Eco cycling in Punta Arena
On the ongoing fight against plastic pollution in the ocean, Fundación Bahía focused on the community of Punta Arena, in the island of Tierra Bomba. Roughly 1,500 inhabitants benefitted from the positive impacts of increased environmental education, conservation efforts, strengthening of the recycling system and the local recyclers´ association and other local groups and sustainable actions, such as supporting ecotourism activities and artistic interventions. The project´s positive impact on the Punta Arena community has surpassed the expected results due to the community's appropriation of the activities and objectives. We work with local organizations such as: Community Council, Recyclers, Environmental Guard, Environmental Volunteering group, Restaurants, Hotels, the community in general, children and youth, Eco-guides and motorcycle taxi drivers, strengthening environmental education in each one and emphasizing the importance of recovering and conserving the territory through different strategies that each organization and / or person identifies that they can carry out. Sustainable Punta Arena meant a change in the habits of the community, recognizing and valuing its enormous eco-tourism potential, due to the environmental and awareness-raising work that the Bahía Foundation and its allies carry out on the island.
Our educational program Clean Seas: Guardians of the Oceans and its workbook Soy Mar, provided us with the tools with which to strenthen the environmental education in the community. Allies and volunteers also helped us to provide and conduct a total of 33 workshops with a varying range of themes, impacting and helping form about 227 community members.
As part of the conservation efforts to preserve the mangrove and the oceans and beaches, including the bay, Fundacion Bahia organized eight major clean ups, picking up a total of 1,183 kgs. These cleanup brigades were highly educational, setting the tone for adequate separation at source and residue management.
In order to teach separation at source and incentivize recycling the foundation team and a group of local volunteers from the eco guides group visited about 200 houses and local shops. A sticker with the basic guidelines was handed out and a survey conducted on what sustainable practices ought to be pursued.
The artistic intervention, whereas the environmental message is delivered through art was a success, with 4 murals made from recycled plastic caps picked up during cleanups. Children, youth and our team benefitted from the visit of a great artist, Maria Antonia Ruiz, who taught a great technique. Our allies in the island made clean ups and artistic intervention easier and more fun. Locals pitched in and benefitted from 4 recycling stations, 4 murals, 33 workshops, 8 cleanups and tons of residues no longer at risk of falling into the ocean carelessly.
The efforts to support eco-tourism activities as part of the sustainable actions, also proved to be what the community is most attuned to. Punta Arena is famous for its white beaches but now thanks to our ecological trail, the formation given to our eco guides, people can now discover alternative ways to enjoy the island. Bird watching, cycling around the island or simply walking around the town to discover one of the 7 murals currently on open air display are some of the activities the foundation encourages. Conservation pays, and people are seeing how it is better to preserve ecosystems, not only for their own health and well-being, but also as a way to make a decent living. Economic opportunities are the only guarantee to seeing a clean healthy ecosystem, community, island.
Thanks for all your support and please come visit Punta Arena with us!
Clean up Valentines Day
Bird watching workshop and route in Punta Arena!
Eco Crab mural with recycled materials!
Team clean up in Punta Arena, island of Tierra Bom
Drilling and working on the murals
Aboard the Antares for a bicycle eco ride!
Fish mural in the making!
Seahorse mural in Punta Arena by Marion Ve
Glass recycling workshop, make your glass!
recycling plastic caps for art
Fish mural and team!