Dive Against Debris with Jack Johnson

Dive Against Debris with Jack Johnson

With the start of the new season rapidly approaching we are going to kick it off with one of our Dive against Debris. These are our fun underwater cleanups that are organized every other month. They help to combat the build up of trash underwater in our favorite dive sites in Manuel Antonio.

underwater clean up

For the first one of the season we thought we would kick it off with a big bang. As a special incentive to encourage our eco warriors, in addition to helping the ocean, you get the chance to win two Jack Johnson concert tickets in San Jose the following weekend. How awesome huh?

So…Jack Johnson?

In case you didn’t know, Jack Johnson is a singer-songwriter from the US who is active in environmentalism and sustainability. Very often with a focus on the world’s oceans. We are teaming up with his social action network “All at once” along with other non-profits in Costa Rica including Raising coral and Operation rich coast to be able to offer this opportunity to our eco warriors.

As well as our underwater cleanup there is a coastal clean up and an exciting music event. At each of the events there will be the chance to win a pair of tickets.

So, what do you need to do?

If you are an avid ocean diver and want to join us on our underwater clean up you sign up by sending us an email here. In addition you will need to pay a donation to our foundation. If you have all of your own dive gear the donation is $32 ($30 + 5% Paypal fee) if you need to rent dive gear it is $42 ($40 plus 5% paypal fee) You will then need to arrive at the Marina the morning of the 2nd November for the start of the event. Places are limited for the underwater clean up so signing up soon is advised.

If you are not a diver but still want to make a difference you can sign up for the coastal cleanup or join us for the event at Selinas. Both are that same day in the evening where there will be live music and the raffle to win the tickets.

We look forward to seeing you at the start of our exciting season.

Want to sign up? You can sign up here with your contact details and donation.

Cleaners of the Ocean

Cleaners of the Ocean

dive fro debris

Hello Ocean Lovers! Here at Marine Conservation Costa Rica, ocean cleanups are a common part of our monthly activities. Diving for Debris has been a well known and largely participated event. It has left divers feeling both accomplished and hopeful for a healthier underwater ecosystem.

We need the natural cleaners of the reef

But are we the only ones working to keep our ocean clean? If that were true, our reefs and the health of the sea would have been inevitably doomed long ago. No matter how much effort we as concerned humans have put in to “undoing” what the human race has already carelessly destroyed. Fortunately, there are other marine species who work full time jobs to filter and clean the ocean long before we were ever brought to the attention to do so. 

Invertebrate filter feeders

sponge and brittle star on the reef
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Sponges are aquatic invertebrates that many divers take a moment to stop and admire. What you may not know is that they are not just interesting to look at. They also play an important role in the health of its surrounded area. Sponges filter large amounts of water and can produce up to three times the amount of oxygen they consume.

Algae attackers

parrot fish in Costa Rica

Parrotfish, otherwise known as a “keystone species”, spend the majority of their time feeding. They do this by using their beak-like mouths to scrape off algae and dead coral. If you listen closely, you can hear them doing so underwater. In addition, they excrete what they have consumed in which we call sand. Parrotfish can produce up to 320 kilograms of sand per year!

The Marine dentist

Cleaner shrimp are not just little crustaceans that are fun to hunt in tiny crevices. They are sometimes referred to as, and what I like to call them, “Marine Dentists”. These shrimp do a great service of performing rock dances and cleaning their predators teeth. Pretty brave souls if you ask me!

It is our responsibility to co-exist on this planet and take care of what nature has given us. We are all included in a chain and each species plays a vital role. These are only a select few marine species that consistently work hard to keep our oceans and our home both healthy and happy! We must continue to help our ocean friends by doing our part as well. 

6 easy ways to go Eco in your everyday life

6 easy ways to go Eco in your everyday life

As a conservation non-profit we are constantly looking at ways that we can make a difference in our amazing ocean and planet. Sometimes it seems like an endless battle to do something and almost overwhelming. However, there are some very simple and easy things that you can do to start being more conscious in your everyday life. Here are some suggestions to get started.

Lace up your trainers

walk don't drive

Super easy this one. Next time you think about jumping in the car, can you walk it? Even better, take the fur baby with you if you have one and both enjoy the fresh air. Less car time is less emissions which as we know is a big factor to climate change.

Find that reusable bottle and start using it

reusable water bottles

I think that every person at this point has a reusable bottle somewhere. Come on now. What does a bottled water company really sell? Plastic bottles not water. We don’t need anymore of those so let’s make a concerted effort to remember your bottle when you leave the house and bring it with you. Otherwise we end up with a ridiculous amount of reusable bottles as well which starts to defeat the purpose somewhat don’t you think?!

Eat less meat

eat more veggies

For those carnivores out there, that are tired of hearing about the perfect Vegan life, I get it. But, it does have a big effect on the environment whether it is deforestation or emissions. So, if you really can’t cut that hamburger out of your life, maybe try and do it slightly less and make sensible choices, as in buy local, and try and steer away from the giant factory farms.

Recycle

Yes, we know that only a small percentage of plastics get recycled, so the perfect solution is juts don’t buy it. But in many places around the world you are limited with your options so when you can, recycle what you do have. Here in Quepos we also have a scheme where some of the not so regularly recycled objects are able to be made into building blocks so everything is being used or reused. Check out you local area to see if there are any similar projects.

Hang it out to dry

Unless you are in downpour rainy season you can use a drier less and utilize the wind. Less energy consumption and less of a carbon footprint. Whats not to like? Hang out your clothes and get some breezy freshness on them!

Use eco friendly cleaning products

Everything that we use in water ends up in our oceans and rivers including things that can be harmful to wildlife. Whether it is your laundry detergent or your shampoo it can all have an effect. So why not make a more conscious decision about what you are putting into the water. There are more options for organic and biodegradable cleaning products now as well which won’t have a negative effect on the wildlife. I have found that I am definitely reading the label on what I am using now, I just wish more of them steered away from plastic. Its a start though!

eco friendly laundry detergent

So with these simple steps you can make a positive start to a more eco aware life! No excuses, get started!

Coral Colaboration in action

Coral Colaboration in action

Coral restoration meeting costa rica

Last week, Marine Conservation Costa Rica were invited to a meeting for designing a new protocol  for the restoration of coral reefs in Costa Rica. This is an exciting move for us as throughout Costa Rica there is a push to help protect our reefs and being at the forefront of that with our project is a privilege.

The meeting was held at the Marine Park in Puntarenas. Here I met with the heads of SINAC, MINAE and other coral scientists in Costa Rica. What an honor, I got to meet some of the scientists in person. These are some incredible people whose work and scientific papers I have been pouring over.

Brainstorming for the protocol

Raising Coral gave an in depth outline of the protocol. They are an amazing organization based out of Golfo Dulce in the Southern Pacific of Costa Rica, and have been working in coral restoration for the last 3 years. Raising Coral have been really helpful with guidance to us, especially at the beginning of our project.

Looking at coral structures

After their introduction we added other methods and techniques that were relevant to our areas of Manuel Antonio and the conditions that we face here.

For example, on the Central Pacific Coast we have a lot more water movement and are using a table structure to give the corals stability in the water. The tree planting methods would not work well here. this as good as it will be added to the protocol.

It was a long but exciting day. And as always, great to collaborate, share ideas and difficulties with other scientists. This is after all, what science is all about.

Written by Kat

Dive For Debris

Dive For Debris

An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash-most of it plastic -is dumped in the world’s oceans every year. In the united states 10.5 million tons of waste is generated a year but recycle only 1 or 2 % of it.

Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million marine animals and birds in the Pacific Ocean. Over half this plastic is less than 60 mm- or a quarter inch. These tiny plants and animals are the base of the ocean food web, and animals consuming plankton from herring to whales are ingesting plastic. The plastic doesn’t go away, it just gets smaller. Approximately 70% of plastic sinks to the bottom where it sits like a time bomb, waiting to be assimilated.

As part of our ongoing mission to save our oceans we run underwater clean ups every month. We rotate around different dive sites in our area so as to maintain a good overall sweep of our local area. Once completed we register the debris that we find into an international database where the information is used to look at overall patterns of marine debris to track sources.

We welcome all volunteers on these clean ups and if you would like to come and join us clean up the ocean then you are welcome to. Dates for the clean ups are listed on our calendar along with our other events so please contact us to participate.

We ask for a minimum of open water certification to take past.