ENVIRONMENTAL COASTKEEPER TO PROTECT SOUTHERN CHILE WATERS
Published On : Thu, Nov 27th, 2008
Although the coastal waters between the Maule and Itata Rivers are still relatively clean, said de la O, they are being threatened. He said large industries are operating in the area, including forestry plants that have operated “without permanent supervision” for many years. He added that a company plans to build a thermoelectric plant nearby, as well.
De la O said the Maule Coastkeeper program will protect the local coastline through education, activism, legal work and scientific research. He said program participants are outreaching to universities, institutes, agencies and professionals in order to build stronger alliances.
Other important collaborators will come from local communities themselves, said de la O. He said the Maule Coastkeeper program hopes to cooperate with and support local residents who wish to carry out their own water-protection initiatives.
In addition to observing the coastline each day, de la O will help implement a process through which local residents can report on the state of the waters. One of the reasons protecting coastal waters in the area is so important, he said, is the fact that the zone’s natural beauty gives it great tourism potential.
Maule Coastkeeper plans will officially open its office in Curanipe, where de la O lives, in early 2009. Meanwhile, program participants have been paving the way by meeting with local leaders and community members to discuss future projects.
By Leigh Shadko (email@example.com)