Paso Pacífico committed to restoring marine ecosystems and empowering women
Paso Pacífico committed to restoring marine ecosystems and empowering women
Oysters help to filter water, create shorebird habitat and buffer the coast from storms. However, in the Paso del Istmo Biological Corridor, shellfish have been depleted due to overharvest. This has had negative impacts on the marine ecosystem and on local fishing communities. Women are especially affected because they have long harvested shelllfish to feed their families and supplement their incomes. 
Through the Clinton Global Initiative(CGI), Paso Pacífico committed to restoring marine ecosystems and empowering women fishers by helping local women launch businesses in sustainable oyster cultivation. Last week, during the CGI Annual Meeting, Paso Pacífico's Executive Director pitched this project to the CGI membership and new regional partnerships are developing as a result. 
The commitment is well underway in the village of Ostional, Nicaragua where a group of women fishers have formed the "Smiling Oyster Cooperative". The cooperative has benefited from capacity-building support from the Multi-Lateral Investment Fund (IADB) as part of the ELLAS initiative. As ocean stewards, these women will help to restore the coastal ecosystem and they will benefit economically as they harvest the oysters. To learn more about this project and how you can get involved explore our NEW BROCHURE
On Sunday, September 21st people around the world gathered for the People's Climate March, an event calling on global leaders to take action to address climate change. It was the largest climate action rally in history and has helped unify the movement worldwide.  
Paso Pacífico's Executive Director Sarah Otterstrom participated in the New York City march along with over 400,000 other participants. Paso Pacífico team-members from our California office participated in the Ventura, California rally. We are proud to be a part of this movement to make climate change a top priority. As an organization we are working to mitigate this threat by restoring tropical forests and by reducing our carbon footprint.

Last week during the Clinton Global Iniative's 10th Annual Meeting, our Executive Director had the opportunity to meet with Olivier Behra of the Man and Nature Foundation. Man & Nature is helping us to restore forest connectivity across the Paso del Istmo Biological Corridor by bringing in private sector support from comestic companies that depend on raw materials from nature. The project has already benefitted over fifty families who are using agroforestry to grow food and rebuild native forests. 

Thanks to Man & Nature, Paso Pacífico will host a team of videographers and producers from French television in October. The filmmakers will have a chance to capture reforestation activities because the rains have finally arrived. Our farming partners are in the midst of planting 30,000 native trees that will provide essential oils for sustainable harvest, while also creating habitat for wildlife and restoring the watershed for communities.  We are fortunate to work with the Man & Nature Foundation and its visionary leader, Olivier Behra. 

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Matt Dolkas joined our team roughly a year ago to help manage the organization's digital media and online presence. He has worked for a number of nonprofits as a photographer and communications specialist in Idaho, Alaska, and California. 
Matt has a M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho with a focus on the science of environmental communication. He has a deep appreciation for the natural world and is passionate about building a wildlife corridor in the Paso del Istmo. Thanks Matt for sharing the depth and beauty of our mission through your photography and media!
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Francie Rutherford believes in the power of people to bring about change. For this reason, she has long been a supporter of Paso Pacífico's grassroots projects that support small-holder farmers, especially women. Through the family foundation that she leads, she has supported efforts to revive populations of native honey bees and strengthen women farmers.
Francie is on the front lines of environmental conservation and social justice through her involvement in many committed organizations. This month Francie and Sarah Otterstrom attended the People's Climate March in NY with Forest Ethics, an organization focused on protecting endangered forests and wildlife in North America.
Thank you Francie for all you do for people and the planet!
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