CEDO opened its doors in January 1980. In February, 1988, CEDO became a recognized non-profit orgnanization in the U.S., located in Tucson, Arizona, making it’s bi-nationality official. Hundreds of thousands of visitors and residents have participated with CEDO in field trips, eco-adventures, environmental contests, research projects, public talks, summer camps and more. CEDO works with local, state and federal authorities, fishers, schools, civic organizations and others to find sustainable ways for local communities to thrive.
Located in the Las Conchas housing development, the “Jewel of Sonora”, CEDO’s campus sits atop one of the highest dunes east of the town center and is outlined by an elegant sinuous wall and entry gate sculpture designed by artist Joseph P. McShane. The main edifice is constructed in the Greek Monastic architectural style with an open patio courtyard and a balcony overlooking the Sea of Cortez and was constructed prior to CEDO’s opening in 1980. In 1985, a 16.7 meter fin whale skeleton that washed ashore in a local estuary was exhibited on the grounds creating an important icon for all of Puerto Peñasco and solidifying CEDO’s commitment to public education. The Visitors Center is built of recycled tires and aluminum cans and is known as an “Earthship”, and was constructed over several years by volunteers and CEDO staff, and completed in the early 2000’s.
Since that time CEDO has grown its facilities, programs and resources to keep pace with growing demands of tourists, students and researchers eager to learn about the natural world at and around Puerto Peñasco.
Today CEDO is well known as a tourist attraction and for its eco-tours, for its environmental education programs for local schools, for its research and lodging facilities for groups of students from the US, for its work in marine conservation, for its contributions to the development of sustainable ways to use marine resources, especially research and support of commercial divers and small-scale fishermen in their efforts to develop sustainable examples for management of their fisheries.