Save the mangrove

To support the restoration process of the Avellanas mangrove in the most ethical way possible, while engaging the community, and raising awareness about the importance of these ecosystems.

Rochelle

Costa Rica

Student at La Paz Community School
Costa Rica is a naturally diverse country with some of the most beautiful ecosystems in the world, which are habitats to many species; but after the earthquake in 2012, and a series of unfortunate events that came after it, the mangrove in Avellanas dried up and died, which also caused the death of many organisms. After consulting with biologists, scientists and community members, we created a mangrove nursery to grow seedlings which we will plant directly into the mangrove during our final event, with hopes to restore the mangrove. Our next step is to care for the mangroves in the nursery while planning our event in collaboration with ConnectOcean; to bring together a group of passionate individuals to help us with the restoration process, while teaching them about the global importance of mangroves and holding several interactive and entertaining activities!

Rochelle

What I like:
I love surfing and I love the ocean. I can surf for more than 5 hours straight and enjoy every moment of it. Surfing goes beyond just practicing the sport, it goes deeper than. There is absolutely nothing as amazing as the ocean; the water, the waves, the diversity of species, the way everything just seem to work so perfectly. The ocean is everything to me, I can't even begin to explain the peace it brings to my life and how calming it can be. Surfing is my way of clearing my mind and connecting with the ocean. The ocean is such a wonderful place to reflect, either stormy or sunshine, there is nothing that a little saltwater can't heal. Growing up at the beach has influenced my strong relationship with the ocean and I am incredibly grateful for growing up with the ocean as my playground because it is so beautiful and there is so much to learn from it! I honestly love anything that has to do with the ocean, from swimming, to sport fishing, to surfing, to simply exploring the tide pools or going on boats. Another activity I enjoy is art, mostly painting and coloring. I love colors, and art is such a fun activity for me to relax and express myself. My grandma is an artist and I guess it just runs in the genes, because ever since I was little I always loved making arts and crafts! It is such an entertaining activity that leaves you with astonishing results to admire!
What I Do:
I want to inspire others to help the planet. The significant changes start with small ones within ourselves, and my goal throughout this project is to help the restoration process in the Avellanas mangrove with hopes to see it fully reforested in the future as well as raise awareness about environmental issues. It is impossible to accomplish this overnight, but I want to learn more about these ecosystems and work hard to plant as many seeds as we can while engaging with the community. I want other individuals to be motivated by my work in this project to find ways of implementing ecological conscience and creating projects to benefit the environment in their own communities. I can't explain how important it is to take care of our planet, it simply means everything to us, it's our home and the more we advance into a life of technology, the more we have to consider the damages we are creating on the environment. My project surged as a solution to a problem rooted by a natural cause, but the goal is to save the mangrove due to its importance as an ecosystem, hosting thousands of species as a nursery and filtering air and water, as well as accounting for the majority of carbon dioxide processing. I want to influence other people to change their mindset in order to benefit and help conserve our environment healthy and clean. I hope my project truly benefits the Avellanas mangrove and makes people realize the power their actions have, the significance and value of working collaboratively and the importance of taking care of the environment.
What I Want:
One of my best skills is my responsibility and organization. I have always been organized, keeping things clean, categorized and labelled. It gives me quite some anxiety when things just aren't into place and this organization skill has helped me become a successful person because I am able to stay on track by creating and following schedules or routines. This has helped me become a responsible person because I can organize my tasks and set them out in a logical and timely manner in order to avoid procrastination. Overachieving has always been a part of me, and I consider this as a skill because I am able to push myself to stay motivated and do more than is asked in able to thrive in everything throughout my life.

Communities

Community
Key Person
Description
Avellanas
Roger Jäggli
My dad and the owner of Cabinas Las Olas.
La Paz Community School
Amy Jacobs
The CAS Coordinator and Business & Management teacher at my school.
Guanacaste
Ernst van der Poll
The CEO of ConnectOcean.

Interviews

Interview With Roger Jäggli

What are our community strengths?
Love for nature and we are very united.
What does this community need?
We have identified that our community needs to restore the mangrove, how are you willing to contribute to the project? How do you think we can involve the community more?

I can contribute to the project by working hard and communicating with the rest so they know what is happening (as well as provide space for the project to develop). I can promote on social media and post updates on how the project is developing (pictures of how the mangroves are doing). I think we need more community events like the first one because you were able to fill up so much of the nursery with mangroves and they are doing so well.
What does this community have to share?
The mangrove life is a cycle and inside the cycle we can make a great difference after this one ended due to the natural cause of the earthquake, but we can help the ecosystem grow again at a faster rate, giving more oxygen to the world, more space to fish that are born, raised and live inside the mangrove. Overall, we can provide a healthier environment to all those birds and crabs that live in the mangrove and all those species that are part of it. At the same time we have to be conscious that when nature doesn't want something, it simple doesn't want it and this happened to us when we tried opening the river mouth at the beginning several times. When this happens, we have to accept it and give nature time and space in order to recover.

Interview With Amy Jacobs

What are our community strengths?
I am going to talk about the La Paz Community. I believe that our greatest strengths of our community are its members. The positive energy and the belief in our students says so much about who we are. The way that the students work together to solve problems and help the surrounding communities always amazes me. The intelligence combined with a little risk and open communication really drives us forward in a positive way. The differences of the cultures helps us as well because there are different ways to solve the problems and each student has a unique perspective.
What does this community need?
We have identified that our community needs to restore the mangrove, how are you willing to contribute to the project? How do you think we can involve the community more?

I am very excited about the mangrove project because I have learned many things about mangroves and their importance. I am definitely ready to help and was sorry that I was away for the first event. I will pledge my time and motivation skills to help keep this project moving forward. I think that you can just keep talking about what you are doing and telling the story. I really love that you have partnered with Connect Ocean and have a strong mentor to collaborate with in the upcoming months. I also am encouraged by your Mangrove Reforestation Project that will continue to educate young people so that they are informed and continue to make a difference. Keep making videos that show people what you are doing!
What does this community have to share?
Well, I think that the high school community is something that everyone should know about. Your ability to critically think and tackle problems that are of global significance really is the key to saving our world. Every student that I teach has something to offer. And every student that I teach is doing something to give back to this community. It goes back to Daniel Pink's theory of Motivation and the need for purpose. The high school students are finding that early. It is not easy to take time out of your busy schedule but each one of you does it on a weekly basis. That is something that doesn't happen everywhere and we should shout it out to the world! And it is what makes it great to come to work.

Interview With Ernst van der Poll

What are our community strengths?
Living in Costa Rica you have no choice but to live closer to nature. Our community in particular has a great environmental awareness and willingness to support local initiatives. There is a genuine feeling of wanting to make a difference. Our community has several schools and students who would be a acquisition pool for volunteers. There are also several businesses that are environmentally committed to support local environmental efforts.
What does this community need?
We have identified that our community needs to restore the mangrove, how are you willing to contribute to the project? How do you think we can involve the community more?

ConnectOcean Conservation and Outreach is developing a Citizen Science curriculum covering 4 Marine Ecosystems and a watershed ecosystem:
Source to Sea Explorer
Intertidal Explorer
Mangrove Explorer
Reef Explorer
Open Ocean Explorer
The Curriculum uses place based education techniques which requires hands on learning.The course can be taught on site in the respective ecosystems without having to be in a classroom setting.The courses are designed to teach participants about the value and importance of each of the related ecosystems and engages participants in research through citizen science.
Each one of the courses will have their own set of data collection protocols where participants will gather data from the respective ecosystems and upload it onto a central GIS data base platform which we created.The platform is an ArcGIS data portal . A Geographical information system (GIS) is a framework for gathering and analyzing data. Rooted in the science of geography,GIS integrates many types of data.It analyzes spatial location and organizes layers of information into visualizations using maps and 3 D scenes.
Combining this unique capability with our Explorer Curriculum will allow us deeper insight into the data, such as patterns and the interconnectivity between them.This empowers us with the baseline data to then make smarter decisions in protecting these ecosystems or lobby for the creation of multi-use sustainable community no-take zones.
Mangrove Explorer
The Mangrove Explorer program introduces students to mangrove forests and systems, the ecological, social and economic value of healthy mangrove ecosystems, and linkages to the marine and coastal environment.
The key aims and objectives of the Mangrove Explorer program are:
To increase awareness and understanding of the connection between mangrove ecosystems and the marine environment.
To develop an understanding the importance of mangrove ecosystems for fisheries, coastal protection, water quality, shelter, and the value of them as an ecosystem service.
To understand the key zones within mangrove forests, stages of growth, the importance of hydrology, and how they reproduce.
To use place-based learning to educate participants in mangrove ecosystems and develop hands-on skills and techniques to enhance learning.
To utilize the Mangrove Explorer program to collect data using tested citizen science protocols and scientifically robust monitoring and data collection methodologies.
To conduct the Mangrove Explorer program at sufficient frequency to increase overall awareness of mangroves, the impacts and threats to mangrove systems, and to maintain knowledge an ownership of local ecological communities.
ConnectOcean will be willing to contribute to this project by donating a number of these courses towards the project to help teach the community more about the importance of these amazing ecosystems and engage them in our Citizen Science Explorer Program to help us gather data for our GIS portal.
What does this community have to share?
I think the most important story is the pure commitment of the students involved in this project. We live in a day and age where young people are disconnected from nature. Technology is at our finger tips and in spite of knowing so much of what is going on in the world and in spite of all warning signs out there of what is happening to our planet, few take up the challenge of making a difference and doing something. Knowledge is important when it comes to have an awareness of what is going on around us, but it isn’t the long distance fuel in the race to save our natural resources. That is passion. Passion doesn’t get delivered through the internet, television, textbooks or watching documentaries like National Geographic. It gets lifted from Nature. It gets lifted from getting your hands and clothes muddy from planting mangroves, it gets lifted from snorkeling in an intertidal pool, seeing a giant manta around Las Catalinas and surfing with dolphins. The students in this community have exactly that. Passion.
Task
Person
Weeks

Collaboration with 5th grade

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Plan with ConnectOcean mangrove event

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Water nursery every 2 days

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Mangrove Event

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Budget

Expenses

Item
Amount
Informational signs
$250
Water bill
$500
Boat ride through mangrove for the event
$360
Transportation
$400
Lodging at Cabinas las Olas (1 night, 6 rooms, for the 18 participants)
$800
Food and drinks for the event
$1000

Resources

Description
Source
Value
Collaboration and curriculum content for the event
ConnectOcean
$200 per person for event
Location to host event
Cabinas las Olas
$500
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