At a Glance

This mixed use seaside development strives to conserve and reuse water while protecting and restoring fragile coastal ecosystems.

Project Description

The Villages of Loreto Bay is an 8,000-acre new urbanist development that strives to be North America’s largest sustainable resort development. The Villages of Loreto Bay began when Fonatur approached Canada’s Trust for Sustainable Development to redevelop the Loreto Bay property in a sustainable manner. David Butterfield, of the Trust for Sustainable Development, assembled an impressive team that included Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, Integrative Design Collaborative, Regenesis, Ayrie Cunliffe, and Biohabitats, among others. At buildout, which is anticipated by 2020, the three billion dollar project will include village neighborhoods primarily along the protected Loreto Bay on the Sea of Cortes which will be constructed in nine phases.

Nearly all of these pedestrian-oriented villages will feature commercial services such as corner markets. The town center, a short walk from the neighborhoods, will offer a larger collection of retail establishments. 6,000 homes are planned with 5,000 acres of the site set aside as permanent, natural open space.

Biohabitats was asked to assist with the planning and feasibility assessment design of a new water system (desalinization plant), wastewater collection, and a 100-acre mangrove estuary. Phases 2 & 3 of the development were built around an estuarine restoration project incorporating mangroves and associated vegetation native to the area.

Water from the one million gallons-per-day desalinization plant will be used to supply potable water to the residents, while wastewater from the homes and business will be treated and reclaimed for irrigation of the mangrove plant community, maintaining the necessary balance of fresh and salt water for the mangroves. Ultimately, the restored estuary will provide the basis for the over 1,000 kilograms of economic fishery per year.





Gulf of California

Expertise Areas

Infrastructure, Urban Ecology, Water


Loreto Bay Company


Loreto area, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Project Team
  • Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company
  • Integrative Design Collaborative
  • Regenesis
  • Ayrie Cunliffe