National Protected Area System
Laguna Garzón was integrated into the National Protected Area System (SNAP) in 2014. In June 2019 the multi-partner Advisory Committee was created, and the management plan is being designed with the participation of area stakeholders (the authorities, residents, producers, business owners, fishers and others.
In the absence of a management plan, an issue of particular and urgent concern is the artificial opening of the sandbar. This weakens the delicate barrier that divides the lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean. Funding is being sought by our organisation to formalise a protocol based on solid, scientific data and not on uses and customs that may cause irreparable damage. One such protocol was designed for Laguna de Rocha which has been functioning with success for a number of years.
Uses and economic activities
In Uruguay urbanisation of the coast is growing towards the east, and this lagoon is under high pressure from real estate development. It is location, a mere 13 km from Jose Ignacio, the most fashionable resort of the Uruguayan coast, landmarks it as the future area for development of this resort.
Tourism and water sports are intense during the summer (December to March). Tourists visit for the day, mainly families, fishermen and people who practice water sports. It is a popular kitesurfing spot due to the prevailing wind conditions.
Fishing is abundant, and a community of families who work with this resource is established on both margins of the lagoon with species like silverside, flounder and mullet throughout the year and shrimp (Penaeus paulensis) in the season.
Ownership of land is varied. On the Maldonado and north-northeast margins it is mainly composed by relatively large, privately-owned farms, whereas on the Rocha margin near the coast the land was subdivided into developments composed by small lots.
Agricultural production is mainly free range livestock farming and soy plantations.