Edition: July 2012

Conservation in ACTION

On July 14th the International Surfing Association World Masters Surfing Championship opened on Playa Colorado, Nicaragua, bringing the world's best surfers, surfing fans, and international media to the region where we work.

ISA General Director Bob Mignona made sure the event also brought the surfing community's commitment to ocean conservation. A board member at the SIMA Environmental Fund, which supports Paso Pacífico's surf ambassadors, Bob asked us to help ISA showcase Nicaragua's natural beauty without threatening its fragile ecosystems.

By day we campaigned to end litter and clean up our beaches as we hauled away several truck loads of garbage and recyclables. By night our turtle rangers patrolled the beach to protect any sea turtles who came ashore to nest. No turtles nested on Playa Colorado during the tournament, but our rangers did take an ISA group to the La Flor Wildlife Refuge to see an Olive Ridley arribada (mass sea turtle nesting).

"After eight amazing days of competition, with many memories and friendships made, the Nicaragua ISA World Masters is at its end, but the impact will certainly live long beyond once the scaffolding comes down." We appreciate the connections we made during the tournament and look forward to continued cooperation with the many enthusiastic ocean conservationists we met on Playa Colorado.

Paso Pacífico in the News

"Surfing, like any sport, can be a powerful mechanism for change. The people of Nicaragua are hoping this is the case." Jake Howard reported on the ESPN blog.

"It's a pretty simple life down here. It's a beautiful life," said Team Hawaii's Jack Latronic. "They say Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the world, but honestly, these people have so much food and beauty and it seems so peaceful."

Surfwire described Playa Colorado as "a place where the jungle met the sand and the Howler Monkeys offered early-morning wake-up calls" giving the international visitors "a first-hand opportunity to see and be a part of a surf culture on the rise."

Gold Medal Team Hawaii knows a thing or two about surf culture, having invented the sport and shared it with the world. "I'm really stoked for the Hawaiian team," said women's gold medalist Rochelle Ballard. "This whole event has been about that, sharing our Aloha and our passion...I love that spirit of sharing; it's really inspiring."

Hawaii deserves congratulations for their medals and for their work in protecting the Hawaiian subpopulation of the green sea turtle or honu, whose IUCN Red List status was updated this month to species of least concern.

The IUCN's (International Union for Conservation of Nature) new honu status is the result of decades of research and conservation in Hawaii that "allowed the population to recover, and gives hope to the recovery of depleted marine turtle populations in other parts of the world."

To everyone in the international surfing community, and especially to our friends in Hawaii, felicidades, congratulations, gracias, thank you, and mahalo!

Partnerships make it possible

Joining us to keep the beach clean at Playa Colorado were our friends from RENISA, who work to create a culture of recycling in Nicaragua. Not only do they help launch recycling efforts, they also foster micro-enterprises dedicated to manufacturing household goods from discarded materials.

Our efforts to keep up with the crowds on Playa Colorado would not have been possible without Proyecto TESON partners Cafe Las Flores, the Municipality of San Juan del Sur, and Comunidad Connect. Proyecto TESON Tesoros de Nicaragua is a public-private effort to foster responsible waste management and recycling, reduce litter on our beaches, and protect the natural treasures which make Nicaragua an increasingly popular surfing and ecotourism destination.

Team member spotlight

Yarisleidy Cortez coordinates Proyecto TESON Tesoros de Nicaragua. A member of the Comunidad Connect team, Yarisleidy is based in San Juan del Sur, where she manages the day-to-day operations of this public-private effort to encourage environmental stewardship in our coastal communities.

Earlier this month, Yarisleidy helped take the Proyecto TESON message of clean beaches to Playa Colorado for the World Masters Surfing Championship. She wants to help Nicaragua's residents and visitors understand that conservation is a matter of culture, attitude, and responsibility.

Support Ocean Conservation.

In the wake of the ISA World Masters on Playa Colorado, you can support our continued efforts to coastal conservation as we gear up for ISA's return to Nicaragua for the 2013 World Juniors.

Your donation will help fund Paso Pacífico's Surf Ambassadors' continued community outreach and coastal clean ups.

Donate $10 to buy bags and gloves for beach clean ups.

Donate $50 to protect a sea turtle nest on a surfing beach.

Donate $250 for training to help our Surf Ambassadors become better advocates of coastal conservation.

We are grateful for our partnership with the SIMA Environmental Fund, the environmental arm of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association which promotes ecological and environmental organizations whose efforts are focused on enhancing the oceanic environment.

As a SIMA Environmental Fund Beneficiary, we empower young Nicaraguan surfers, training them on conservation issues and marine law to help them be successful ocean leaders. We also organize surfer-led beach clean-ups and help surfers keep watch over coastal development that restricts beach access or damages our oceans.

Thank you, SIMA members, for helping us protect our playground! We look forward to seeing you at the Waterman's Ball.

Mission | Website | Partners | Facebook | Twitter

© 2006 Paso Pacífico
USA Address: PO Box 1244 • Ventura, CA 93002-1244 • Phone: 1-805-643-7044