June 8 was World Oceans Day. Across the globe, people celebrated the day and held events to bring awareness of the blight of the oceans because of things like pollution and over-fishing.
Elementary and high school students, teachers and parents celebrated the day in Costa Rica cleaning up the beaches in Golfito, Puerto Jiménez, Quepos and Potrero, and the Río Torres in San Jose.
The event was sponsored by the Costa Rican Fisheries Federation (FECOP), which is made up of seven sport fishing associations across the country. The groups were assisted by municipalities, the Coast Guard, the Red Cross, tourism chambers, and local police.
Kids listened to talks about the importance of the ocean and how to keep their local beach free of trash and plastic. Then, off to the “treasure hunt” they went, ready to clear their beaches and riverbanks of debris.
Golfito was the big “winner,” collecting 386 kilos of trash. Quepos got rained on, but enthusiastically gathered what they could before going inside while Captain Rolando Chaves discussed the importance of sport fishing to the community of Quepos and keeping the ocean healthy.
These kids put their hearts into this project and walked away with a valuable lesson.
We all know a picture is worth a thousand words; that’s why I’ll I keep this short to make more room for photos. Thank you to all those who made this such a success.
Read more Wetline Costa Rica columns here.
Todd Staley has run fishing sport operations on both coasts of Costa Rica for over 25 years. He recently decided to take some time off to devote full time to marine conservation. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.