We recently joined forces with a awesome bunch of like-minded environmentally conscious folk in Quepos. Together we built this beautiful Sailfish made of reused plastic bottles. The entire construction process took more than 180 hours, so working over 15 days. The sculpture consists of over 3500 bottles, 3000 caps, and is an impressive 13 meter in length and weighs 200 kilos.
All this plastic for the art project was collected from our region around Quepos. Much of it is recyclable plastic…however, did you know that plastic cannot be recycled in Costa Rica? In fact, Costa Rica only has the capacity to recycle glass.
All other collected recyclables like plastic, aluminum and paper, have to be exported for recycling with current figures showing that only 9% of plastic collected for recycling is actually recycled. Much of our recycling ends up in landfills in far corners of the globe or burnt, so releasing toxic gases. This is why recycling is no longer the solution for our plastic world..we find alternatives to plastics.
REDUCE, REUSE and REFUSE!
This beautiful sailfish represents a hope for the future of Quepos. Many hands joined together to make it a reality, working together under the blazing sun and the occasional rain storm. Art projects like this are a way to reuse plastics and raise awareness of the plastic problem. Thank you to the Comite Ambiental de Quepos and to the artist, Alban Corrales for letting us work on this amazing project.
Coral Coral Coral! We have been really busy working in our coral nurseries these last couple of weeks. Kat and our new intern Anni have cleaned and measured all our current coral fragments; we can report some great growth since the last data collection a month ago!
Tool fundraiser update
We are thrilled that our “Tool Fundraiser” has allowed us to purchase a Gryphon AquaSaw! Thank you so much to our generous donors that made this purchase possible! The Aquasaw is a diamond blade bandsaw, and is ideal for precision fragmenting of hard corals. This is going to totally change the way we can process corals to go out to the nurseries.
Tuesday was for fragmenting!
On Tuesday we collected corals from wild donor colonies and brought them back to the Marina for processing. We used the new saw to “micro-fragment” the corals into smaller pieces to grow in the nurseries. The saw makes it much easier to cut the fragments into the perfect size and causes less stress to the corals. The coral fragments were then attached to concrete discs on which they will grow in our ocean nurseries for the next 6 month to a year. Cutting the corals into small fragments stimulates growth, we will also be monitoring and cleaning to give them and even better chance of survival.
Coral planting here we come
On Wednesday, we are excited to announce that we took over 100 fragments of 3 coral species and planted them in our nurseries!! If you would like to help fund our coral reef restoration work, our tool fundraiser is still going! We have several more tools that we need including an underwater drill, that will use for attaching the coral colonies grown in our nurseries back onto our local reef.
November to me, always brings a sense of anticipation. You can feel the summer coming to Costa Rica. In October, businesses take their annual vacation and boats get their bottoms painted November though is the start of the new season. Here at Marine Conservation Costa Rica we are also really excited to get back in the water!
Starting this season, we welcome John Reinbott to our crew. John is a marine biologist and is fresh from a year long internship at the Coral Restoration FoundationTM in Florida. John and I are going to be working closely together on our coral restoration project. This last week we have been looking at the nurseries. We have also been brainstorming lots of ways we can improve on our current methods…and it’s been fun!
We also welcome Anna, our new coral intern from Ecuador. She will be helping us with data collection, maintenance and cleaning. Also building new structures and community education. Looks like it’s going to be an amazing season!