been possible. Increases in suspended
sediment load from mariculture pond construction are temporary, but erosion of constructed dikes can be a long-term
source of sediments if not stabilized.

Current Status
Based on 1989 data, the largest concentration of shrimp mariculture ponds is in the San Blas area (20), and the
total for the entire coastal zone of Nayarit was nearly 28 ponds. The area of shrimp mariculture ponds that have been
constructed was estimated as 597.5 ha, although only 144.5 ha were in operation. It is estimated that Nayarit has about
91,000 ha of coastal lands that are physically developable for mariculture and is considered to have the second highest

potential for developing a shrimp mariculture industry. The annual growth rate of aquaculture production in Nayarit
between 1987-89 was over 44%, one of the highest in the world, and production from shrimp mariculture on a per capital
basis was higher than the average for Mexico, Latin America and the world.


General Description
Mostly at an artisanal level, the fishery of Nayarit is dominated by demersal species. The major fishing zones
are the Bay of Bandaras and Cape San Blas areas which dominate the coastal fishery as the source for the largest portion
of total annual catch. With increased coastal development, the potential for over-fishing the entire marine fishery is
significant. In addition, resulting from increased local demand at urban centers and in areas of tourism development,
local stocks can easily be depleted.

Major Problems
Over-fishing causes collapse of the fishery when harvest is greater than population recruitment and growth rates.
Once the fishery begins to decline, increased effort to sustain yields results in decreased catch to effort ratios. Often,
prices rise reflecting the scarcity of supply, which in turn continues to place increased pressure on declining fish stocks.
Once collapsed, economic dislocation of fishermen results, and increased imports of fish and fish products are necessary.

Current Status
There are 14 fishing communities with a fleet of 303 small boats and approximately 790 fisherman in the Bay of
Bandaras fishery. The 1990 catch was estimated as 1764 MT with a total value of 10380 million pesos, or U.S. $3.7

Activities in Rural Watersheds

General Description
The primary activities of concern are agriculture, deforestation, and hydroelectric and irrigation projects.
Agricultural activities contribute to sediment transfer and the introduction of pesticides, herbicides, and nutrients to the
marine environment. Deforestation contributes to the transfer of sediments and alteration of timing and volumes of
freshwater inputs to the coast. The construction and operation of dams alters discharge regimes of major rivers, and thus
the timing and volume of fresh water entering the marine environment.

Major Problems
The major problems in the coastal zone that result from rural watershed activities, whether agriculture, forestry,
or dams, can be grouped into three areas: (1) inflows of sediments, (2) inflows of toxins and nutrients, and (3) altered
fresh water inflows.

Inflow of sediments. Agricultural practices and deforestation act to increase sediment transfer to the coastal zone, yet
hydroelectric dams can trap sediments and, as a result, minimize negative coastal zone impacts that may have otherwise
occurred. On the other hand, productivity of estuaries and river delta areas depends on an adequate supply of sediments
and organic matter from terrestrial sources. There are numerous examples, worldwide, where loss of sediment inputs has
caused irreparable damage to coastal fisheries, and even erosion of delta land masses (e.g., the collapse of the herring
fishery at the mouth of the Nile River [George, 1972], or the loss of wetlands at the Mississippi River delta).
The impacts of alteration of sediment inputs to marine environments can result from either too much sediment
input or too little. Where sediment loads increase, the impacts are sedimentation and increases in turbidity in nearshore
areas with subsequent loss of grass beds and reefs. Where sediment inputs are diminished because of diversion or
impoundment behind dams, loss of marine productivity and even erosion of shorelines (resulting from a negative balance
between erosional and depositional forces) can result.

Inflows of toxins and nutrients. Agricultural watersheds and dispersed rural populations without adequate sewage
treatment can add significant amounts of agrochemicals and human wastes to river systems via runoff, which are in turn
carried to the marine environment. Toxins interfere in biochemical processes, can be magnified in food chains to
humans, and can ultimately result in the collapse of marine fisheries and ecological functions of marine systems receiving
them. Increased nutrient inputs can be beneficial, especially if there is a significant harvest of organisms (and thus
removal of nutrients) from the receiving marine ecosystem. Yet in many areas, over-enrichment results in declines of
fragile ecosystems like corals and seagrass beds and eventual collapse of marine fisheries and ecological function. In all,
with increased inflows of toxins and human sewage, safe water quality standards are violated and waters are rendered
unsafe for human uses.

Altered freshwater inflows. The volume and timing of freshwater inflow to marine systems is critical. Modification of
inflows causes rapid fluctuations in salinity and disrupts the saltwater-freshwater interface. With reduced flows, higher
salinity water migrates inland, and flushing of soil salinity from mangroves is impaired. With increased discharges,
marine organisms that are adapted to higher salinity waters migrate seaward or become extinct. Changes in the
periodicity are detrimental to coastal organisms that cannot adapt to fluctuations in salinity, often pushing ecological
communities in the saltwater/freshwater interface toward lower diversity and lower yield systems.

Current Status
There is a paucity of reliable data on the levels of contamination and sewage enrichment of fresh water inputs
and nearshore coastal environments. The evidence of problems and impacts remains anecdotal.

Activities in Urbanized Watersheds

General Description
Whether increasing in size, or remaining relatively stable in spatial extent, urbanized watersheds affect water
quality, timing, and quantity. Increased area of impervious surface increases the speed and volume of runoff after storm
events. Stormwater runoff carries with it silt and sediments, oil residues, heavy metals, and trash.
Increased urbanization and population density means increased spatial density of wastes. Where urban
populations are concentrated in the coastal zone, human and industrial wastes are often discharged in ocean outfalls, often
untreated. Further inland, wastes from urban concentrations are usually discharged to a nearby river that carries them
downstream to the coastal zone.
Solid waste disposal in the coastal zone is problematic. Often, solid wastes are dumped in "low" areas (marshes
and mangrove swamps) or directly in the ocean. Accumulations of solid waste in streets, if not removed regularly, are
washed with the next rainfall to the nearshore environment.
The demand for marine resources in areas surrounding urban concentrations usually far exceeds sustainable
yields. First, the increased population density increases the demand. Second, urban populations with higher income also
increases demand.

Major Problems
Altered freshwater inflows. Alteration of the hydrologic regime through increased impervious surface has two
deleterious impacts on nearshore waters. First, during storm events nearly all rainfall runs off the urban area
immediately, because there is little soil or surface storage. Second, during drier periods of the year there is less base
flow in rivers and streams with large urban concentrations, since runoff during rain events is so high. Altered timing and
volumes of freshwater inflows causes greater fluctuations in the salinity of nearshore waters, seriously impacting species
composition, lowering productivity, and ultimately decreasing stability of marine ecosystems. The net result in human
terms is the decline of nearshore fisheries.

Inflows of toxins and nutrients. Liquid wastes from industry and human sources are serious threats to the nearshore
marine environment if concentrations exceed the capacity of the environment to assimilate them. Factors affecting the
assimilation capacity are: type and concentration of the waste, type of community receiving the wastes, and other abiotic
factors, such as mixing of the nearshore waters, rainfall, and soils (in terrestrial communities). The impacts of
discharges of human and industrial wastes in the coastal zone are relatively straightforward: they cause water pollution,
which in turn causes alteration of marine communities, poses human health risks, contaminates nearshore fisheries, and
increases eutrophication that contributes to the decline of coral reefs and seagrass beds.

Inflows of sediments. Sediment transfer to the marine environment from urbanized areas can be significant. Where
sediment loads increase, the impacts are sedimentation and increases in turbidity in nearshore areas, with subsequent loss
of grass beds and reefs.

Increased resource demand. Increased demand for resources from urbanized areas in the coastal zone is probably the
single biggest factor affecting the sustainability of nearshore fisheries. Ultimately, without strict controls on use of
resources, whether fisheries, beaches, or wildlands, the quality deteriorates with increased populations, and the ecological
systems that produce the resources eventually collapse, undergoing regression to a simpler, earlier successional

Solid waste dumping. Dumping of garbage in the coastal zone is problematic because of improper handling and location
of dumps. The practice of using wetlands, direct dumping in coastal waters, landfills located next to river floodplains,
and build-up of garbage in streets results in release of solid wastes and landfill leachate directly to surface waters. The
prevalence of non-biodegradable plastics in garbage can foul beaches and can be ingested by marine mammals, fishes,
and birds. Landfill leachate contains many toxic compounds and metals that can represent serious threats to marine
communities and, ultimately, human health.

Current Status
In the developed areas of the coastal zone the volume of freshwater runoff from urban areas is estimated to be
more than double what it was prior to development (using a runoff coefficient of 80%). There are no estimates of the
amount of sediment and trash/garbage that is carried annually to nearshore waters via stormwater runoff from urbanized
Where urban populations are connected to a sewage system, the systems are usually inadequate. In many areas,
there are no centralized sewage systems. All "treated" sewage is discharged either to rivers (which discharge to
nearshore waters) or discharged through ocean outfalls. Untreated sewage is either discharged on-site through septic
tanks and leach beds, or discharged to rivers or nearshore waters. In other words, effectively, there is little or no sewage
treatment in the coastal zone.
Current demand for coastal resources like firewood and fishery products is difficult to estimate. However, as
an example of the pressure on the environment to provide resources, an estimate of the demand for charcoal in the San
Blas area using an annual consumption of 0.4 m'/capita (Cobb et al., 1991) and standing stock in mangroves of 25 m'/ha,
suggested an annual rate of potential deforestation of the mangrove community of about 15 hectares per year.

Summary and Recommendations for the Coastal Zone

Given in Table 2.2 is a ranking of the main activities in the NCZ by the following 8 criteria: hydrologic
importance, socio-economic importance, ecological importance, irreversibility, temporal trends, spatial scale, urgency,
From the ranking and our review of the coastal environment, we have developed several main conclusions and
general policy recommendations that are given next.

Major Conclusions
Consideration of the review of the activities, problems and impacts in the coastal zone has led to 5 main

1. The human impacts in the coastal zone at the present time are reversible, but continued development without
attention to resource management will exacerbate the problem.
2. There is a serious paucity of adequate data with which to make accurate assessments of the scale and

magnitude of problems, and to guide interventions and public policy, especially in the areas of:
a. natural resource inventories
b. fishery status
c. water quality
3. The most critical problem in the NCZ zone is increased demand for resources (most prominent is fishery
resources) from:
a. tourism development
b. increased urbanization
4. The second most important problem in the NCZ is freshwater inflows to nearshore waters, especially related
a. sediments and organic matter
b. contaminants
c. pulsing of fresh water inflows (timing and volume)
5. The third most critical problem in the NCZ is "multi-use" conflicts, manifested as cumulative impacts. For
a. cumulative impacts of pollution, loss of freshwater inputs, and over-fishing in fisheries;
b. cumulative impacts of loss of fresh water inputs, wood cutting, and mariculture
construction on mangroves.

Four recommendations follow from these conclusions:

1. Increase the quality and quantity of data related to the amount and quality of coastal zone resources, their
use, and the impacts of human activities.
2. Maintain and enhance freshwater inflows to the nearshore waters, but at the same time decrease sediments
and contaminants.
3. Develop a better understanding of the cumulative impacts of human activities in the coastal zone that can
guide policy and management.
4. Develop a comprehensive master plan and resource management plan for the NCZ to guide future

Table 2.2 Ranking of Environmental Impacts in the Coastal Zone

Activity/Problems Hydrological Socio-Economic Ecological Irreversibility Trends Scale Urgency
Importance Importance Importance Gravity

Tourism Development
Release of Pollutants
Habitat Conversion
Inc. Resource Demand

Marina Development
Release of Pollutants
Habitat Conversion

Recreation Activities
Increased Boat/Diving

Marine Construction
Channel & Jetty Const.
Release of Pollutants

Maricult. Development
Habitat Conversion


5 3 2

4 2 2

4 5 4

Act. in Rural Watersheds
Inflow of Sediments
Inflow of Pollutants
Alt. of Freshwater Inflows


Table 2.2 (continued)

Activity/Problems Hydrological Socio-Economic Ecological Irreversibility Trends Scale Urgency
Importance Importance Importance Gravity

Dev. Urban Watersheds
Inflow of Sediments
Inflow of Pollutants
Alt. Freshwater Inflows
Inc. Resource Demand
Solid Waste Dumping

4 4 5


To manage the natural resources of the NCZ, a two-pronged approach is suggested. First, the sensitivities and
importance of the various vegetation communities are given, with general suggestions for effective management. In this
way particular requirements, regulations and guidelines can be tailored to ecological communities no matter where they
are located within the NCZ. Second, areas of the landscape are identified that are mosaics of ecological communities
which, because of their ecological character, location, and potential for wildlife habitat, are designated as Reserves and
Protected Areas. It is suggested that these areas be given special consideration and treatment as whole units, with
regulations and guidelines for development tailored to minimize development and maximize wildland potential.

Ecological Systems

Community types that are important and/or have particular sensitivities to development, and their value or
reason for sensitivity, are as follows:

Mangrove Areas
Mangroves form dense, almost impenetrable thickets which buffer the physical forces of storms. They clean
water by trapping silt, nutrients, and toxic substances, and they prevent land erosion. Equally important, they play a
leading role in providing wildlife habitat, and in the general ecological productivity of the northern coastal zone of
Nayarit, specifically in NPCPZ.
The mangrove ecosystem is the critical feeding and breeding area for many shore birds, reptiles, and
amphibians, and certain mammals. It is a major nursery ground for many economically important animals, including
commercially harvested fish such as mullet, sport fish (snook, snapper) and shrimp. Part of this benefit derives from the
brackish water conditions, which afford protection of the juveniles from predation, but the primary productivity of the
plant community itself is also of great importance. The detrital food chains that support fisheries production are fueled
by the food-generating activities of mangroves (Burnes, 1983). Mangrove values can be summarized as: productivity,
wildlife habitat value, and rarity.
The most important mangrove areas are located in the northern coastal zone, but there are some small patches as
well in the southern areas. Mangrove forests constitute an area of approximately 1340 square kilometers, according to
the vegetation maps from INEGI and SPP (1981).
The Teacapan-Agua Brava-Marismas Nacionales Coastal Lagoon system is one of the most extensive areas of
mangroves on the Pacific coast of North America, and is mostly located in the State of Nayarit. Another important
mangrove system is that located almost as a continuation of the system already mentioned above and comprises the
Mexcaltitan Lagoon, Boca de Camichin, Boca del Asadero and San Blas-La Tovara system. The southern coastal zone
has some mangrove patches located at Punta el Custodio, Barra de Ixtapa, Punta Chila, and Quelele Lagoon.

The ocean shoreline is nature's defense against the attack of storms, waves and currents. Ecologically, the
beach is a unique environment occupied by animals adapted to the high stress and constant motion of the beach sands,
such as crabs and clams. There are also many temporary residents, such as sea turtles that come to nest on the beach.
Countless shore birds feed at the water's edge and nest on the upper beach areas. Thus, its importance in nesting
endangered sea turtle species, and its erosion potential should not be underestimated.
The north coastal zone beaches of the NCZ have an important geological history. The sedimentary structure of
the continental terrace of the NPCPZ was studied by Curray and Moore (1964). It is a wide coastal plain of coalescing
alluvial plains and deltas, covered by littoral and alluvial late quaternary sediments. Its importance derives from the
marshy strand plain of about 250 abandoned, regressive beach-dune ridges. This coastal plain slopes gently upward to
the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental. These foothills, the western banks of the Sierra Madre, and the drainage
basins of the rivers of the Costa de Nayarit can generally be summarized as middle Tertiary volcanic, probably Oligocene
to Lower Pliocene, which range from andesite to rhyolite in composition (Curray and Moore, 1964).
The strand plain, which averages about 9.7 kilometers wide, overlaps the seaward-dipping floodplain of the Rio
Grande de Santiago and smaller adjacent rivers to the north and south. The maximum width from the present beach to
the oldest ridge is about 14.5 kilometers. The strand plain contains about 280 parallel ridges formed by successive
accretion from the shoreline of low, narrow beach ridges, overlying longshore bars. The sands are, in turn, locally
overlain by marsh, lagoon and younger alluvial deposits of the regressive sequence.
The southern coast of Nayarit (CNVACZ and SSMCZ) is characterized by a rocky, steep coastline starting
south of San Blas, where it projects seaward as a double point (Curray and Moore, 1964). The continental shelf adjacent
to this rocky coastline is narrow, and is cut by a deep trough, probably structural, which enters Bahia de Banderas and
Valle de Banderas near Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. This rocky coastline is constantly interrupted by sand beaches, some of
which are covered by coral reef fragmentation and deposition, like those on Bahia de Jaltemba at Rincon de Guayabitos
and Punta Mita in Bahia de Banderas.

Sand Dunes
Because of their value for habitat and geological stability, and their severe potential for erosion, sand dunes are
vital ecological areas. Sand dunes serve as nesting grounds for countless shorebirds, many of which come to feed at the
water's edge. They also provide habitat for foxes and other mammals that prey on insect-eating shrews, bats and mice.
White-tailed deer and rabbits graze on dune grasses and succulent plants (Clark, 1983).
Coastal sand dunes are formed when currents and waves move sand from offshore deposits to the beach zone,
from where wave action and wind will move the material above the level of high-tides, to be incorporated by vegetation
into terrestrial dunes. The vegetated dunes, specially those of the windward beaches, are subject to erosion from winds
and storm waves. Their protective covering of vegetation acts to stabilize the dune sands and minimize wind and, to a
lesser extent, wave erosion. Denuded of vegetation, they are exposed and susceptible to wind erosion.
Deforestation and water abstraction are just two of the activities by which man has altered sand dune systems.
Other activities, such as mineral extraction (sand mining), waste dumping, golf course construction, and outdoor

recreation, are part of the process which has in some instances destroyed sand dune communities. Because dune
formations are fragile, activities of man that cause even slight alterations to them may lead to significant disruptions.
When both shifting and stable dunes are destroyed, there is nothing left to stabilize the remaining sea of drifting sand but
man himself (Clark, 1983). However, there is a growing recognition that the dune system should not be over-managed.

Other Coastal Wetlands
Landward of the mangrove forests and beach and dune systems, where there is no slope or a slightly
depressional landscape, and where drainage is poor and there is sufficient rainfall, freshwater and brackish marshes often
prevail. Dominated by sedges, shrubs and herbaceous plants, they are often very productive ecosystems, providing
important habitat for a variety of indigenous and migrating birds as well as herpetofauna, reptiles and mammals.
Generally, marsh wetlands are wet year round, but may dry out occasionally during the drier times of the year.
Hydrology, especially the period and depth of inundation, is extremely important, dictating species composition. Marshes
that remain wet year-round have the greatest populations of fish and invertebrates, which form the basis for wading bird
populations. There are extensive areas of marsh wetlands in the NPCPZ within the Teacapan-Aqua Brava-Marismas
Nacionales Coastal Lagoon and the Mexcaltitan Lagoon.

Tropical Deciduous Forest
The importance of this forest rests on its rarity, due to the severe degradation that has occurred from a long
history of extensive grazing, frequent burning, and agricultural use. In some areas this system has even been eliminated.
It is also an important seed source, and provides valuable wildlife habitat. The main areas of tropical deciduous
forest in the NCZ are located in the southern coastal zone, from Bahia de Matanchen to Sierra Vallejo. Some patches of
tropical deciduous forest are also located in the northern coastal zone, like those north and south of Playas Novillero.
The most important are these are located along Bahia de Matanchen, between Punta el Caballo and Punta el Custodio;
between Boca de Chila and Playa el Naranjo; and those which are a continuation of Sierra Vallejo, which are located
between Rincon de Guayabitos and Lo de Marcos, between Sayulita and Higuera Blanca, and between Punta Pantoque
and La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.

Guts are extremely steep, forested drainage areas in mountainous terrain. While not a community type by
themselves, the forested guts of the NCZ are fragile, existing in a relatively precarious balance between fire and the
forces of water erosion and vegetative stabilization. Because of their steep slopes, and the fact that they act as drainage
ways, concentrating surface waters that run off the ridges and side slopes of the surrounding hills, actions that disturb
vegetative cover may cause significant erosion and downslope damage to both developed areas and ecological

Coral Communities
Coral reefs are among the most biologically productive, taxonomically diverse, and aesthetically celebrated
communities in the world. Hundreds of coral communities have been injured or destroyed by accelerated sedimentation.
This is due to many causes, including poor land management, dredging for marinas, and unregulated land clearing in
adjacent watersheds causing accelerated fresh water runoff, sand removal for construction and beach replenishment, and
chronic overfishing.
Corals are so central to the integrity of the reef community that when they are killed the migration or death of
many other reef animals ensues. It often takes badly damaged coral reef communities several decades to recover
completely, even under the most favorable circumstances (Johannes, 1983). Coral communities in the NCZ are located at
la Pena de Jaltemba, in Bahia de Jaltemba or Rincon de Guayabitos, and at Las Islas Marietas in Bahia de Banderas, as
well as on the rocky coastline in small patches from San Blas to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.

Seagrass Beds
Seagrass beds are extremely productive nearshore communities that provide a large quantity of food for grazers
such as fish, green turtles, shrimp and crabs, and are nursery grounds for many commercial fish including snapper and
grunt and several invertebrates including lobster. While the grasses themselves are productive, they also provide a
substrate upon which rich communities of algae grow, increasing the nutritive value and grazing opportunities for many
Seagrasses are sometimes associated with coral communities because, like the corals, seagrasses require clear,
shallow water; but unlike the corals, they require a soft substrate. Rarely are seagrasses associated with coasts dominated
by mangroves, because of the organic-stained waters that often discharge from them on the falling tide, lowering water
transparency. Seagrasses are sensitive to toxins, elevated temperatures from thermal discharges, and over-enrichment that
increase phytoplankton production, lowering light transmittance through the overlying water. Areas near large river
discharges, where turbidity is high and where fresh water inflows may lower salinity of near coastal waters, are not
conducive for seagrasses.
Seagrasses are found throughout the shallow, clear, protected marine waters. Distribution of seagrass beds in
the coastal zone is not known.

Managing Development Impacts on Ecological Systems

Development of the NCZ can easily result in the decline of environmental quality through improper siting,
secondary development impacts and increased human access. On the other hand, development offers the potential to
reverse recent trends in deterioration and enhance the overall environmental quality through controlled siting that has
minimum primary and secondary impacts, and that controls access to important wildland management areas. The
following paragraphs outline generalized development techniques and principles that may be used to guide development
and serve as the beginnings of a regulatory framework that will ensure the continued existence and enhancement of the
terrestrial and marine resources of the NCZ.

Construction Criteria for Protection of Ecological Communities

1. Down-slope wasting of cut material from roads and housing pads should be minimized under all circumstances.
2. Clearing of vegetation for housing sites should be kept to a minimum, with permits required for the cutting of
any tree having diameter at breast height (DBH--1.3 meters above ground) greater than 10 cm, or height greater
than 4 meters.
3. Permits should be required for any excavation and/or filling that involves greater than 20 cubic meters of
4. Wherever possible, access roads should follow the natural contours of the site to avoid unnecessary cutting and
5. Cleared building sites should be revegetated with appropriate native plant species as soon as possible, to avoid
erosion and down slope sedimentation.

Planning and Design Criteria for Protection of Ecological Communities

1. To minimize unnecessary clearing and loss of ecological communities, with subsequent loss of wildlife habitat,
development density should be concentrated in as small a portion of the total site area as possible.
2. Because of the potential for significant erosion and increased sediment transported to the nearshore environment,
with consequent negative impacts on nearshore marine habitats, areas of intense development should be
concentrated in the watersheds of salt ponds and wetlands, where sediments will be intercepted and will not
contribute to nearshore turbidity.
3. Windward slopes of the southern coastal zone (CNVACZ and SSMCZ), which may be dominated by vegetation
that is in a constant state of stress from salt, drying winds, and destructive wind velocities, will not recover and
recolonize disturbed areas as readily as other community types. Disturbance of the windward slopes should be
minimized, and any development should be confined to small patches at low slope and low elevations.
Clustered development, with 80-90% of the vegetation left intact, should be encouraged.
4. The wetlands (Humedales) of the NCZ, such as mangrove swamps, salt marshes and "popales", represent a
unique environmental resource. Their importance to the wildlife of the NCZ and potential importance to the
tourist industry should be weighed heavily before any proposals for their dredging or filling are approved,
especially on the projects related to shrimp aquaculture and channel dredging.
5. Because of their importance as seed sources for reforestation of the NCZ, all tropical deciduous forest areas
should be considered as candidates for a conservation designation.
6. Because of their rarity and important function as providers of habitat for fishery species, all coral community
patches in the NCZ shall be protected and considered for conservation designation.

Recommendations for the Protection of Ecological Communities

Tree Protection:
1. The cutting of live trees for charcoal production, or for domestic purposes such as posts, should be prohibited.
This use is inappropriate in resort areas. These trees are worth more for enhancement of scenery and
undisturbed wildland than for other purposes. Cleanup of downed material pushed over as a necessary part of
construction is permissible and desirable.
2. All rubber, mahogany, eardrop, poinciana, kapok, and other landscaping trees should be preserved. They are
appreciated by tourists for their exotic look, and most of them could serve for several landscaping and aesthetic
3. All trees over 20 cm DBH shall be preserved where practical, and in no case shall such trees be cut for the
purpose of landscaping. All trees over 30 cm DBH shall be strictly preserved. They should be incorporated
into the design instead of being treated as an obstacle.
4. Groves of large trees should be preserved. There are always groves in likely areas of development. Areas with
an 80% crown closure and trunks over 12.5 cm DBH for every 20 square meters shall be preserved.

Gut Protection:
1. No construction or land clearing should be done within 30 meters of any gut with a bare rock bed or clearly
discernable bed 1 meter or more in width, except that access roads may cross such guts at a right angle, on a
concrete road dish or with an adequate culvert or bridge.

Roadways Design and Construction:
1. Access roads from any development shall have trees planted in irregular groups, at least 10 trees per 30 meters
on the high side, and groups of at least 5 trees in every low spot where water runs off. Trees on the higher
side should be ornamental or shade trees where practical, or Spanish cedar in windy places.
2. Below the outfall of culverts and road dishes, a pavement of rubble shall be set so that a top rock overlaps and
covers the inside half of the rock beneath. This rubble bed shall follow the diverted water course until it re-
enters the old gut bed. If there is no old gut bed present, an apron of protective vegetation of grass and trees
may be used to spread the water. Sinks will not be used in the NCZ.
3. All road fill slopes shall have grass planted along the contour, with sprigs 30 cm apart, in rows which are less
than 1 meter apart.
4. Pathways across barrier dunes to the beach, whether created by management, guests or the public, shall be
raised above the dune surface on wooden walkways, and additional vegetation shall be established to confine
traffic to the path.
5. Secondary roads shall be located so as to avoid cutting through areas of tropical deciduous forest, mangrove
forest, or estuarine lagoons and marshes where possible. In any instance that a propose road is planned to do
any of the above, the Nayarit Coastal Zone Environmental Protection Council (the Council) should withhold

approval of the road design and proposed subdivisions until after consideration of comments presented by
SEDUE, SARH, and consultants or other qualified representative selected by the Council.

Fire Control and Wind Protection:
1. The burning of grass shall be strictly controlled. Any intentional fire set to bum or clear grassland or to
improve feed value or for other purposes shall be at moisture conditions sufficient to make a slow burning fire
and shall be set to back into the wind.
2. Fire resistant trees, such as tamarind or others, shall be planted on the upwind border of any developed property
with grassland area prone to fire.
3. Fire breaks and wind breaks shall be planted in an irregular or clumped line rather than a straight line. Several
species of plants should be used in any particular planting.
4. Windbreaks may utilize casuarina, almond, coconut, cedar, and eucalyptus. Combination windbreaks and
firebreaks are possible. Additional plants can be used to thicken the line and add texture and color.

Wildlife Resources

From the perspective of wildlife and natural resources, management alternatives are centered primarily on
reducing the impacts of development action. Summarized in the paragraphs that follow are the most significant wildlife
habitats on the coastal zone of Nayarit. Lists of species of wildlife found or expected in the NCZ are given in Section 1.

Large numbers of birds have been observed in the northern portions of the NCZ, mainly at the Teacapan-Agua
Brava-Marismas Nacionales system, where the aquatic habitat offers a valuable home for thousands of resident an
migratory birds, especially waterfowl. Leopold (1972) ranked this area as number one in Mexico, with a population
estimated around 405,000 migratory ducks and 34,000 resident ducks. Thus, the importance of this ecosystem for the
preservation of waterfowl should not be underestimated.
Migratory waterfowl and shorebirds have been experiencing dramatic declines in recent years in their North
American breeding areas, primarily because of climatic change. Their survival depends in large part on finding non-
breeding habitats in the tropics where they spend more than half of their life histories (Norton, 1989). The possibility of
gradual or incipient loss of wetland habitat in the NCZ will contribute to this decline.
Habitat preservation is one of the most important measures that can be taken in order to protect wildlife. Any
development proposal should be carefully examined in order to determine the impact of a particular project on wildlife;
and in the specific case of bird habitat, dredging shall be prohibited except when the Council otherwise considers it

Mammals and Reptiles
Managing the natural resources of the NCZ and fostering the development of eco-tourism requires that there be
a concerted effort to protect the various vegetation communities and implement wildlife management programs, in order
to monitor population densities and foraging capacity. The concept of wildlife corridors, in which linkage is maintained
between undeveloped areas, will be critical for sustained breeding units of deer, jaguar, ocelot, jaguarundi, bobcat,
margay, collared peccary, alligator, as well as the myriad of other life forms that are key elements to the ecological
Central to management will be the role of a Wildland Management Unit within the Council, which could assist
in the development of land management guidelines, monitor on-going activities, and prepare education programs that
would be used to increase public awareness of environmental concerns.
The establishment of hiking and canoe trails, and the use of guided tours with individuals trained in nature
interpretation, could provide the link between tourist development and environmental conservation in the NCZ. Wildlife
regions connected by a system of corridors and documented trails would provide resort operators with an opportunity to
exploit the growing market in travellers interested in unique landscapes and exotic animals. In addition, long-term
scientific study of these regions could be enhanced through their designation as Environmental Study Areas. This would
allow trained biologist to regularly monitor flora and fauna and prepare environmental impact assessments on an on-going
The tourist potential for guided tours of various wildlife species and their habitats is extremely high, since most
visitors to the coastal zone have never seen these animals in the wild. This activity constitutes an excellent substitute for
wildlife hunting, and will help preserve the natural resources of the coastal zone on a sustainable basis, without disturbing
the ecological balance, taking advantage of the wildlife presence in the area for the economic development of the region.

Recommendations for the Protection of Wildlife
1. Limit marine development schemes to few areas (e.g., Playas Novillero, Boca de Camichin) and protect small
water bodies, such as those found at Marismas Nacionales between Puerta de Palapares-Santa Cruz-San Andres.
Protect mangrove forests, estuarine lagoons and salt marshes for their diversity of species, which of itself could
form the basis for tourism activities in the NCZ.
2. Prepare a Development Strategy for the northern NCZ that includes a natural resource base for continued use by
resident and migratory shore and water bird species.
3. Development schemes should preserve all water bodies, brackish and freshwater marshes, and mangrove areas
of the coastal zone, such as the Teacapan-Agua Brava-Marismas Nacionales system, Mexcaltitan-San Blas-La
Tovara system, Cala Jolotemba, Cala Porterillos, Caleta Mita, Estero el Custodio, Laguna las Tortugas, Laguna
Encantada, Boca de Chila, Barra Ixtapa, Boca el Naranjo, Estero de Punta Raza, Lo de Marcos, Los Ayala, San
Francisco, and Quelele Lagoon.
4. Development of hillsides should not exceed the 150-meter elevation contour, and sedimentation traps must be
installed to abate degradation of water quality of all water bodies where construction is planned.

5. Protect tropical deciduous forests where endemic birds may be observed any time of the year. This is especially
true for the southern NCZ, where the abundance of tropical deciduous forests is higher than in the northern
NCZ. This ecosystem affords accessible habitat for wildlife observers who can experience tropical forest fauna
with some extraordinary opportunities.
6. Nature trails, wildlife corridors and wildland areas should be established as an integral part of all proposed
7. A Mammals and Reptiles Recovery Plan, which will halt population declines and initiate recovery of threatened
species, should be developed for the entire NCZ.
8. A stray dogs management program, which will control and possibly reduce their population numbers throughout
the NCZ, should be established.

Marine Resources

The marine resources of the NCZ may be divided into two major groups, related to the type of shoreline. The
first (the NPCPZ) is basically an intertidal sand beach and sand flats, while the second (the CNVACZ and SSMCZ) is
primarily dominated by intertidal rocky shores, with the presence of some small intertidal sand beach bays and coves.
The most economically important marine resource in the NPCPZ is shrimp, which is dependent on the estuarine
lagoons and mangrove systems found in this region. In general, the northern area of the NCZ supports a rich shrimp
fishery, not only for Nayarit but for other states as well. The southern coastline consists mostly of rocky shore, and has
a more diversified marine resource base in terms of its potential for the tourism development. It includes good scuba
diving areas, small coves and bays for sailing moorings, and beaches more suitable for aquatic sports facilities such as
waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, and deep sea fishing for dolphin, marlin and sail
The fisheries resources of the southern NCZ are more diverse than the norther resources, with the presence of
lobster, shrimp, red snapper, octopus, clams, oyster beds, etc. The steep, erodible nature of some areas of the southern
NCZ, with heavy rainfall in summer and early fall, make these marine resources particularly susceptible to sediment and
turbidity from terrestrial sources. Large scale development, which will change run-off patterns, introduce pollutants into
nearshore waters and increase coastal erosion, should be avoided.

Recommendations for the Protection of Marine Resources
1. Protect sea turtle habitat at beaches known to be selected by sea turtles for nesting. Encourage low density use
of beaches and dunes. Develop use regulations to protect turtle nesting.
2. Protect the Isla Jaltemba coral community as part of the Marine Park/Reserve system of the NCZ.
3. Establish a fisheries research program. Priority should be given to establishing catch limits, protected seasons
and sustainable yields, to minimize overexploitation of the fisheries of the NCZ. Methods of fishing such as
"Almadrabas", which is employed along the shoreline, may threaten recruitment and lead to stock reduction.
Careful analysis of these techniques must be done to evaluate their potential environmental impact. Ecological

and population studies on several other species, such as lobsters, clams, and popular seafood species, should be
conducted in order to establish catch limits, seasons and sustainable yields, to prevent overexploitation and the
eventual decline of these resources.
4. Establish marine aquaculture research programs for restocking heavily-fished species such as lobster, snapper,
snook, clams and shrimp. Such studies may help avoid conflicts of water use and/or potential environmental
impacts such as mangrove clearing for shrimp farming.
5. Develop environmental education programs to help prevent further destruction of the sea turtle populations.
6. Include the coral communities of Isla Isabela, Isla Jaltemba, and Islas Marietas in a coral communities
management protection plan.
7. Work with SEPESCA and the fisheries schools and fishermen to identify fish reserves to enhance fisheries
production and to provide a research site for the fisheries schools.
8. Develop marina/boating use guidelines to take into account fishing grounds and seasonal needs of fishermen.
9. Protect and manage fishing grounds and oyster beds, through the development of guidelines and regulations for
water-oriented use of bays and coves which undergo users' conflicts.
10. Prevent recreational spearfishing by tourists, and encourage local residents not to spearfish.


This discussion has stressed that the natural resources of the Nayarit Coastal Zone are unique and integral
components of the development that will follow the completion of the recommended Nayarit Coastal Zone Management
Plan (see Part 2 of this volume). It was suggested that an approach to resource management be taken that: 1) recognizes
the values and sensitivities of individual ecological communities, and encourages development to accommodate them; and
2) recommends that a broader perspective be taken to manage terrestrial resources of the NCZ, by establishing a series of
Reserves and Protected Areas (see Part 4 of this volume) that are interconnected and in close enough proximity that they
act as one unit and not as series of single isolated reserves. Seven areas were designated as Reserves and Protected
Areas. Within these areas, development may still be accommodated, but should be subject to stricter controls to insure
that it will not interfere with the primary focus of the area. The 7 proposed Reserves and Protected Areas are shown on
Map 26, and are as follows:

1. Marismas Nacionales Complex. This complex is comprised of the Teacapan-Agua Brava-Marismas Nacionales
system, which is one of the largest mangrove systems on the Pacific coast of North America. It consists of tidal
channels, seasonal floodplains, coastal lagoons, mangrove swamps, halophytic vegetation, palms, and tropical
deciduous forest. Along with this mosaic of ecological communities the Marismas Nacionales Complex supports
a very important high-diversity fish community (Flores-Verdugo et al., 1990).

2. Mexcaltitan Lagoon. This area has characteristic similar to the Teacapan-Agua Brava-Marismas Nacionales
system, and could be considered to be a continuation of it, although it is supported by different tributaries. One
of the important aspects of this lagoon is the presence of a peculiar human settlement with historical roots, and
particularly important cultural aspects. This is Mexcaltitan Island, a fishing village that should be preserved and
incorporated into the ecologically balanced development of the coastal zone. Similar to the previous system
analyzed, this lagoon supports an important artisanal fishery, and serves as a nursery ground for commercially
important species such as shrimp and fish. The mangrove communities in this area are as important as those on
the Teacapan-Agua Brava-Marismas Nacionales system.

3. San Blas-Matanchen Complex. This complex is formed by the estuarine system surrounding the historical
ports of San Blas and Matanchen. Another important mangrove community, this system supports the nursery
grounds for shrimp and other important species such as oyster, snapper and snook, as well as other important
wildlife populations such as alligators, waterfowl, shorebirds, jaguar and other wildcats. The presence of a
natural spring at La Tobara, which is connected to the estuarine system through a series of winding channels
with exuberant mangroves and other aquatic vegetation, makes this area an important tourist attraction.

4. Santa Cruz-Chacala Complex. This complex, which lies between the town of Santa Cruz and the Ensenada
Chacala, consist of a somewhat pristine tropical deciduous forest that ends nearly at the edge of the cliffs. It
has beautiful scenic vistas, with potential for natural trails and eco-tourism activities.

5. Ensenada Jaltemba. The presence of Isla la Pena at Ensenada de Jaltemba with its coral communities makes
this an important area to be managed as a Reserve/Protected Area. The coral communities on the Pacific coast
at this latitude are so unique, that any measures should be taken for the preservation of this community.

6. Lo de Marcos-Savulita Complex. The same explanation given for Ensenada de Jaltemba can be made for this
complex. In addition, the presence of tropical forest vegetation and the palm community associations in this
area makes it an important site for trail development, for eco-tourism activities, and for preservation of an
ecosystem type that has been disappearing within the NCZ.

7. Punta Mita-Las Marietas Complex. The Marietas Islands have important aesthetic beauty, and are an
important scenic vista for Punta Mita. These islands are located in an area where several whale species arrive
to complete their reproductive cycles (HABB, 1990). They also constitute an important nesting ground for
several seashore birds.

Compatible use of ecological communities by developers and resource planners is essential for the NCZ, in
order to maintain the quality of natural heritage and diversity and economic variables for sustained eco-tourism. If
maintenance of Nayarit's biodiversity and provision for eco-tourism are equally important to the development of the

Coastal Zone, these diverse goals should be compatible. Wildlife conservation and parkland legislation must be
considered concurrently with the Nayarit Coastal Zone Management Plan, in order to maintain sustainable use of the
resources of the Coastal Zone.
Development of the NCZ that takes a shorter view of the resources, or that is not cognizant of the values and
sensitivities of ecological communities, runs the risk of diminishing the natural appeal of the area. The goal of the
regulatory framework that will follow (Parts 2-4 of this volume) is the successful integration of developed lands with the
terrestrial resources of the Nayarit Coastal Zone. This is best achieved through a "partnership relationship" of humanity
and nature.
The creation of a Marine Park/Reserve is an immediate need, to manage the nearshore waters and shoreline for
conservation the marine resources of the NCZ. Special management rules, such as those listed above, along with an
overall fisheries and recreational management program, could help to ensure long-term use of the renewable marine
resources of NCZ. Special protected areas could be best administered within the overall umbrella of a Marine
Park/Reserve in NCZ. This concept is compatible with national legislation, and is also compatible with the desire of the
government of Nayarit to attract tourism, and thereby stimulate the economy.



Factors determining the quality and success of development projects include environmental impacts and local
human and social concerns. Just as there are environmental constraints and opportunities, social issues also present
development constraints and opportunities. As J. Ingersoll (in Finsterbusch et al., 1990) explained, while demonstrating
that social/cultural impact assessment (S/CIA) is both essential and possible in poor countries:

First, it is essential because people's social and cultural organization presents significant resources as well as
constraints for development efforts. The features of their social landscape are as real--if less apparent to
outsiders--as features of their natural, technical, and economic landscape. Second, SIA is possible because
methods exist in trying to optimize these human resources and cope with these constraints. In the face of
grinding poverty, development officials usually move too quickly to some technological "quick fix", ignoring
subtle social issues, which are always closely interconnected with the natural, technical, and economic
landscape. In conditions of poverty, people's social and cultural organization are always part of the solution, as
well as part of the problem to be solved.

Both the general population and public officials from the majority of developing nations have become
increasingly aware of the complex problems generated as a result of development, especially those of the tourist industry
(Turner, 1973). As part of this awareness, they are seeking increased consideration for their well-being, including
participation in the planning, implementation, and economic benefits of development projects, while at the same time
safeguarding their natural resources. In other words, they are seeking a more equitable plan for everyone, including the
environment (Bryant and White, 1982; Conyers and Hills, 1984; Derman and Whiteford, 1985; Finsterbusch et al.,
1990; OECD, 1988; Turner, 1973; United Nations, 1974 a,b, 1978; World Resources Institute, 1992). Maurice F.
Strong (First Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme) explained very clearly the importance of
local participation in development planning at the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and
coined it, "eco-development." He defined it as:
...harmonizing the economic, ecological, and social factors so as to make best use of indigenous
resources and skills in producing a sustainable pattern of development that will best accord with the
values, needs, and aspirations of the people concerned (in Beale, 1980).

Historically, development projects in third world nations were intended to boost the local economy, while at the same
time increasing profits for the developer. Yet, instead of upgrading the socioeconomic conditions of the local population,
these projects often worsened their condition. Routinely, the knowledge, experience, and technology in industrialized
nations has been transferred to the third world without concern for the differences in local environmental, social and
cultural organization. Many of the problems associated with technology transfer were related to the objectives and

strategies of the development planning, and how these in turn clashed with the local social, political, cultural and
economic conditions and aspirations (Bryant and White, 1982; Canter et al., 1988; Carley and Bustelo, 1984; Conyers
and Hills, 1984; Derman and Whiteford, 1985; Finsterbusch and Wolf, 1977; Finsterbusch et al., 1990; Lee, 1985;
OECD, 1988 a,b; Turner, 1973; United Nations, 1978; World Resources Institute, 1992). Derman & Whiteford (1985)
go further by suggesting:
Although national governments and international agencies have provided vast sums of money to
development, many projects have not only failed to improve the lives of the poor but in some cases
have created additional social and economic problems.

Realizing these past failures, international aid agencies like the United Nations, the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID), the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD), etc., have all included in their requirements for assistance, some form of social impact assessment. Many
countries, like the U.S. have, or are now taking similar steps as well (Bryant and White, 1982; Carley and Bustelo,
1984; Conyers and Hills, 1984; Derman and Whiteford, 1985; Finsterbusch et al., 1990; Freeman et al., 1980; and
OECD, 1988a,b).
In establishing policies regarding development along the Nayarit Coastal Zone (NCZ), these issues should be
addressed and given high priority. Already, local community concerns and questions have been raised regarding recent
tourist development activities along Nayarit's southern coast (Darling, 1990; and personal communication).

Community Development Issues
Local community issues, which should be of concern to developers and converted into objectives which should
be addressed in their proposals, include: health, education, labor, housing, immigration, economics, politics, culture,
recreation, and transportation, among others. All these are so-called quality of life or social indicators which are
inherently altered as a result of development projects brought into an area where humans already exist (Bryant and White,
1982; Carley and Bustelo, 1984; Conyers and Hills, 1984; Finsterbusch and Wolf, 1977; Finsterbusch et al., 1990;
Freeman et al., 1979; Lee, 1985; OECD, 1988a,b; WHO, 1981). Social indicators are important for assessing the
human and environmental conditions prior to development, and can later serve as tools for monitoring, evaluating, and
measuring where and how the selected project has progressed or regressed.

This section will outline specific recommendations and guidelines related to social impact assessment of
development proposals in the NCZ. Of vital importance, and fundamental to this plan, is the formulation of a pivotal
committee under the Nayarit Coastal Zone Environmental Protection Council (the Council) which will be called the
Community Participation Committee (CPC--see also Section 5). Its responsibilities are to review the social impacts of
all proposed development plans. The CPC's role is to guarantee, through an advising, reviewing, and monitoring
process, that local social concerns and issues be adequately and appropriately addressed in the design and implementation
of all development projects. Based on its findings, the committee submits recommendations to the Council for approval
or disapproval of an applicant's proposed development plan.


The overall goal which should prevail is to design a development review process which will provide the
information and mechanisms necessary for reviewing, informatively and intelligently, development proposals. The
primary objective of the review process is to assist in determining if a proposed project will be sustainable, compatible
with local human communities, and contribute to social well-being.
In fulfilling the desires of the people and government of the State of Nayarit, while at the same time not
discouraging development because of cumbersome regulations and restrictions, the following specific objectives are
I. Develop a Master plan containing guidelines and recommendations which can be utilize for the purpose of
planning, reviewing, assessing, selecting, monitoring, and evaluating the social/cultural implications of
proposed developments.
II. Develop and implement guidelines and recommendations designed to facilitate the project review and
implementation process by minimizing administrative red tape, complexity, time and, therefore, costs
to all parties (reviewers and developers) involved.

Recognizing that conditions and people continuously change, these guidelines and recommendations should not
be established on a permanent basis but rather, they should be periodically assessed and modified as needed.
Discouragement and frustration on the part of developers shall be avoided by not having them go through many different
government agencies for their project approvals. Instead, development approval will be determined the Council.


To achieve the goals and objectives for incorporating social/cultural concerns in the development review
process, it is suggested that a local Community Participation Committee(s) (CPC) be established under the Council.

To assure that local community issues, concerns, and desires are adequately addressed during the project review
by the Council, the Council should require from the developer a social/cultural impact assessment (S/CIA) that evaluates
past, present, and future socioeconomic conditions of the area or areas where the development is proposed; provides
mitigation for negative impacts; and plans for development integration into the area.

The Duties of the CPC are as Follows:
A. Review the S/CIA studies, results, and policies for all coastal zone development within their respective area.
B. Based on it's review findings, submit to the Council recommendations regarding its acceptance, denial or
C. Through its review process, assure that compliance with the goals and objectives of the Master Plan pertaining to
social/cultural concerns have been achieved in all proposed projects.
D. Establish, as needed, ad-hoc subcommittees to help expedite and fulfill the CPC's purpose and function.
E. To act as a vehicle for voicing the concerns of the community, as well as serving as a link between the Council and
the developer in the following manner:
1. One of its members and an alternate shall be elected by the CPC to sit as an official voting member
of the Council when development proposals for the CPC's area are considered. As a
Council member, he/she can then represent the CPC's views and lobby for its positions
relative to development proposals.
2. To serve as a direct source for information and advice to developers regarding community issues
during the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation stages of a development
3. To serve as a source for local community input and information to the Council.

The CPC's role is to save the Council time, and inform the public at large about all projects proposed for their
area. It can act as the initial screening body for the Council by reviewing a developer's S/CIA studies, results, and
proposed policies. During this initial review, all the major and minor details which are missing or need to be revised or
eliminated can be worked out. This should be conducted with sufficient time in advance to provide participation from the
local communities, through the following suggested activities which the CPC and developers should be responsible for:
1. Announcements through the local and regional media and radio of the proposed project and its policies. The
announcement should provide the CPC's address or a telephone number where the public can write or
call to express their opinions and ideas.
2. Organize local town meetings where the plan can be presented (by the developer or his representative),
discussed, debated, have questions answered, etc. One or more CPC members must be present in
order to document and follow up on the main issues and concerns expressed. One or more of the
developer's representatives are required to be present for answering questions regarding the plan.
3. Members of the CPC and representatives from the proposed project should conduct personal interviews with
members of the community to gather their opinions and concerns regarding the plan, so that they may
be taken into consideration.

Once the plan seems in order, and all relevant community input has been obtained, it will then be passed on to
the Council with the CPC's recommendations for the final review process.


S/CIA studies can be conducted utilizing established models and techniques outlined by authorities in this field,
e.g.: Derman and Whiteford, 1985; Finsterbusch and Wolf 1977; Finsterbusch et al., 1990; Conyers and Hills, 1984;
United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP); OEDC; World Bank; and USAID. It should be stressed, as some of
these authors have pointed out, that these studies should be tailored to the local social, cultural, economic and
environmental conditions (Carley and Bustelo, 1984; Conyers & Hills, 1984; Derman and Whiteford, 1985; Finsterbusch
et al., 1990; Freeman et al., 1980; OECD, 1988a,b). To facilitate this goal, participation from the community and the
hiring of local nationals knowledgeable in this field (planners, administrators, sociologist, anthropologists, etc.), as well
as other workers, should be part of the plan.
At the very least, the following objectives and specific requirements relative to social/cultural issues shall be
addressed in the S/CIA for proposed developments. The proposed project should:
A. Protect and promote the health and safety of the people and environment in which it is located. This
includes the air, water, soil, animals, and vegetation. To accomplish this, the S/CIA for the proposed
development project shall:
1. Determine the current health needs of the local population and project the future needs created
from the changes imposed by the development.
2. Assess and report existing endemic diseases, especially the communicable, host-parasitic, water
and vector-borne ones that the project will contribute to. Offer solutions for combating and
preventing the further spread of these diseases.
3. Determine, using formulas prescribed by the Council, monetary contributions for the construction
and equipping of a hospital capable of providing all the major preventive and primary
medical care services for employees, their families, and the local community.
4. Determine, using formulas prescribed by the Council, monetary contributions for the staffing,
operating, and maintenance of the health care facility.
5. Develop plans for providing physical examinations for all employees--a mandatory hiring
requirement before an employee is officially hired.
6. Develop plans for provision of bimonthly health education and disease prevention seminars
sponsored in cooperation with local health authorities.
B. Protect and promote good educational standards for all age groups of the local community. To accomplish
this, the S/CIA for the proposed development project shall:
1. Determine the current educational needs of the local population and project the future needs
created from the changes imposed by the development.
2. Determine, using formulas prescribed by the Council, monetary contributions for the construction
and equipping of a school capable of providing the necessary educational needs for
employees, their families, and the local community.

3. Determine, using formulas prescribed by the Council, monetary contributions for the staffing,
operating, and maintenance of the school facility.
C. Protect and promote good housing standards for the local community. To accomplish this, the S/CIA for the
proposed development project shall:
1. Determine the current housing needs of the local population and project the future needs created
from the changes imposed by the development.
2. Determine, using formulas prescribed by the Council, monetary contributions for the construction
of homes for employees, their families, and the local community.
3. Determine, using formulas prescribed by the Council, monetary contributions for the staffing,
operating, and maintenance of a home care and community improvement office facility.
D. Protect the local community and cultural organization. To accomplish this, the S/CIA for the proposed
development project shall:
1. Assess and report the total labor force requirements, current labor pool, and the present and future
impact of the development on supply and demand of labor.
2. Estimate projected demographic changes in the local population that will result from the
development, relative to: numbers, age, sex, and social, economic, labor, and educational
3. Assess problems arising from the social, economic, and cultural differences between the local
residents, immigrants, and visitors.
E. Protect and promote recreational opportunities and parks for the local community. To accomplish this, the
S/CIA for the proposed development project shall:
1. Determine the current parks and recreational needs of the local population and project the future
needs created from the changes imposed by the development.
2. Determine, using formulas prescribed by the Council, monetary contributions for the construction
and equipping of said local parks and recreational activities so that they may be capable of
meeting the needs of employees, their families, and the local community.
3. Determine, using formulas prescribed by the Council, monetary contributions for the staffing,
operating, and maintenance of said parks and recreational facilities.
F. Protect and promote the provision of adequate public services (water supply, sewage, solid waste disposal,
communication, and transportation) for the local community. To accomplish this, the S/CIA for the
proposed development plan shall:
1. Determine the current public service needs of the local population, and project the future needs
created from the changes imposed by the development.
2. Determine, using formulas prescribed by the Council, monetary contributions for the construction
and equipping of said public services so that they may be capable of meeting the needs of all
employees, their families, and the local community.

3. Determine, using formulas prescribed by the Council, monetary contributions for the staffing,
operating, and maintenance of said public services.
G. Respect, protect, and promote past, present, and future cultural sites, traditions, and activities. To
accomplish this the S/CIA for the proposed development plan shall:
1. Identify and preserve all known and suspected archeological sites and ruins, and provide an
archeological site protection and mitigation plan.
H. Protect and promote the local economy. To accomplish this, the S/CIA for the proposed development
project shall:
1. Assess and report the impact of the development on access by local residents to goods and services
and provide specific recommendations, guidelines and mitigation to control local prices and
supplies of goods and services.
I. Promote good working standards. To accomplish this the S/CIA for the proposed development project shall:
1. Assess and report employee wages, benefits, work schedules and intended standards for working
conditions and safety.


The process of developing the set of planning documents for the Coastal Zone of Nayarit followed the general
outline of: (1) goal articulation, (2) data collection and synthesis, and (3) plan generation. The goals and objectives are
stated fully in the Nayarit Coastal Zone Management Plan (the Management Plan--see Part 2 of this volume), and are
summarized below.

1. The Nayarit Coastal Zone Environmental Protection Council (the Council) recognizes that Nayarit Coastal
Zone (NCZ) has unique environmental resources, the conservation of which is essential to maintain the natural
diversity of plant and animal species and habitat, including those of economic value such as commercial and
sport fisheries.

2. The Council recognizes that, in order to maximize tourism and related development opportunities, it is critical
to: maintain the diversity and aesthetic quality of the NCZ; create a secure, safe and aesthetically pleasing land
management and community environment; and minimize damage to structures by natural events.

3. The Council adopts the following goals for the Management Plan and the Handbook of Development
Guidelines and Considerations for the Nayarit Coastal Zone (the Handbook-- see Part 3 of this volume):

Goal 1 It is the goal of the Council to adopt, amend as appropriate, and annually review the Management
Plan; to monitor and evaluate the progress of land development and environmental protection of the
NCZ; and to enforce the provisions of the Management Plan during the planning period following
adoption of the Management Plan.

Goal 2 It is the goal of the Council to develop the NCZ in a manner that promotes the economic and social
welfare of present and future residents and visitors of Nayarit, by means of conservative and judicious
utilization of the irreplaceable natural resources of the coastal zone.

Goal 3 It is the goal of the Council to guide development in a manner that: preserves the environmental and
cultural integrity, species diversity and scenic quality of the NCZ; promotes development patterns that
avoid areas of natural hazard; and minimizes cost and maintenance of public facilities and

In addition to these three goals, the planning team recognized nine objectives that it felt were important to
achieve sustainable and environmentally compatible development of the NCZ. These objectives were the driving force

behind the analysis of the NCZ resources; development of the Reserves and Protected Areas Plan; analysis of fiscal
impacts of development; and, ultimately, the formation of the Management Plan and the Handbook. The objectives are
summarized as follows:

1. Establish terrestrial and marine resource protection districts.
2. Create development patterns that protect scenic vistas and aesthetic quality, and that are consistent with
historic architectural traditions.
3. Plan for and provide proper level and timely public facilities and services.
4. Establish policies and regulations to minimize potential damage to property and life resulting from
natural hazards.
5. Maximize positive economic and social benefits of development, within national socio-economic
6. Balance land management and environmental protection with accommodation of vested rights of
landowners and citizens.
7. Monitor, evaluate, and change the Management Plan and the Handbook as needed.
8. Develop procedures, and assist the Minister in the administration of laws regarding land development
and environmental protection of the NCZ.



A land use management plan is composed of two interrelated elements: a set of maps or physical plans that
indicate the spatial arrangements of proposed land use zones and districts and a written set of guidelines that describe
design, construction and operation regulations. Together, these two elements comprise the "regulatory framework" by
which development is controlled and growth is managed. In addition, if the framework is to have the force of law, it
needs to have a legislative component and a regulatory apparatus. The following sections give suggestions for the
responsibilities of government and developers that will achieve the management plan's objectives.
First, the creation of a development review board called the Nayarit Coastal Zone Environmental Protection
Council (the Council) is suggested and its duties and responsibilities are outlined. Then, the responsibilities of
developers are outlined, including required impact assessments and proposed development surcharges.


The Council will act as the final development review board to insure that all development proposals within the
coastal zone are consistent with the goals and objectives of the Master Plan. All Applications for Development Approval
(ADA) will be reviewed by the Council and the Council will either recommend approval or denial to the State. The
following are suggestions for composition, funding, and responsibilities of the Council.

Council Membership

The composition of the Board members should be representative of the varying sectors (environmental,
community, and local government) affected by development. Priority for recruitment should be given to residents of the
state representing the following divisions:

Environmental sector: ecologists, environmentalists, biologists and members of related active organizations.

Social and Cultural
Community, Recreational and Cultural sector: sociologists; social workers; community workers and organizers;
religious representatives; urban planners; architects; engineers; sports, recreation, and physical educators; indigenous
tribe members; anthropologists/archaeologists; entertainment industry people, and members of related active

Educational sector: teachers, school administrators and secretaries, and students.
Health sector: doctors, nurses, public health officials and technicians, microbiologists and lab technicians,
environmental sanitation engineers/officials, and folklore and other traditional healers (i.e., "curanderos"). The "Medical
Ecologist" can also be included under this section.

Economics and Labor sectors: food and product manufacturers, distributors and retailers; farmers; ranchers;
fisheries industry workers/owners; local tourist-related industry workers/owners; labor unions; and restauranteurs.

Government Agencies: officials and representatives from the federal, state and county governments responsible
for authorizing any related building and development permits, especially those from SEDESO, SARH, SEP, SSA and
INEGI agencies among others.

Incorporating the recommendations of this report and, with the cooperation of SEDESOL (Secretaria de
Desarrollo Social), previously known as SEDUE (Secretaria de Desarrollo, Urbano, y Ecologico), the State of Nayarit
shall be responsible for:

1. Determining the mechanism for recruiting the Council's membership. Suggestions for this include:
a. Holding State-wide elections.
b. Electing some members and appointing others.
2. Determining the total Council membership number, composition, and duration of service.
3. Awarding stipends to the membership, of which the amount and schedule of payments shall be determined by
the State.
4. Providing the Council with the appropriate and adequate facilities, funds, and administrative and support
staff, so that it may fulfill its duties and responsibilities as recommended by this report, plus additional
ones the State or Council might deem fit and necessary.

The Council should establish local Community Participation Committees (CPC's), which will be under its
direction and guidance. The primary purpose of these committees is to act as liaison between local citizens affected by a
proposed development, and the Council. Once the Council has been notified by a developer of a proposed development,
the Council will appoint a CPC for the District within which the proposed development is located.

1. The CPC's function, just like the Council's, is to minimize time, costs and complexity, while at the same
time act as a vehicle for communication between the local community and the rest of the parties
involved in the proposed development and review process. Its primary concern should always be that
of the welfare of the community that will potentially be affected by the development project.

2. The CPC's membership should reflect the local communities' social, cultural, and economic composition.
3. To the extent possible, CPC membership will be comprised of local residents or workers within districts
affected by the development. The total number of members within each CPC will be determined by
the Council.
4. The Council has responsibility for recruiting/appointing the local members into a CPC.

Purpose of the Council

The Council's function shall be to review all ADA's, and to minimize administrative red tape, costs, time and
the overall complexity of the development review process. The Council shall:
1. Function as a "one-stop" agency/project approval system for anyone who plans to design or construct
development projects within the State of Nayarit's jurisdictional boundaries, including its islands.
2. Review, assess, and recommend to the State, the approval or disapproval of all coastal zone and island
development proposals.
3. Assure that all related federal, state, and local government regulations regarding development are addressed
and complied with.
4. Assure that the recommendations in this report and other environmental and community concerns and issues
are appropriately addressed and complied with.
5. Assure that the environmental and social/cultural impact assessment (EIA & S/CIA) studies and protocol
requirements are fulfilled.
6. Assure that all development plans have demonstrated to be sustainable, as well as harmonious with the
environment and its human, animal and vegetative components, before they are approved.
7. Determine appropriate quantity, type, and mechanisms for impact mitigation of proposed developments that
affect the local community and its environment.

The Council, through its CPC's, shall inform the public at large of all projects proposed in their area. In this
way, issues and concerns of local citizens can be addressed and clarified and heard by the Council. To accomplish this,
the Council shall:
1. Announce, through the local and regional media and radio, all proposed projects. The announcement should
provide the local CPC's address or a telephone number where the public can write or call to express
their opinions and ideas.
2. Organize local town meetings where the plan can be presented (by the developer or his representative),
discussed, debated, and where questions can be answered.
3. One of the CPC members and an alternate, should sit on the Council as an official voting member, in order
to represent the interests of the local community.

Funding for the Council

The state shall initially be responsible for determining the amount and sources for funding the Council and its
committees. It is recommended that a reasonable percentage should always come from at least the following sources:
1. The federal government: from its SEDESOL agency budget, corporate taxes collected, fines collected from
environmental violations, etc.
2. The State: from its state SEDESOL budget, any surcharges imposed on developers, fines collected from
environmental violations, etc.
3. A surcharge imposed on extractive industries (e.g., logging, mining, etc.), and others such as fisheries,
mariculture and aquaculture, etc.

Once the Council is fully functional, it should establish a Finance Committee, which will be responsible for:

1. All the financial matters of the Council.
2. Drafting a yearly budget, and submitting it to the State for approval and subsequent funding.


An Application for Development Approval (ADA) shall be prepared for all developments of a size greater than
a threshold to be determined by the Council. The threshold may be different for different districts (or regions) of the
coastal zone, depending on existing intensity of development and perceived environmental and cultural conditions and
sensitivities. The ADA should include sufficient maps, quantitative data, and analysis of environmental and
social/cultural impacts to judge the soundness of the development, and to judge its contributions and impacts on the local
environment and social/cultural system. The ADA should include all relevant issues and concerns addressed in Sections
2 and 3 of Part 1 of this document.

Mitigation of Imoacts

To insure that proposed developments contribute to a sustainable economy and the overall welfare of the local
community, measures for the mitigation of growth-induced environmental and social/cultural impacts should be
implemented. For simplicity, these measures can take the form of Impact Fees for the construction of schools, health
care facilities, or other public facilities within the local community. Formulas for determining the required fees should
be based on the growth-induced impacts of the development and needs of the local community.



The process of developing the land use management plan was a multi-faceted undertaking. Physical attributes of
the landscape (vegetation, land use, soils, and geology) were mapped as constraints and opportunities for development.
When combined, they yielded an Overall Development Potential Map. Sensitivities of marine and terrestrial ecological
communities were explored, and regulations were developed to minimize impacts of development. Social/cultural
constraints and opportunities were analyzed, and these formed the basis for developing impact fees and regulations for
protection of local communities. Each of these separate facets were combined into an integrated whole, which spatially
depicts developable lands and provides regulations and guidelines for their development.
A brief discussion of the process of developing these two elements (the written component and the maps) is
given next.


To generate the written component of the plan, management recommendations determined during analysis of
constraints and opportunities were coalesced into development guidelines, and related to the various stages of the
development process. Specific recommendations relating to design issues, construction practices, and site planning and
development were grouped together. Recommendations were then written in the form of regulations based on the various
development stages (design, site planning and development, and construction) using a formal language giving them a
sense of legal force. The language and style were copied from regulations and legislation that are currently in use by
governments of other countries with already successful coastal management plans. The regulations were written in this
format to make their adoption as a legal and binding regulatory framework easier.
Suggestions and mere guidelines without the force of law are often ignored, at worst, or only selectively
utilized, at best. While the language and style may seem overly restrictive, the level of regulation suggested in these
documents is quite the contrary; they are relatively permissive. Only the simplest of requirements with a minimum of
permitting is required of those seeking to develop within the Nayarit Coastal Zone (NCZ). The intent was not to
generate a complex regulatory framework that would baffle or confuse, but to provide a model framework that was not
overly restrictive (especially for small-scale landowners and those wanting to build single family residences), but that
adequately protects the environment and the health and safety of the public.


Map coverages of land cover, slope, and geology/soils (Maps 1-3) were obtained from CETENAL (1973, 1974,
1975). The map coverages were encoded into a computer based Geographic Information System (GIS). Once encoded,
they formed the basis for Constraints and Opportunities Maps. Constraint maps were generated for slope, agricultural
lands, wetland ecosystems. In each of these maps, lands were classified as "constrained", or undevelopable based on
their sensitivity, or economic/environmental importance. The resulting maps are called Constraints Maps (Maps 5-7 ).
The maps for slope, agricultural uses, and wetlands were combined into Overall Development Constraints Maps (Maps
Opportunity maps were generated from slope, vegetation and land cover, and geology/soils. In each case, the
lands remaining after the constraints were determined were classified in varying degrees of suitability for development.
The resulting maps (Maps 8-10) have varying shades of gray indicating their suitability for development: the darker the
shade, the more suitable an area is for development, and thus the higher the allowable intensity of development.
A final Development Potential Map was generated from the combination of the 3 opportunities maps by
overlaying and selecting the lowest opportunity for any areas that were shared by all 3 maps (Maps 19-25).
The Overall Development Potential Map (Map 18) gives detailed spatial zoning of the developable portions of
the NCZ. Zones or Districts are organized as intensity districts where multiple uses are allowed within districts as long as
intensities are compatible. In general, decisions of compatibility will rest with the Nayarit Coastal Zone Environment
Protection Council (the Council). Highest intensities of use are located on the least sensitive lands, while lowest
intensities are located on those lands where environmental sensitivities limit the intensity of development. Precluded from
development are wetlands, agricultural lands, and those areas where slopes, soil types, and/or other hazards exist such
that development would seriously jeopardize structures and health and safety of the public.
Developable portions of the NCZ are shown on the Overall Development Potential Map in varying shades of
gray. Areas that are intended for little or no development are those areas that remain as white background. They are
indicated as undevelopable and should remain without development because of one of several factors that will limit their
safe and environmentally benign conversion to some human use. Within the areas which are classified as undevelopable,
there may be some areas of developable lands that are not restricted by land stability problems. The scale of mappable
unit, and the quality of the original data from which the various Constraints and Opportunities Maps were made, may
have precluded small areas that are developable. It may be equally valid to consider development proposals in many
areas mapped as undevelopable on a case by case basis, where landowners or developers demonstrate to the satisfaction
of the Council that they may be safely and sensitively developed.


It is intended that the Nayarit Coastal Zone Management Plan (see Part 2 of this volume), and the Handbook
of Development Guidelines and Considerations for the NCZ (see Part 3 of this volume) foster a development pattern

that is in keeping with the character and scale of other areas of Nayarit. Land Development Intensity (LDI) Districts (see
Part 3, Section 5.2) that do not zone land uses, but rather indicate intensity of use, are utilized as a means of providing a
great amount of flexibility to both developers in their plans, and to the Council in its ability to regulate development.
The first two districts (LDI I and LDI II) are reserved for residential uses. The remaining districts (LDI In-VI) allow
most land-use activities, with fewer restrictions as intensities increase. The flexibility that is allowed with such a system
of land-use control is extensive. This pattern of development, with mixed uses based on appropriate constraints, has the
potential of establishing a socially and economically integrated community, a goal that has been at the forefront of
concern since the beginning of this planning exercise.
It is the expressed desire of the planning team to limit the size of hotel complexes within the districts allowing
this use, as a means of accomplishing two very important goals: 1) the scale of development is in keeping with the urban
scale prevalent in the NCZ; and 2) small-scale hotel development fosters involvement of local citizens, limits extensive
development by multinational hotel chains, and ensures that a substantial portion of wages, expenses and profits are
cycled through the local economy, instead of outside of Nayarit and Mexico.
Limits on the number of large hotel complexes seems entirely appropriate. If demand for hotel rooms is
sufficient, four 50-room hotels can easily satisfy the needs of the same number of tourists as one 200-room hotel, only
with more diversity of choice, a better sense of scale, and better ability to fit the social fabric of the NCZ. With
sufficient creativity, several small hotels could easily band together to offer incentives and vacation packages that would
rival those offered by the larger chains.


Overlay Districts should be generated by the Council, using site-specific data, as a means of further modifying
LDI Districts, and to provide additional information to the public. A proposed Reserves and Protected Areas Map (Map
26) is included in this report as an example of an Overlay District that would affect land use and the spatial organization
of permissible land uses. When overlaid on the Overall Development Potential Map, Overlay Districts have some added
regulations that need to be observed.
These Overlay Districts allow greater flexibility than would otherwise be possible with only one map of land use
zones. Their boundaries may be altered, they may be changed and updated at will, and their accompanying criteria may
be altered without the need to alter the Overall Development Potential Map. In this way, the Overlay Districts act as
modifiers that may be constantly updated and refined as new information is generated and development occurs. Yet the
Overall Development Potential Map can remain intact and the confusion of altering the principal planning map is avoided.
A second advantage of the Overlay Districts is the simplicity that is created. The Overall Development
Potential Map is relatively simple in comparison with other land use maps, and the primary reason is that fewer zones are
needed to adequately address both questions of land-use compatibility and environmental protection. Environmental
protection is addressed primarily by the overlay zones, freeing the Overall Development Potential Map and its zones for
addressing questions of land-use compatibility.


Accommodating intense development, while protecting unique treasures of marine and terrestrial resources in
the NCZ, is a complex undertaking. It is a question of balance. The planning documents presented in this volume are
the result of an attempt to organize the articulated goals and objectives of the government and people of Nayarit, and the
information generated as the result of studies performed by scientist and planners over the past two years, into a balanced
regulatory framework: a "Plan for the Future". These plans are models. They are a balance between development on
the one hand and strict resource preservation on the other. If adopted, in whole or in part, they will help in the complex
undertaking of managing the NCZ for future generations, as well as the thousands of visitors that will come to the NCZ
to appreciate its beauty.



The development of the Nayarit Coastal Zone (NCZ) has broad and important environmental, social and
economic benefits for both Mexico and Nayarit. Careful development can benefit from the great natural amenities of the
NCZ. The development potential, however, is limited by several physical constraints, including the future water supply,
the soils, topography and geologic formations. Excessive development intensity may cause environmental and visual
degradation, resulting in loss of the attractiveness of the region as a tourist destination.
Given these considerations, this proposed Nayarit Coastal Zone Management Plan (Management Plan) and
the Handbook of Development Guidelines and Considerations for Nayarit Coastal Zone (the Handbook--see Part 3
of this volume) attempt to accommodate an attainable level of development, while sustaining a healthy and sound
environment and economy. Thus, the Management Plan and the Handbook are designed to guide development to the
most suitable areas of the NCZ.
The Management Plan and the Handbook are companion documents, and shall be considered by the Nayarit
Coastal Zone Environmental Protection Council (the Council) as having complementary provisions. The Management
Plan sets forth goals and objectives designed to manage the development and protection of the land, natural resources and
adjacent waters of the NCZ. The Handbook contains specific policies, standards and guidelines for the implementation
of the Management Plan. It includes standards for development proposals, review procedures and development
permitting by the Council. The purpose of the Management Plan and the Handbook is to provide the general and
specific goals, objectives, policies and regulations for land-use management and environmental protection of the NCZ.

Background Information
The Management Plan and the Handbook are the result of analyses begun in 1989. These studies cover a full
range of environmental aspects of the NCZ and the waters included within it. In addition, aesthetic, economic, political
and social issues regarding the future of the NCZ were considered. The Government of Nayarit authorized and
participated in these studies.
The project has been conducted by a team of scientists, resource planners and students, including two visiting
Mexican students, at the Center for Wetlands and Water Resources, University of Florida in Gainesville. This team was
brought together under the sponsorship of the Nayarit Government, through a contract with The Cousteau Society.

Handbook of Development Guidelines and Considerations for the NCZ
The Handbook establishes how the goals and objectives of the proposed Management Plan are to be achieved.
The regulations contained in the Handbook cover development review and permitting procedures, complete with policies,
guidelines, and standards controlling land development and protection and conservation of resources in the NCZ. The
Handbook is thus part of the Management Plan, but is treated as a separate document for convenience. While the
material it contains may have wider applicability to the development of Nayarit, its provisions have been expressly
tailored to protect and enhance the natural and man-made environment of the NCZ.

Legal Authority
The State of Nayarit, in a move to protect the still pristine coastal zone of the State, is trying to promote
ecologically and economically balanced development. Therefore, the government established the "Plan Maestro Turistico
Ecologico de la Costa de Nayarit" or Nayarit Coastal Zone Management Plan. The legal authority for the adoption,
amendment and administration of the Management Plan and the Handbook by the Council, is predicated upon the
provisions of the National Development Plan 1989-1994. Related acts include the General Law on Ecological Balance
and Environmental Protection, 1988 (GLEBEP); and any other National and State acts enacted by the Governments of
Mexico and Nayarit.


1.0 Nayarit Coastal Zone Management Plan Concept

1.1 The Management Plan seeks to provide long-term benefits for the economy of the State of Nayarit, by
managing development on the Coastal Zone to maintain the natural resources and aesthetic values that make it
attractive as a tourist destination, as well as for its potential for productive activities such as agriculture,
aquaculture and fisheries. It is designed to identify the suitability of the lands in the Coastal Zone for different
types of development and conservation including: tourism and related facilities; aquaculture and fisheries and
their related facilities; retail and marine related commerce; a full range of housing opportunities and the
generalized location of streets and transport facilities; parks, public facilities and recreation areas; and natural
areas to be protected from development for economic, public safety, ecological and aesthetic reasons.

1.2 Based on an analysis of environmental constraints, permissible land development intensities that are compatible
with sound development practice have been established for the NCZ. The land development intensities (LDI's)
are intended to be a general guide to future land development. In addition to the LDI Districts, Overlay
Districts have been established for the location of public facilities and resource protection.

1.3 In general, the Management Plan will be focused on three general regions, which are described fully in Part 1
of this volume. These regions are: (1) North Pacific Coastal Plain Zone (NPCPZ); (2) Central Neovolcanic
Axis Coastal Zone (CNVACZ); and (3) South Sierra Madre Coastal Zone (SSMCZ). The greatest
concentration of development will be focused in the SSMCZ and, to a lesser extent, in the CNVACZ.

2.0 Goals and Objectives

2.1 Goals

2.1.1 The Council recognizes that the Nayarit Coastal Zone has unique environmental resources, the conservation of
which is essential to maintain the natural diversity of plant and animal species and habitat, including those of
economic value such as commercial and sport fisheries.

2.1.2 The Council recognizes that to maximize tourism and related development opportunities, it is critical to:
maintain diversity and aesthetic quality of the NCZ; create a secure, safe and aesthetically pleasing land
management and community environment; and minimize damage to structures by natural events.

2.1.3 The Council adopts the following goals for the Management Plan and the Handbook.

1. It is the goal of the Council to adopt, amend as appropriate, and annually review the Management
Plan, to monitor and evaluate the progress of land development and environmental protection of the
NCZ, and to enforce the provisions of the Management Plan during the planning period of twenty
(20) years following adoption of the Management Plan.

2. It is the goal of the Council to develop the NCZ in a manner that promotes the economic and social
welfare of present and future residents and visitors of Nayarit by means of conservative and judicious
utilization of the irreplaceable natural resources of the Coastal Zone.

3. It is the goal of the Council to guide development in a manner that preserves the environmental
integrity, species diversity and scenic quality of the NCZ; promotes development patterns that avoid
areas of natural hazard; and minimizes costs and maintenance of public facilities and infrastructure.

2.2 Objectives

2.2.1 In order to achieve the goals of the Management Plan as far as possible, the Council further adopts the
following objectives for the Management Plan and the Handbook:

a) It is the objective of the Council to preserve and protect natural habitat areas adequately, in order to
maintain the present diversity of plant and animal species in the NCZ, including migratory wildlife
such as birds and sea turtles, by establishing districts for resource protection.

b) It is the objective of the Council to maintain the present high quality and cleanliness of coastal waters,
thereby preserving the habitat necessary for such irreplaceable resources as reefs, islands, and
commercial and sport fisheries, by establishing districts for resource protection.

c) It is the objective of the Council to create development patterns and land uses which contribute to: the
preservation of scenic vistas, the aesthetic quality of development, and the efficiency and convenience
of both public and private services and commerce; additionally, to encourage development that is
coherent in design, complementary to existing and planned development, and of an architectural quality
consistent with the historic traditions of Nayarit and the values of its natural setting.

d) It is the objective of the Council to plan for locations and, as appropriate, provide the proper level and
timely provisions of public facilities and services for sewage collection and treatment, water supply,
storm drainage, flood protection, solid waste management, culture and recreation, education, health
care and governmental administration.

e) It is the objective of the Council to establish policies and regulations covering the location, design and
construction of buildings and structures to minimize the potential for damage to property and life by
events such as wave action and storm surge, flooding, land slippage, wind and fire. In the case of
public facilities, the objective is also to minimize the need for costly repair and maintenance.

f) It is the objective of the Council to maximize the positive economic and social benefits of development
to the State of Nayarit and the Nation, and integrate the development of the NCZ within the overall
context of National socio-economic interests, as stated in the National Development Plan 1989-1994.

g) It is the objective of the Council to balance the need to protect the natural environment and to manage
land development for the benefit of the Nation and State, with the need to accommodate the vested
rights of landowners and citizens.

h) It is the objective of the Council to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Management Plan
and the Handbook, and to make appropriate changes over time in the substance and enforcement
measures as needed to achieve these goals and objectives.

i) It is the objective of the Council to develop appropriate procedures to accomplish these goals and
objectives, and to assist the Minister in the administration of other National Laws regarding land
development and environmental protection of the NCZ.

3.0 Definitions

3.1 Nayarit Coastal Zone Management Plan (Management Plan)

3.1.1 The Nayarit Coastal Zone Environmental Protection Council (the Council) is proposed to be established under
provisions of the National Development Plan 1988-1994 and other related legal authorities under the General
Law for the Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (GLEBEP).

3.1.2 The Management Plan is the legal document including parts I, INTRODUCTION; H, LEGAL
interpretation of the Management Plan, the Council shall consider the parts in their entirety including maps,
graphics or other materials specifically included in these parts.

3.1.3 "Minister" means the current Minister being charged with the subject of planning and development at

3.1.4 "Shall", as used in the Management Plan, means imperative or as interpreted by the Council to further the
goals and objectives of the Management Plan.

3.1.5 "Should", as used in the Management Plan, means the conditional of "Shall", implying duty and obligation
and is not synonymous with "may".

3.1.6 "NCZ" or "Nayarit Coastal Zone" is the coastal area extending from the northern boundary of Nayarit with the
state of Sinaloa at the Canas river mouth, to the southern boundary with the state of Jalisco at Bahia de
Banderas on the Ameca river mouth, to the 100-meter depth contour in the Pacific Ocean, to 5 Kilometers
inland from the "ZFMT".

3.1.7 "ZFMT" or "Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone" is a strip of land including: a) in the case of beaches, all the
intertidal zone plus the twenty adjacent meters inland; b) in the case of cliffs or rocky shores, these formations
and the twenty meters inland adjacent to the first freely transitable point on the top of the cliffs or rocky
formations; and c) in the case of water bodies and wetlands communicating with the sea or containing salt
water, the twenty-meter strip adjacent to the highest annual water level. These cases are defined in Article 49
of the General Law on the National Welfare.

3.1.8 "NPCPZ" or "North Pacific Coastal Plain Zone" is the area delimited within the physiographic region known
as Pacific Coastal Plain, with its boundary to the north at the Canas river and to the south at the southern end of
the Matanchen's Bay.

3.1.9 "CNVACZ" or "Central Neovolcanic Axis Coastal Zone" is the area delimited within the physiographic region
known as Neovolcanic Axis, with its boundary to the north at the southern end of the Matanchen's Bay and to
the south at the southern end of the El Naranjo Beach.

3.1.10 "SSMCZ" or "South Sierra Madre Coastal Zone" is the area delimited within the physiographic region known
as South Sierra Madre, with its boundary to the north at the southern end of the El Naranjo Beach and to the
south at the Banderas Bay's Ameca river mouth.

3.2 Applicable Terms: National Law

3.2.1 "GLEBEP" is the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection, or "Ley General del
Equilibrio Ecologico y la Proteccion al Ambiente".

3.2.2 "Wild Fauna" are the terrestrial animal species, which subsist subject to the natural selection processes, whose
populations inhabit temporarily or permanently within the National territory where they develop freely,
including their minor populations which are under man control, as well as the abandoned domestic animals that
have turned wild for which they may be susceptible to be captured or appropriated. As in Art. 3-XIV

3.2.3 "Wild Flora" are the terrestrial vegetation species, as well as mushrooms, which subsist subject to the natural
selection processes, whose populations develop freely within the National territory, including those populations
or specimens of these species which are under man's control. As in Art. 3-XV (GLEBEP).

3.2.4 "Aquatic Flora and Fauna" are the biological species and biogenic elements that inhabit the waters within the
National Territory as a temporary, partial or permanent medium of life, as well as those within the zones where
the Nation exercises sovereignty and jurisdictional rights. As in Art. 3-XVI (GLEBEP).

3.2.5 "Biosphere Reserves" are areas with an extent greater than 10,000 hectares, integrated by representative and
relevant biogeographic areas of natural ecosystems not significantly altered by man, with at least one zone not
altered, and inhabited by species considered endemic or endangered. It combines conservation, research,
education, training policies and functions as a local population integrator. No new development may take place
in a Biosphere Reserve. As in Art. 48 (GLEBEP).

3.2.6 "Special Biosphere Reserves" have the same characteristics as the biosphere reserves, but they are smaller in
size or have less species diversity. As in Art. 49 (GLEBEP).

3.2.7 "National Parks" are constituted in forested land according to this and the Forestry Law; they represent one or
more ecosystems which are important for their natural beauty, scientific, educational or recreational and historic
value, for the existence of important flora and fauna, for its suitability for tourism development, or for other
reasons of general interest. These areas will be for the use of the general public, and may have activities
related to natural resources protection, increase of flora and fauna populations and, in general, to preserve the
ecosystem and its elements, as well as for research, recreation, tourism and ecological education. Exploitation
of the natural forestry resources may only be authorized by SEDUE. As in Art. 50 (GLEBEP).

3.2.8 "Natural Monuments" will be established according to this and the Forestry Law; they will represent areas that
have one or various natural elements of national importance. The only activities allowed will be those related to
their preservation, scientific research, recreation and education. As in Art. 51 (GLEBEP).

3.2.9 "National Marine Parks" will be established in marine zones within the national territory, and will include the
beaches and the maritime-terrestrial federal zone contiguous to them. Only activities related to the preservation
of aquatic ecosystems and their elements, research, recreation and ecological education, and exploitation of
natural resources authorized by this law and the Federal Fisheries and Seas Law, and other related national and
international laws and regulations will be allowed. As in Art. 52 (GLEBEP).

3.2.10 "Natural Resources Protected Areas" are areas designed for the preservation and restoration of terrestrial and
aquatic areas. They are as follows:

I. Forestry reserves; *
H. National forestry reserves;
Ill. Protected and forestry zones;

IV. Restoration and forestry propagation zones;
V. Zones for the protection of rivers, springs, deposits, and water reservoirs.

The establishment, organization and management of these areas will be according to this law, and the Federal
Forestry and Waters Law, and other related regulations. As in Art. 53 (GLEBEP).

3.2.11 "Flora and Fauna Protected Areas" are areas established for the protection of wild and aquatic species, and will
be constituted according to this law and the Federal Hunting and Fishing Law and related regulations.
Activities related to preservation, propagation, acclimatization, refuge and research of species, as well as those
related to education, will be allowed. As in Art. 54 (GLEBEP).

3.2.12 "Urban Parks" are areas of public use, constituted by the federal entities and municipalities within the towns and
cities to obtain and preserve the balance of urban-industrial ecosystems. As in Art. 55 (GLEBEP).

3.2.13 "Zones Subject to Ecological Conservation" are areas constituted by federal entities and municipalities, in zones
neighboring human settlements, in which there exists one or more ecosystems suitable for conservation,
designed to preserve the natural elements of the area. As in Art. 56 (GLEBEP).

3.2.14 "Ecological Ordinance" is the planning process directed to evaluate and program land-use and natural resources
management, in order to preserve and restore ecological balance and to protect the environment, within the
National Territory and those zones where the Nation exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction. As in Art. 3-XX

3.2.15 "Environment" is the unit of natural or human-induced elements which interact in a determined space and time.
As in Art. 3-I (GLEBEP).

3.2.16 "Natural Protected Areas" are National Territory Zones and those on which the Nation exercises sovereignty and
jurisdiction, where original environments have not been significantly altered by human activity, and that have
been subject to a protection regime. As in Art. 3-1 (GLEBEP).

3.2.17 "Pollution" means the presence in the environment of one or more pollutants or any combination of them, which
may cause harm or ecological imbalance. As in Art. 3-IV (GLEBEP).

3.2.18 "Pollutant" means all matter or energy in any of its physical states and forms which, when been incorporated or
acting in the atmosphere, water, soil, flora, fauna, or any natural element, alters or modifies its composition and
its natural condition. As in Art. 3-V (GLEBEP).

3.2.19 "Natural Resources" are the natural elements susceptible of being exploited for the benefit of humans. As in Art.

3.2.20 "Natural Elements" are the physical, chemical and biological elements which are present in a determined space
and time, without introduction by man. As in Art. 3-XII (GLEBEP).

3.2.21 "Historic Site" is a place or site which is historic by reason of an association with the past, and is part of the
cultural or historical heritage of Nayarit and Mexico, and such a classification may include archaeological sites,
historic landmarks, and areas of special historic or cultural interest.

3.2.22 "Scenic site" is an area containing a scenic feature of national or local importance.

3.2.23 "Beach" is the sloping area of unconsolidated material, typically sand, that extends landward from the mean high
water mark to the area where there is a marked change in material or natural physiographic form or when there
is no such marked change in the material or natural physiographic form, the beach shall be deemed to extend to
a distance of twenty meters landward from the high water mark or such lesser area as may be determined by the
Minister in consultation with the Council, and in all cases shall include the primary sand dune.

3.2.24 "Development", in relation to any land, includes any building or rebuilding operations and any use of the land or
any building thereon for a purpose which is different from the purpose for which the land or building was last
being used, or the sub-division of any land, and "develop" shall be construed accordingly.

3.2.25 "Land" includes land covered with water and also includes incorporeal as well as corporeal hereditament of every
tenure or description, and any interest therein, and also an undivided share in land.

3.2.26 "Owner", in relation to any building or land, means a person other than a mortgagee not in possession, who is for
the time being entitled to dispose of the right of ownership of the building or land, whether in possession or
reversion, and includes also a person holding or entitled to the rents and profits of the building or land under a
lease or agreement, the unexpired term whereof exceeds ten years.

3.2.27 "Authorized officer" means any police officer, forest officer or any other person appointed for purposes of this

4.0 Land Development Intensity Districts and Overlay Districts

4.1 Land Development Intensity Districts

Each Land Developement Intensity (LDI) District describes the types and intensities of land uses permitted in
the District, and planning policies for the development of the District. LDI boundaries are shown on the
Overall Development Potential Map (Map #18), and shall be interpreted to be generalized, except where
boundaries are coincident with center lines of road or right-of-ways, or with naturally occurring geographic
boundaries. The Council shall be the interpreter of any boundary issues.

4.1.1 Land Development Intensity District I (LDI-I). The following uses shall be permitted in LDI-I districts: Single
family detached residential and related uses. Such uses shall be located on individual lots or on aggregated
sites, in which the density of dwelling units shall be equal to or less than 1 dwelling unit per hectare (DU/ha).

4.1.2 Land Development Intensity District II (LDI-I). The following uses shall be permitted in LDI-H districts:
Single family detached or clustered detached residential and related uses. Such uses shall be located on
individual lots or on aggregated sites in which the density of dwelling units shall be equal to or less than 5
DU/ha, but not less than 1 DU/ha.

4.1.3 Land Development Intensity District III (LDI-II). This district category is reserved for Planned Unit
Developments (PUD). LDI-III districts shall be permitted only on sites equal to or greater than 2 ha, and shall
be subject to individual proposal review and approval as provided for in the Handbook. A PUD is a
development of one or more uses that is planned by a developer as a single coherent and comprehensive land
use and public facilities plan for a given site. In this District, innovative design and planning is encouraged.
The PUD should embody mixed compatible uses to increase variety and aesthetic quality and to permit the
integration of open spaces with buildings. Heights of buildings shall be limited to 10 meters. Density shall not
exceed 5 DU/ha, and lot coverage shall not exceed 40% of the land area. The following uses may be approved
in the LDI-III district: primarily residential, with related commercial, marine, and tourist facilities, including
hotels of 50 rooms or less and any use that is compatible with uses in LDI-I and LDI-II.

4.1.4 Land Development Intensity District IV (LDI-IV). The following uses shall be permitted in LDI-IV districts:
single hotel or tourist facilities, commercial retail related to tourist facilities, and multi-family residential uses.
The floor area ratio shall not exceed (0.75). Floor area ratio is the ratio of the floor area of all buildings to the
total area of the site (floor area ratio = floor area/site area). The height of buildings shall be limited to 10

4.1.5 Land Development Intensity District V (LDI-V). The following uses shall be permitted in LDI-V Districts,
which shall be known as Marine Related Districts: water- and marine-related uses, commercial retail, attached
and multi-family residential, and hotels of 25 rooms or less. The floor area ratio shall not exceed 2.0. Floor
area ratio means the ratio of the floor area of all buildings, except open docks and quays, to the total area of the
site (floor area ratio = floor area/ site area). Height of buildings shall be limited to 7.5 meters with care to
preserve vistas over the water for inland development, as may be approved by the Council.

4.1.6 Land Development Intensity District VI (LDI-VI). This District shall be known as the Town Center. The
following uses shall be permitted in LDI-VI districts: mixed and multiple uses including hotels of 25 rooms or
less, commercial wholesale not exceeding 10 percent of all commercial floor area, attached townhouses and
multi-family residential, churches, professional and other personal services, automobile services limited to sites
which minimize conflicts with residential uses, governmental services and other uses which, in the determination
of the Council, would be compatible with the Town Center concept. The floor area ratio shall not exceed 3.0.
Floor area ratio means the ratio of the floor area of all buildings to the total area of the site (floor area ratio =
floor area/site area). Height of buildings shall be limited to 10 meters, with care to preserve vistas and open
space, as may be approved by the Council.

4.2 Overlay Districts

The Overlay District identifies future public facilities services areas, recreation areas, or natural resource
protection areas. The overlay indicates that special considerations for future land development are required to
forward the goals and objectives of the Management Plan and the policies and standards of the Handbook.
Boundary issues related to Overlay Districts will be resolved by the Council. The Council will be guided by
the natural characteristics and sensitivity of environmental conditions in the resolution of boundary issues, and
will be further guided by its judgement as to the consistency of its interpretation to the overall goals and
objectives of the Management Plan.

4.2.1 Public Facilities District (PFD). The Public Facilities District shall include specific sites for police services,
health facilities, library, school, solid waste management facility and sewage treatment facilities.

4.2.2 Natural Resource Protection Districts. The following districts shall be considered Overlay Districts requiring
special attention and application of goals, objectives, policies and regulations found in the Management Plan
and the Handbook.

a) Conservation District (CD). These areas are dominated by significant vegetation associations
or species of special concern, or are districts where wildlife species of rare, endangered, or

special concern status are known to breed, feed, or roost. All uses within the Conservation
District shall conform to the policies and regulations of the Handbook.

b) Natural Hazard District (HD). These areas are characterized by natural hazards such as
flooding and land slippage, which makes these areas unsafe and unsuitable for construction.
Residential or commercial structures shall not be constructed in Hazard Districts, and public
utilities and infrastructure shall cross through a Hazard District only when no alternative
route is feasible.

c) Recreation District (RD). Recreation Districts are reserved for recreational purposes, based
on existing or potential resource characteristics. Special areas such as beaches, golf courses
and marine-related activities are included. In addition, a table is provided in the Handbook
indicating the set-aside hectarage for public parks. These parks shall be designed in the
project plans to be coherent, connected and appropriate for open space and park uses. Areas
should be adequate for the intended use. All uses within Recreation Districts should conform
to the policies and regulations of the Handbook.

d) Scenic District (SD). Scenic Districts are areas where visual intrusion of structures or
utilities shall not detract from the natural scenic beauty of the area.

e) Reserves and Protected Areas (RP). Allowable uses and numbers of dwelling units, hotels or
commercial uses are not precluded from Reserves and Protected Areas, however allowable
development shall be encouraged to cluster such that at least 90 percent of the District,
parcel by parcel, remains in an unaltered state. In addition, roads and utility corridors shall
be constructed so as to minimize disruption of the natural vegetative cover. Modifications of
existing vegetation, land or water, and wildlife habitat shall be allowed only in conjunction
with a permitted development activity. The boundaries of proposed Reserves and Protected
Areas are shown on Map #26.

f) Marine Resource Districts (MD). Marine Resource Districts are areas of near-shore waters, estuaries,
and adjacent lands that have special significance because of their productivity, nursery function, or are
otherwise important because they are the habitat for marine species of special biological or economic

4.3 Definition of Terms Used in Section 3.0 and 4.0

4.3.1 "Attached residential uses" means the use of common walls between or connecting dwelling units.

4.3.2 "Cluster housing" means assembling several detached dwelling units in close proximity to each other in a
unified development plan on a single site, thereby preserving the density permitted in the particular LDI District
and creating larger open spaces. The units may be connected by landscaping, walls or other unifying
architectural elements.

4.3.3 "Commercial retail" means businesses established for retail sales of finished goods and products, including but
not limited to food sales, restaurants and related goods, and services including fuel and automobile services.

4.3.4 "Commercial wholesale" means limited warehousing and distribution businesses established to serve the supply
needs of the retail, hotel and tourist market. Light manufacturing may be permitted by the Council.

4.3.5 "Wildlands" means a portion of the landscape that is left undeveloped and set aside as wildlife habitat, and
which remains a vestige of the previous unaltered landscape, where human interface is kept to a minimum.

4.3.6 "Density" means the count of residential dwelling units permitted on the land and is always in terms of dwelling
units per hectare (DU/ha). For purposes of the Management Plan the land measure should include drive and
road right-of-ways, automobile parking and service areas, building areas, open space and recreational areas
internal to the site.

4.3.7 "Detached residential uses" means traditional single family dwelling units built as separate structures.

4.3.8 "Floor area ratio" means the ratio of the total floor area of all buildings' floors to the total area of the site or
parcel FAR (floor area ratio = floor area /site area). The same unit of area must be used, e.g., square

4.3.9 "Height of building" or "building height" means the height measured from the mean grade between highest
and lowest grade at the base of the building to the uppermost point of the roof or parapet wall. Excluded from
the height shall be elevator rooms, solar collectors or other untenable roof structures.

4.3.10 "Hotel" means any building or group of buildings the business of which is letting rooms or suites to guests for
short or long stays, and the related facilities to provide complete guest services.

4.3.11 "Lot coverage" means the area of land occupied by the building.

4.3.12 "Multi-family" means any building or group of buildings containing two or more residential dwelling units,
including kitchen facilities, that is not a townhouse or cluster housing development.

4.3.13 "Professional and personal services" means the practice of law, medicine, pharmacy, architecture, engineering
and other professional practices, and the provision of services such as barbering, cobbling, laundering and dry
cleaning and other services to individuals.

4.3.14 "Tourist facility" means commercial retail and services such as, but not limited to, boat, automobile, diving gear
rental and guide services, all of which are related to sales and services provided for tourists.

4.3.15 "Townhouse residential" means individual dwelling units, built with common walls separating units in a row, or
similar connecting configuration.

4.3.16 "Corridor", or "wildlife corridor" is a strip of unaltered land that connects larger areas of wildlife habitat, the
purpose of which is to allow the movement of wildlife from one area to another with minimum amount of
disturbance or impediment to wildlife activity.

4.3.17 "Wetlands" are areas that are inundated by surface water with a frequency sufficient to support, and under normal
circumstances do or would support, a prevalence of vegetative or aquatic life that require saturated or seasonally
saturated soil conditions for growth and reproduction.

5.0 Navarit Coastal Zone Management Plan Maps

The maps in this volume are an integral part of the Management Plan and the Handbook and shall be
considered as complementary provisions, including map notes and descriptive material. Boundaries shown on
the maps shall be considered to be generalized, since the scale is a limiting factor. Any specific interpretations
will be resolved by the Council or the Minister.

5.1 List of Maps

MAP 1 Land Cover
MAP 2 Slope
MAP 3 Geology/Soils
MAP 4 Cultural Features
MAP 5 Slope Constraints
MAP 6 Agricultural Constraints
MAP 7 Wetland Constraints
MAP 8 Slope Opportunities
MAP 9 Vegetation Opportunities

MAP 10 Geology/Soils Opportunities
MAPS 11-17 Overall Development Constraints (Regions 1-7)
MAP 18 Overall Development Potential
MAPS 19-25 Overall Development Potential (Regions 1-7)
MAP 26 Proposed Reserves and Protected Areas

In addition to the planning maps listed above, the Council shall develop, as needed, the following maps, based
on site-specific analysis:

1) Conservation Districts Map
2) Scenic Vista Districts Map
3) Reserves and Protected Areas Map
4) Natural Hazards Map
5) Recreation Area Map
6) Public Facilities Map
7) Marine Resource Districts Map

6.0 Procedural Requirements

6.1 Adoption

The Management Plan is hereby recommended for adoption by the Council pursuant to the provisions of the
National Development Plan 1989-1994, and the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental
Protection, particularly section 6.3.1 Ecological Ordinance and 6.3.2 Natural Resources from the NDP 89-94,
and chapter IV and sections I and II from chapter V of the first title, and the only chapter from the fifth title of
The Council shall submit the Management Plan to the Minister in accordance with the provisions of
the GLEBEP, and with the approval of the Minister, the Council shall regulate developmental activity in the
Nayarit Coastal Zone. During the evaluation and review process and with the approval by the Minister, the
Council may make the Management Plan available for public inspection and may receive written comments or

6.2 Amendments

6.2.1 The Management Plan may be amended by the Council based on applications by a citizen or upon an action by
the Minister or other appropriate government official or upon an action by the Council. The Council shall not

act upon applications for amendment more frequently than annually, except in the event of an emergency that
may affect the safety, health and welfare of the citizens of Nayarit and Mexico.

6.2.2 Any amendment application, or action, shall be supported by an application for Management Plan amendment
showing specifically the nature of the request, the specific proposed amendment to the Management Plan and a
written report setting out the reasons and justifications for the proposed amendment. The Council shall accept,
modify, or reject the amendment in a timely fashion. The Council shall provide written findings and
conclusions in support of its action. Any amendments to the Management Plan shall be subject to the adoption
process as provided above.

6.2.3 Any amendments that are adopted in the Management Plan shall be reviewed for necessary changes in the
Handbook, and the Council shall take appropriate steps to restore consistency between the provisions of the
Management Plan and the Handbook.

6.3 Annual Review

An annual review of the Management Plan shall be prepared by the Council at the end of each calendar year.
The review shall be written in a report to the Minister and shall contain an evaluation of the development of the
NCZ, the effectiveness of the provisions in the Management Plan, changes in the Management Plan, changes
in the Handbook made during the review period and practical experience with the enforcement of the




1.1 Purs

The Handbook of Development Guidelines and Considerations for the Nayarit Coastal Zone (Handbook)
contains the Nayarit Coastal Zone (NCZ) development policies and regulations. These policies and regulations are
complementary to the goals and objectives of the Nayarit Coastal Zone Management Plan (Management Plan) and have
been established to guide the development of the NCZ natural resources, to protect important amenities for enjoyment by
local residents and tourists, and to permit development in a safe, economical, organized, and environmentally sound

1.2 Relationship Between the Management Plan and the Handbook

These policies have been established to achieve the types of desired development patterns outlined in the
Management Plan. It is the Management Plan that establishes the overall land management goals and objectives and
the Handbook that provides specific policies and regulations to be followed to achieve the goals and objectives.
Together, these documents should result in siting, design, and construction practices that are in harmony with both human
and natural environmental needs, resulting in successful development. The maps in the Management Plan section are
part of this Handbook.

1.3 Legal Authority

1.3.1. The Nayarit Coastal Zone Environmental Protection Council (Council) will be a government authority created
under the National Development Plan Policies. Its main objective will be to provide for the rational
development, conservation and management of the NCZ.

1.3.2. With the concurrence of the Minister of SEDESOL-COPLADES, the provisions of this Handbook are binding
on all parties engaged in building, developing or otherwise altering the physical and biological attributes of the
NCZ, unless and until overruled by higher authority or modified by the Council with regard to a specific
request for variance, in accordance with provisions stipulated in Section 3.4.

1.4 Related Laws

1.4.1 Related acts include the Mexican Constitution (MC); General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental
Protection (GLEBEP); General Law for Human Settlements (GLHS); Housing Federal Law (HFL); Fisheries
Federal Law (FFL); Waters Federal Law (WFL); Federal Tourism Law (FTL); Federal Forestry and Game
Law (FFGL); Mining Law (ML); Roads Law (RL); Agrarian Reform Law (ARL); General Law for Health
(GLH); and National Development Plan 89-94 (NDP).

1.4.2 Land developers are advised that these National Laws may have procedures and requirements that supersede the
Handbook and the Management Plan.

1.5 Adoption

The Handbook should be adopted by the Council in accordance with the NDP and the GLEBEP. This will
require the Council to review and advise the Minister of SEDESOL-COPLADES on all matters having to do with
development within the NCZ, and specifically with regard to land-use management regulations, environmental protection,
and land-use guidelines in accord with NDP, GLEBEP and related Laws.

1.6 Amendments

There shall be a regularly scheduled review and evaluations by the Council of the development guidelines, with
the objective of continually updating the guidelines to keep pace with new situations as they arise and to incorporate any
changes the Council may recommend to the Management Plan. In the event that such situations arise within a proposed
development which is not fully dealt with in the guidelines, the Council reserves the right to present recommendations to
deal with these situations. These recommendations will be binding.

1.7 Severaltv

If for any lawful reason regarding conflict with National Law or adjudication any section or subsection is found
to be in violation of such National Law or court order, it shall not affect the remainder of the provisions of the

1.8 Policies of the Handbook

The policies of the Handbook are drawn from the goals and objectives of the Management Plan, and are
considered minimum policies to forward the intent of Management Plan.

1.8.1 Create and Preserve a Quality Environment Preserve the outstanding natural features and environmental attributes of the NCZ and the uniqueness
of its physical setting in the Pacific Coastline of Mexico, making the area a showpiece of innovative
development in the Mexican Republic. Protect the fragility of the natural environment of the NCZ and its-near shore waters because of
topographic features, microclimate considerations, and edaphic features. Enable Nayarit to create a Mexican example of quality development, through the actions of a
Government committed to exercising firm controls over development to ensure sustainable long-term

1.8.2 Promote Economic Growth Develop the NCZ to create significantly higher levels of job and income generation for Nayarit, and
improve stability of income and employment opportunity. Develop the NCZ to create positive secondary impacts on the entire Nayarit economy. Develop opportunities for training in order to upgrade labor force skills in the construction, services,
and management sectors of the Nayarit economy.

1.8.3 Sustain Long-Term Development for the Future of Nayarit Strike a balance between economic growth and environmental protection by following a disciplined and
even-handed approach to the development of the NCZ. Make development decisions, taking a long-view, incorporating a nation-building perspective that
recognizes the NCZ as an irreplaceable natural asset which, if carefully managed, will accrue to the
peoples of Nayarit and Mexico for generations to come.

1.8.4 Balance Public and Private Interests The NCZ should be regarded as a public trust. Even though the land is privately owned, its
commercial value is solely the result of Government investments and bilateral international assistance
intended to benefit the Nation as a whole. Regulation is needed to protect the public interest. The

guidelines incorporated in the Handbook are not intended to create a bureaucratic maze which
discourages development. Its procedures stress the importance of even-handedness; of requiring high
quality design and infrastructure from all developers; and of requiring the participation of qualified and
objective professionals in reviewing development plans before they are presented to the Council. Explore opportunities for innovation and creative design. The best developers will insist on--not
resist--high standards in order to protect their own investments.

1.8.5 Protect Environmental Values Removal of vegetation and trees within the NCZ shall be discouraged to prevent erosion and protect
scarce vegetation resources, except as needed for permitted development activities. Significant archaeological sites shall be identified and protected from destruction, or their destruction
shall be mitigated by data recovery by a qualified archaeologist. Habitats of endangered plants and animals shall be protected from encroachment by development. Development occurring along the edges of Conservation, Recreation, Scenic Vista, and Reserves and
Protected Areas shall be designed to protect and minimize the impact of development on the adjacent
district. The significance of topography, vegetation, soils, and wildlife resources for a particular site will be
determined during the development review process, through an application for development approval
submitted by the applicant for the development. The spread of wildfires shall be discouraged by the effective incorporation of fire breaks in the design
of roadways and other development. Vegetation shall be maintained to mitigate the potential of wildfire
in areas where fire hazard is significant.

1.9 Overlay Districts

1.9.1 The Council shall establish two types of Overlay Districts as circumstances and development of the
NCZ proceed: (1) Natural Resource Protection Districts, and (2) Public Facilities Districts. Overlay
Districts provide additional information and a regulatory framework that is flexible and easily
adaptable to the changing conditions of the NCZ.

Natural Resource Protection Districts Areas that have natural limitations to development or sensitive environmental characteristics that
deserve protection shall be developed only within the constraints of those natural limitations.
Examples of these areas include mangroves, marshes, prime examples of tropical deciduous forest,
wildlife resource areas, beaches and dunes, areas of significant scenic quality, and coral reefs. The
following overlay districts (described in Sections 1.9.3 through 1.9.8) are created in the Management
Plan to protect these resources:
a. Conservation District (CD);
b. Recreation District (RD);
c. Scenic Vista District (SVD);
d. Reserves and Protected Areas (RPA);
e. Natural Hazard District (NHD)
f. Marine Resource District (MRD)

1.9.3 Conservation District (CD) Land is deemed to be a Conservation District if it possesses one or more of the following
a. Vegetation: areas containing the following vegetation communities (see Part 1):
1. mangroves
2. mature tropical deciduous forests
3. beach and dune vegetation
4. halophytic vegetation
5. palms
b. Soils: areas containing hydric soils (see Section 2.2.7)
c. Wild Animal Areas: areas of known significant use for breeding, nesting, or feeding
by wild animals or birds The following uses will be permitted in Conservation Districts:
a. Public and private recreation and open spaces uses that do not significantly alter
natural vegetation and topography, except as otherwise provided for in Section
b. Public and private wildlife preserves and refuge areas. Developable land deemed to be a Conservation District within a proposed development or parcel of
land shall be considered Land Development Intensity District I (see Section 5.2), even if not shown as


such on the Overall Development Potential Map (Map 18). However, the protection of Conservation
Districts shall be implemented through the transfer of density from the Conservation District to other
portions of the parcel or development, or other contiguous property under the same ownership. Where development is permitted, the following conservation policies shall apply:
a. All site alterations shall be confined to the area with the least environmental
b. Site alterations and/or coverage by access roads, foot or bridle paths, and minor
structures shall be limited to 5% of the total area within the Conservation District;
c. Existing vegetation shall be incorporated within proposed developments to the
greatest extent possible;
d. Storm water runoff from developed areas shall be detained and directed to prevent
erosion. The extraction of sand or rock for any purpose from a Conservation District shall be considered
inconsistent with sound conservation practices and shall not be allowed.

1.9.4 Recreation Districts (RD) Land is deemed to be a Recreation District if it possesses the following characteristics:
a. A measured portion of each beach (on a case-by-case basis) shall be allocated for
recreational purposes which may conflict with sound conservation practices. The
remaining portions of each beach shall be classified as a Conservation District and
public access shall be prohibited;
b. Other areas as designated by the Council. The following uses may be permitted within Recreation Districts:
Public and private recreational uses that significantly alter natural vegetation and topography
such as: golf courses, tennis courts, ball playing fields, and intense use public beaches. Where development is permitted, the following environmental policies shall apply:
a. All site alterations shall be confined to areas with the least environmental
b. Existing native vegetation shall be incorporated within proposed developments to the
greatest extent possible; and
c. Stormwater runoff shall be directed so as to insure that erosion or sedimentation of
nearby or downstream areas does not occur.

The development of private lands for public recreational purposes shall be encouraged.

1.9.5 Scenic Vista District (SVD) The following areas and land features shall be considered visual amenities of special importance, and
shall not be developed except as the Council may approve:
a. Bluffs;
b. Cliff faces;
c. Sea cliffs;
d. Ridge tops; and
e. Hill tops. The scenic and visual qualities of coastal areas and identified hill sides, cliffs and bluffs shall be
protected as a resource of public importance. Permitted development shall be sited and designed to
protect views, to be visually compatible with the character of surrounding areas, and shall not obstruct
or otherwise interfere with views of designated Scenic Vista Districts. There shall be no development of the top 100 meters of all hills and ridges within Scenic Vista
Districts, unless specifically approved by the Council.

1.9.6 Reserves and Protected Areas (RPA) Lands designated as Reserves and Protected Areas are important environmental resources. The construction of arterial roads and public facilities that cross Reserves and Protected Areas shall be
discouraged to the maximum extent possible. The removal of vegetation, cutting of trees, land clearing, or burning of vegetation shall be
discouraged to the maximum extent possible, and shall be allowed only in conjunction with a permitted
development activity.

1.9.7 Natural Hazards Districts (NHD) Land is deemed to be a Natural Hazard District if it possesses one or more of the following

a. Topography: slopes greater than 16 or 30%, and alluvial lands downslope of
unstable guts;
b. Sea cliffs;
c. Storm-surge prone areas;
d. Flood-prone areas. Development inconsistent with prudent construction standards relative to slope, topography, coastal
flooding, and erosion shall be prohibited within Hazard Districts.

1.9.8 Marine Resource Districts (MRD) Marine resources shall be maintained, enhanced, and, where feasible, restored. Special protection
shall be given to areas and species of special biological or economic significance. Uses of the marine
environment shall be carried out in a manner that will sustain the biological productivity of coastal
waters, and that will maintain healthy populations of all species of marine organisms adequate for
long-term commercial, recreational, scientific, and educational purposes. The biological productivity and quality of the marine environment shall be maintained through, among
other means, minimizing adverse effects of wastewater discharges, encouraging wastewater
reclamation, controlling sedimentation from runoff, preventing substantial interference with surface
water flows, maintaining natural vegetation buffer areas that protect riparian habitats, and minimizing
alteration of near shore beaches, rocky shores and other habitats. The diking, filling, or dredging of open coastal waters, wetlands, estuaries, and salt ponds shall be
permitted in accordance with other applicable provisions, where there is no feasible, less
environmentally-damaging alternative, and where feasible mitigation measures have been provided to
minimize adverse environmental effects. These activities shall be limited to the following:
a. The construction of new marine-related facilities, designed and constructed in
accordance with both the Management Plan and the Handbook, as approved by
the Council.
b. Maintaining existing, or restoring previously dredged depths in existing navigational
channels, turning basins, vessel berthing and mooring areas, and boat launching
c. In open coastal waters, the placement of structural pilings for public recreational

d. Incidental public service purposes, including but not limited to, burying cables and
pipes, inspection and maintenance of piers, and placement of navigational pilings or
buoys. Dredging and spoil disposal shall be planned and carried out to avoid significant disruption to marine
and wildlife habitats and water circulation.

1.9.9 Public Facilities District (PFD) Preceding development within the NCZ, the Council shall establish Public Facilities Districts where
allowable intensities of development dictate that education, public health, and centralized water,
sewage, waste collection and waste disposal facilities are necessary. The following utility districts shall be created as part of Public Facilities Districts, where necessary:
a) Sewer Districts
b) Solid Waste Districts
c) Potable Water Districts The Council shall provide specific sites for police services, health facilities, libraries, schools, solid
waste management facilities, and sewage treatment facilities The Council shall develop formulas for calculating monetary contributions by developers for the
construction, operation and maintenance of public facilities, in proportion to the proposed use of the
facilities, and in proportion to the population growth in the community induced by the development.


2.1 Reference to the Navarit Coastal Zone Management Plan

All of the definitions found in sub-sections 3.2 and 3.3 of the Management Plan are made a part of the
Handbook, and are binding as if they were incorporated herein.

2.2 Handbook Definitions

2.2.1 "Applicant" means a property owner, or a representative authorized by the owner to speak or act on
the owner's behalf.

2.2.2 "Application for Development Approval" means a written request for approval of a proposed use and
development plan and for issuance of a development order.

2.2.3 "Application for Site Development Approval" means a written request for approval of a proposed
development on a specific site and for a site development permit.

2.2.4 "Building Area" means an area within and bounded by the building lines (footprint) established by
required yards and setbacks.

2.2.5 "Developer" is any land owner, agent for a land owner, person, or business entity, who proposes or
causes any development to occur in the NCZ.

2.2.6 "Dwelling unit" means one accommodation of one or more rooms arranged in a single structure,
housing a family or closely related persons, with provisions for preparing food, sleeping, and other life

2.2.7 "Hydric Soils" means soils that are saturated more than two months of the year in seven out of 10
years, and are generally found within and adjacent to water bodies and wetlands.

2.2.8 "Impact Area" means the spatial area surrounding a proposed development site that will be affected by

2.2.9 "Parcel" means a particularly surveyed land area under a single ownership.

2.2.10 "Parking space" means a portion of the vehicle accommodation area specifically and permanently set
aside for the parking of one (1) vehicle.

2.2.11 "Setback" means the minimum horizontal distance between the street, rear or side line and the front,
rear or side lines of the building, including steps, terraces, or any projection thereof. When two (2) or
more lots under one (1) ownership are used, the exterior property lines so grouped shall be used in
determining setbacks.

2.2.12 "Sewer System" means any plant, system, facility or property used or useful or having the present
capacity for future use in connection with the collection, treatment, purification or disposal of sewage


and sewage effluent and residue from more than one dwelling or from any commercial or industrial
establishment; and without limiting the generality of the foregoing definition, embraces treatment
plants, pumping stations, intercepting sewers, pressure lines, mains, laterals and all necessary
appurtenances and equipment; and shall include all property, rights, easements and franchises relating
to any such system and deemed necessary or convenient for the operation thereof.

2.2.13 "Signs" means any device, placard, or billboard used for advertising sales or services at point of sale.
No other signs will be approved except road and public notices.

2.2.14 "Site" means a specific surveyed building or development parcel of land.

2.2.15 "Transfer of Density" means that allowable land development densities in Land Development Intensity
Districts (see Section 5.2) may be transferred within the same parcel if an Overlay District is more
restrictive to development.

2.3 Rules of Interpretation

2.3.1 General. All provisions, terms, phrases and expression contained in these regulations shall be liberally
construed in order that the true intent and meaning of the Council may be fully carried out. Terms
used in these regulations, unless otherwise specifically provided, shall have the meanings prescribed by
the laws and regulations found in GLEBEP and other related laws for Mexico and Nayarit, as well as
those in the regulations of SEDESOL-COPLADES.

2.3.2 Computation of time. The time within which an act is to be done shall be computed by excluding the
first and including the last day; if the last day is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, that day shall be

2.3.3 In Writing. The term "in writing" shall be construed to include any representation of words, letters or
figures, whether by printing or otherwise.

2.3.4 Boundaries. Interpretation regarding boundaries of land-use districts shall be made in accordance with
the following:
a. Boundaries shown as following or approximately following any street shall be
construed as following the centerline of the street.
b. Boundaries shown as following or approximately following any platted lot line or
other property line shall be construed as following such line.


3.1 General Procedures and Requirements

The procedural requirements for the orderly development of the NCZ that will insure the timely and thorough
review of development proposals involve a two step process. All development projects involving land parcels greater
than 5 hectares, involving the subdivision of a parcel into more than 2 parcels, or the construction of 2 or more dwelling
units on a single parcel are subject to the procedures as set forth in Section 3.2 of the Handbook. All development
projects of a single land parcel or unity of parcels combined for purposes of development are subject to the Site
Development Permit procedures as set forth in Section 3.3 of the Handbook. No Site Development Permit shall be
reviewed or considered unless an approved Development Approval Permit is in order. The Site Development Permit
Application may be considered simultaneously with the Development Approval Permit Application, if the Council
approves of the simultaneous review, as provided in sub-section 3.1.3. of the Handbook.

3.1.1 Application for Development Approval. The Application for Development Approval (ADA) process
consists of three steps. The first step is submission of a written Notice of Intent submitted to the
Council. The second step is a meeting between the applicant and the Council to provide the applicant
with the necessary information that must be submitted for development approval. The third step in the
development approval is the submission of an ADA. The application shall contain pertinent
information on the size and scope of the development and its environmental and social/cultural
impacts, as well as any other information enabling the Council to evaluate the proposed development
and insure that the development project is in keeping with the goals and objectives of the Management
Plan, and the policies and regulations of the Handbook.

3.1.2 Application for Site Development Permit. The second permit required is the Site Development Permit.
Once a Development Approval Permit is issued, the developer may submit an Application for Site
Development Permit. The application shall contain more detailed information on land use,
landscaping, roads and parking, public facilities, building uses, and construction techniques and
engineering, among other things. The review process for a Site Development Permit insures that the
development project is in keeping with the Development Approval Permit, and the regulations for
subdivision of lands and the regulations for site development of the Handbook.

3.1.3 Combined Applications for Development Approval and Site Development Permit. Under some
circumstances it may be advantageous to submit Applications for Development Approval and Site
Development Permit simultaneously. Where the development project is small in scale it may be
appropriate to combine the applications. The Council may review both applications simultaneously.
However, the developer should be forewarned that combined applications require significant

expenditures of time and money on detailed development design and engineering that may be rejected,
or endorsed with conditions. The two step process is designed to facilitate review and approval of
development schemes to insure that the development project adheres to the goals, objectives, policies
and regulations of the Management Plan, the Handbook, and the Council, prior to undertaking
detailed site design and engineering.

3.1.4 Each application received will be considered in relation to the Management Plan for the development
of the NCZ.

3.1.5 All plans and descriptive development notes may be viewed by interested parties at the office of the

3.2 Application for Development Approval

3.2.1 Procedure for Development Approval All developers shall apply to the Council for development approval. The Council shall receive a
"notice of intent" in writing from the applicant for a proposed project. Within 14 days of submittal of the "notice of intent", the Council shall determine: (1) whether all
provisions and submittals required in the Handbook are necessary, and (2) the impact area of the
proposed development. The determinations shall be based on the size and location of the proposed
development, and shall be made in writing to the developer. A formal development application, based on the Handbook, including an Environmental Impact
Assessment (EIA) and a Social/Cultural Impact Assessment (S/CIA), shall be submitted to the Council
by the developer. Within ten (10) working days after an Application for Development Approval has been received, the
Council shall determine whether the application contains all required information.
a. If the Council determines that the application is not complete, a written notice shall
be served on the applicant specifying the applications deficiencies. The Council
shall take no further action on the application unless the deficiencies are remedied.
b. If the application is determined to be complete, the Council shall notify the
applicant and review the project application. The evaluation focuses on the
projected economic, social and environmental impacts of the proposed project;
meetings might be held between Council members or advisory personnel and the

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