Scientists say currents in the Sea of Cortez vary from season to season but that in the winter they often come southward along Baja's eastern coast.
This is just "It's very clear that there will be impacts, and they won't be positive," said Grantly R. Galland, a Scripps marine ecologist.
A top environmental regulator from the federal secretariat, Mauricio Limon Aguirre, told television journalists in June that Cabo Cortes wouldn't endanger the national marine park. He didn't respond to recent requests for an interview.
"As of today, no project has been authorized that will disturb the sea. Because of this, we know that the reefs will not be affected," Limon Aguirre said.
In the end, global economic turmoil may do as much to halt Cabo Cortes as environmental activism. In June, the Banco de Espana was forced to step in to save an ailing Spanish savings bank that owns a quarter of Hansa Urbana, the developer.
That gives the Spanish government — sensitive to charges that the project is speculative and harmful to the environment — a voice in the development.
"Many Spaniards are deeply committed to conservation," said Mario Castro, a dive shop owner who attended a workshop in Spain earlier this year. "I am hopeful that they will withdraw from this project."
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