Leslie Ponce de Leon

Master plan and green infrastructure in San Quintin Bay, Baja California

Location of the project: San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico
Sector: Architecture
Highest Degree earned: Bch. Landscape Architecture, MSc student (Management of Arid Ecosystems)
Type of the project: Applied

Leslie is an early career Landscape Architect passionate about the design and construction of open spaces. She has a strong interest in developing urban and regional projects that incorporate social, economic and environmental processes.

In San Quintin—an emerging coastal city—Leslie shares her vision of a resilient community. Through a series of renders, she stimulates the imagination of the local community and government representatives of how would a harmonic city—congruent with its natural processes—would look like. The San Quintin Bay is the biggest coastal lagoon in the Baja California Pacific region. This site not only represents an important sanctuary and breeding ground for migratory waterfowl, marine birds and shorebirds, but also stands as a very important resource for the economy and wellbeing of this booming city. The inner bay is use for cultivating oysters and mussels; the coastline yields productive fisheries and mineral exploitation, and the sandy bar is a popular recreational site for tourists and locals. However, all these productive activities, in conjunction with creeping development and climate change, are altering the sand bar that protects the bay against extreme weather events and constitutes the main breeding habitat for shorebirds and seabirds.

Leslie applied to become a Coastal Solution Fellow to bring to life her vision of a sustainable coast. She proposes to develop and implement a master plan of the San Quintin Bay that incorporates strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and regulates the economic activities that are altering the sand bar. She will focus on the two sand bars that protect the Bay and develop strategies to restore and manage unsustainable activities. ProEsteros, a local NGO focused on wetland conservation, will collaborate with the engagement of all relevant stakeholders and advice on the best coastal restoration strategies. Leslie—together with an engineering team—will also design and build green infrastructure on key locations around the bay.