Thanks to the effort of neighbors of the areas of Cuajiniquil, El Jobo and Puerto Soley in La Cruz, Guanacaste, the 732.1 hectares that make up Santa Elena Bay are now a Marine Protected Area.
The objective of establishing this zone as a Marine Management Area is to reserve it for particular purposes, among them the conservation of marine life, the promotion of recreation and tourism and the sustainable use of its resources, particularly fishing resources.
Santa Elena Bay receives several marine species with reproductive purposes, among them, dolphins, whales, turtles and other pelagic species like the whale shark, which is an endangered species, and several species of rays.
With the purpose of mitigating the threats and pressures that exist over the ecosystems in Santa Elena Bay, the Guanacaste Conservation Area, of the National System of Areas of Conservation, implements as part of the program Costa Rica Por Siempre, actions that aim to increase the number of protected areas as part of the country’s biodiversity goals.
One of the objectives of this program is that Costa Rica increases by 2020 the protection of its marine ecosystems up to 4% of its Special Economic Zone and the transformation of Santa Elena Bay as a Marine Management Area helps this goal.
There are close to 3000 people in the district of Santa Elena that will benefit from the sustainable management of the Marine Protected Area.
The creation of the Santa Elena Bay Marine Management Area will be strengthen with the signing of the Specific Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) through the National System of Areas of Conservation (SINAC) and the Ministry of Public Security, which will allow the implementation of an Environmental Unit of Coast Guards in Puerto Mora (Cuajiniquil) for the control, surveillance and support of the Santa Elena Bay and surrounding areas, and by the installation of new radars in this area.
The Waitt Foundation donated $150,000.00 that will be used to build the new operational model that will manage the area.