First cleaning of marine debris in the Gulf of Nicoya carried out

  • A group of 71 volunteers from nine organizations participated in the activity.
  • In the cleaning carried out in the maritime surroundings of Isla San Lucas National Park, 445 kg of waste were collected.

San Jose, Costa Rica. June, 2023.  Tires, straws, and even syringes were found in the “1st Floating Solid Waste Cleaning Campaign” carried out in the surroundings of the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya, on the eve of World Ocean Day that is celebrated every June 8, and as a flag off of the celebration of the 45th anniversary of Cocos Island National Park.     

Experts have stressed the need to generate actions that prevent us from continuing to use our rivers and oceans as garbage dumps, and mitigate the impact of pollution on marine ecosystems.

The cleanup organized by Friends of Cocos Island Foundation (FAICO), the Cocos Marine Conservation Area (ACMC), and other strategic partners is part of a series of actions that are part of the month of celebration of the 45th anniversary of Cocos Island Nacional Park, and whose main objective is to raise awareness about the problems faced by our country regarding inadequate waste disposal. In the case of the Gulf of Nicoya, there are four currents that flow into it: the Tempisque, Barranca, Tárcoles, and Tambor rivers, which are the main highways for waste generated from different areas of the country. 

Alejandra Villalobos Directora Ejecutiva de Faico

Alejandra Villalobos, Executive Director of FAICO

For Alejandra Villalobos, Executive Director of FAICO, “Many would wonder: What is an NGO from Cocos Island doing in the Gulf of Nicoya? Our interest is to raise awareness about how the entire ocean is interconnected and that what happens in the Gulf of Nicoya or on our Pacific coast has significant impact on our entire marine area.  We cannot wait for pollution to reach Cocos Island, where five marine currents converge. That is why we are here today with our partners, showing Costa Rica that even if you live in the Central Valley or on the coast, you can generate significant impacts on the health of our Cocos Island and all the important marine ecosystems in the country.”    

How was the offshore garbage collection carried out?

The collection of waste in the ocean is generally done by using boats to be able to identify and later collect waste using tools such as nets, rakes, and sweeping devices. 

It is worth mentioning that everything collected was transferred to specialized collection centers to classify and determine possible uses.

“This activity demonstrates that the conservation of the oceans is not the task of an institution; it is a responsibility that we must undertake as a country, as a society, where each one of us must make a contribution in solidarity, to conserve a marine ecosystem that we need so much” said Mrs. Gina Cuza, Regional Director of the Cocos Marine Conservation Area, highlighting the joint work of the organizations

A common effort

In the activity carried out prior to the celebration of the 45th anniversary of Cocos Island National Park (CINP), a group of 71 volunteers from nine organizations participated, including: Cocos Marine Conservation Area; Pacific Marine Park; Puerto Limpio; Network of Youth and Climate Change; Association of Tour Operators of Puntarenas; Chamber of Tourism of Puntarenas, and the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.


Around World Ocean Day, an official event will be held at the Pacific Marine Park in Puntarenas, with the participation of schools from Puntarenas, political authorities, public institutions, and civil society. 


June 8, 2023, 10:00 a.m.


Pacific Marine Park, Puntarenas