Coastal MPA
Puerto Mar del Plata
Provincial Nature Reserve with a defined Educational and Botanical Purpose

Cover Photo © Alejandro D. Sánchez


The Mar del Plata Port Reserve is a wetland of approximately 32 hectares, located at the southern end of the port of Mar del Plata. Despite its small size, the area has the greatest biodiversity of the entire General Pueyrredón district. The wetland is home to various species of birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. The best represented group is that of birds, with more than 172 species recorded. Among the most characteristic, we can mention the black-necked swan and the coscoroba swan and one of the most colorful and rare, the federal. In the reserve it is also possible to observe endangered species according to IUCN criteria, such as the black-necked gull and the dwarf sparrowhawk. The conservation of numerous species of migratory birds and native waterfowl depends on the subsistence of the lagoons in the area, since scientific studies have determined the real importance of this coastal sector for sustaining the coastal system of migratory birds.
The reserve is surrounded by urbanized, industrial and tourist-recreational areas associated with the Punta Mogotes complex. It is a meeting point between areas of intense human activities and a natural environment with a diversity of fauna and flora typical of wetlands. Its immediacy with the city of the high value for the development of educational and interpretive activities, being a place of easy access for groups of formal and non-formal education. Every year the reserve is visited not only by delegations from schools in Mar del Plata and the area, but also from the Federal Capital and the interior of the country who ask to learn about the port wetland ecosystem.

Geographic Location


Buenos Aires


-38.05° Latitude S

-57.54° Longitude W

Size and Limits

Total Area:


Marine Area:


Continental Area:


Estimated area based on the calculation of the area of the polygon represented on the map (ArcGIS PRO) with an Albers Equivalent Conic projection to preserve surface calculations.
OPDS Bs. As estimates 0.3 km2 (Read More).

Legal Aspects



Year of Creation


Creation Legislation

Provincial Law No. 14688

Eco-regions represented



Pampa Ecoregion

Conservation Objectives

The reserve preserves different natural environments such as wetlands, sand dunes, beaches, lagoons and grasslands with a high concentration of different species of flora and fauna. This biodiversity refuge contains a total of 178 plant species, more than 170 species of birds and another 150 species of mammals, reptiles, freshwater fish, and amphibians. The protected area plays an important role in environmental education and awareness.

Human Activities

  • Tourism
  • Research
  • Environmental interpretation
  • Environmental education

Conservation challenges for biodiversity

The conservation of this natural landscape depends on the proper administration and governance of the MPA. This implies an integrated and coordinated work between the authorities responsible for administering conservation (OPDS and Prefectura Naval Argentina since the area is located within its jurisdiction by ordinance 12/1998), tourism, science, education, and private actors with interests in the area.

The most intense pressures and threats to marine biodiversity are related to tourism and pollution (garbage and sewage discharges). The proximity of developments, such as private resorts and a sports club, requires special attention from the authorities and also responsibility from the operators of these private spaces in order to avoid direct and indirect impacts of these activities on the environment and biodiversity of the reserve.


Management authority

Organismo Provincial de Desarrollo Sustentable (OPDS)

Executive management team

Natural Protected Areas Directorate of the Provincial Agency for Sustainable Development (OPDS)

Governance – Relevant institutions

Natural Protected Areas Directorate of the Provincial Agency for Sustainable Development (OPDS), Greenpeace Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata Regional Port Consortium, Educational Project Team – Fundación Reserva Natural Puerto Mar del Plata, Prefectura Naval Argentina

Land ownership


Management effectiveness and evaluation year

Not evaluated

Uso público

Number of visitors; yera of estimate


Visitor services
  • visitors paths,
  • viewpoints,
  • posters,
  • brochures,
  • circuit of walkways with access to the beach and the harbor,
Entrance fee

No entrance fee

Sources consulted:
Creation Law No. 14,688 (2014).
De Marco and collaborators (2011)

Expert revision:
María José Solis Fieg (2021)

Colonies of fur seals: See Bibliography.