Deborah Knight

Deborah Knight is a freelance writer living in San Diego. She writes primarily about environmental topics.

A conservation pioneer from Belize joins forces with the Nature Conservancy

Joy Grant was born in a house with no indoor plumbing in the tiny Central American country of Belize. That was 52 years ago. Last year, she accepted one of the top positions at the U.S.-based Nature Conservancy. For both parties, the marriage is a calculated gamble. Joy, oh, Joy. Photo: Deborah Knight. I spent a morning with Grant recently in Belize City. Her voice has a throaty roughness to it, softened by the Belizean Creole lilt. She founded Programme for Belize, a private nonprofit conservation organization that during her 12-year tenure acquired 300,000 acres of forest land — 4 …

An INS project threatens Southern California lands

On a sunny afternoon in Southern California, a Border Patrol agent watched as a man climbed the metal fence that divides the beach between the U.S. and Mexico. When the man dropped onto U.S. sand, the agent yelled, and the man’s friends hauled him back over to the other side of the fence. The fence at Border Field State Park. Photo: Deborah Knight. Such is the daily — and nightly — cat-and-mouse game that goes on here at Border Field State Park, the southwestern-most point in the continental United States. A grassy picnic area overlooks an empty stretch of U.S. …

Threatened sea turtles find allies in Baja

To be an endangered sea turtle near Punta Abreojos on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula is to be a lucky animal. In this remote fishing village, the local fishing cooperative cracks down on any member caught with a turtle. For the first offense, you lose fishing privileges for three months, and must instead don a hairnet and mask and work in the seafood processing plant. The second offense gets you kicked out of the coop, which has sole rights to the lucrative local lobster and abalone fishery. See turtle. Photo: www.jeffreybrown.com. To be an endangered sea turtle 220 miles to the south …