The Water for Life Environmental Outreach Program focuses on water quality and quantity issues in lowland Costa Rica. This outreach component was initiated by graduate students from the University of Georgia's (UGA) Conservation and Sustainable Development Program, in collaboration with the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Costa Rica, the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), and educators and leaders in local communities. Water-for-Life was developed specifically in response to water resource problems faced by the community of Puerto Viejo de Sarapaqui (population 10,000), located ~ 5 km from La Selva Biological Station, which is owned and operated by OTS. The town experienced explosive population growth as a result of the development of banana plantations in the region. This growth has placed extreme demands on municipal water supplies. Local surface and groundwaters are contaminated with fecal coliforms (introduced by livestock and domestic sewage). Pesticides and herbicides from the banana plantations are also a problem (e.g., Pringle and Scatena 1999).
The environmental outreach products that have been disseminated within the community include:
- Under construction -