Serge Dedina (left) with two co-campaigners helping to bring the message to Mexico and the border area. The wrestler, Hijo del Santo, is a big star in Latin America and a Wildcoast spokesman. Photo by Drew Kampion

Imperial Beach. February 5, 2009. Serge Dedina, who founded Imperial Beach-based WILDCOAST eight years ago, will be given the San Diego Zoo's Conservation in Action award. Zoo officials say they are recognizing him for his commitment to conservation and public awareness, which is supporting people and wildlife in Mexico and the United States.

“I'm still a kid at heart who grew up admiring the San Diego Zoo and spent a lot of time there and later took my kids there,” Dedina said. “I'm very grateful to get the recognition.”

A dinner and awards presentation for the Zoo's honorees will be held at 6pm at Balboa Park's Prado restaurant.

Dedina's nonprofit organization, with offices in Imperial Beach, California, and Ensenada, Mexico, is dedicated to protecting and conserving ecologically valuable coastal and marine resources in both countries. Dedina spearheaded a successful “Don't Eat Sea Turtle” campaign that featured Mexican celebrities. He also helped stop development of mega-resorts throughout Baja California and the Sea of Cortez.

“WiLDOAST was part of a coalition of groups that put a stop to plans to build mega-resorts in the most ecologically sensitive areas in Baja,” Dedina said. “Not just to stop that but to provide alternatives, which were adopted by the government of Mexico. We tried to really mold the plan to be a lot more environmentally sensitive.”

Mexico needs all the encouragement it can get and Wildcoast is doing a great job of helping secure the support of future generations.Photo by Wildcoast.

Dedina will be featured at the Zoo's 2009 State of Endangered Species conference from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Dedina will talk about restoring coastal wetlands and how the Save Trestles and Clean Water Now campaigns are forerunners of a new blue-green agenda.

Serge Dedina addressing the commission on the Trestles toll road, with 'future Trestles surfers' on hand. Photo by Wildcoast.

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