Paso Pacifico



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Reef Rangers


This Pacific coast of Nicaragua where we work is home to estuaries, lagoons, mangroves, and rocky points. These coastline attributes combined with the water temperatures, depths, upswells, and currents do not allow the kind of rapid coral reef growth we see in the Caribbean. What you do see, however, is a unique chain of coral islands, and the marine environment they help create is home to dozens of fish as well as echinoderm (urchins, sea stars, etc.), mollusks, crustacea, macroalgae, and 13 kinds of coral.

Marine biologists investigating these isolated coral colonies off the Nicaraguan coast have observed that lobsters and sea cucumbers are often harvested by hooka divers with little regard for the fragile ecosystem or future generations of their catch. Without connectivity, it is more difficult for these coral biotopes to recover from human disturbance.

To help conserve these unique ecosystems, in 2013 we launched our reef ranger program to educate divers (and other fishermen) about coral ecosystems and the effects of fishing harvests on marine health. Building on the successes of our other ranger programs, our reef rangers are expanding our coastal and marine research project, our sea turtle conservation efforts, and our sustainable fisheries initiative.

To empower reef rangers, we train local conservationists and community guides to safely scuba dive. Divers are trained to identify, monitor, and record marine species and sample substrate along a transect. Over time, this research will allow us to understand the relationship between climate change and biodiversity, as well as make recommendations for improved marine conservation practices.

Reef rangers will monitor marine ecosystems, map marine wildlife habitat, and educate fellow community members about the importance of sustainably managing marine resources.

This new community of sustainable fishing and dive guides will also be able to harness tourism dollars to protect fragile marine ecosystems, supporting hospitality microenterprises in the eco-tourism sector. By land and by sea, we are working to understand and ensure strong resilient coastal communities and marine ecosystems for future generations.

Project partners include DANIDA and the Guanacaste Conservation Area.








   
Contact Us
info@pasopacifico.org

USA
PO Box 1244 • Ventura, CA 93002-1244
Phone: 1-805-643-7044


Nicaragua
Carretera a Masaya Km 12.4
Residencial Villas del Prado, Casa No. 7
Managua, Nicaragua
Phone: +505-2279-8423
Phone: +505-2279-7072

© 2006 Paso Pacífico