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Wildlife

Samara-Carrillo Coastal Regulatory Plan in Advanced Stage
• Municipality Affirms that Concessions Can Be Granted Again

By Arianna McKinney

In addition to the urban regulatory plan proposal for the Canton of Nicoya, which is currently being revised, an integral regulatory plan is in the works that focuses on the coastal area of Samara and Carrillo. This project is now in advanced stages, according to Rodolfo Lizano, Leader of Macroprocess Planning and Development for ICT.

The plan for Samara and Carrillo is being developed in a collaborative effort by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and the Municipalities of Nicoya and Hojancha. Lizano explained that an initial proposal exists and has been approved by ICT’s board of directors. Once the Instituto Nacional de Vivienda y Urbanismo (INVU- National Institute of Housing and Urban Development) and the Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental (SETENA- National Environmental Technical Secretary) give the green light for the proposal, the municipalities should convene a public audience to present and discuss the proposal. 

There is good news for those who, because of the lack of an updated regulatory plan, have been waiting to renew or obtain concessions in the maritime zone.

Juan Carlos Oviedo Quesada, Maritime Land Zone coordinator for the Municipalidad of Nicoya, reported that in April the map of the maritime land zone was finally adjusted to reflect the current reality. It takes into account roadways and the location of the posts (mojones) that mark the non-concessionable 50 meters of the maritime zone.

Although these posts were physically redone in 1998, the regulatory plan currently in force was made in 1981.
 
   
 

“With this, we’re going to give concessions again to people,” Oviedo affirmed, although he specified that concessions that involve a conflict over a change in the land use will still not be granted until the new regulatory plan is approved.

Carrillo
Although Carrillo won the flag again this year, they are facing increasing challenges. Last year they earned two stars with the possibility of three, but this year they were only awarded one. Peter Dufner, president of Carrillo’s chamber of tourism, explained that the chamber has received less participation and support this year from the community and the Municipality of Hojancha. 

A report on the sanitary quality of Costa Rica’s estuaries by Darner Mora of AyA revealed significant presence of E. Coli in four of the five locations where samples were taken in Carrillo beach’s estuaries. Mora explained that the “advantage that this beautiful beach has is its open oceanic topography, which permits, for the most part, the fecal contamination that arrives by the estuary heads to dilute.” However, he estimated that if corrective measures aren’t taken, the contamination could render the beach unsafe for swimming in about 10 years.
     
Dufner acknowledged that they are aware of the issue and are trying to get the Municipality of Hojancha to take action.  

Ostional
Ostional has consistently been awarded the flag for four years now, a demonstration of the community’s ability and commitment to preserving nature, protecting the environment and supporting the Olive Ridley (Lora) sea turtles that frequent the beach, according to Magdalena Vega, the president of Ostional’s Integral Development Association (ADIO). The Blue Flag also helps attract tourists, Vega explained, since it guarantees them that they are coming to a clean beach. 

 

More Regional News

Nicoya's Municipality Demands Pedregal for Tax Payment, the Company Denies any Debt
• Company claims it has no pending financial obligations with the Municipality, nor is it responsible for polluting.
• MINAET received complaint of environmental pollution.

Nicoya's Municipality is looking to collect over 261 million colones, which it claims the company Pedregal owes for the exploitation of material from the quarry, La Calera. In addition, it filed a complaint to MINAET for environmental pollution.

Hospital CIMA Prepares Opening in Guanacaste

The private hospital CIMA is getting ready to open is doors in a few weeks in what will be its second hospital in Costa Rica. The new hospital is located in Liberia, joining the San José (Escazú) hospital that has been operating for the last 12 years.

OIJ Didn’t Find Evidence of Accelerants in Tuanis Furniture Manufacturer

The Judicial Police (Organismo de Investigación Judicial OIJ) of Nicoya told VON that the fire in the Tuanis furniture manufacturer might not have been intentional as was believed at first.

Foreigners To Be Required Provide Cedula To Open Bank Account
• Measure replacing only requirement of a passport starts July 1

Foreign residents and those credited with a special category in Costa Rica will be required to provide their cédula de residencia (residence identity card) to open a bank account, starting from Jul 1.

Car Fire on Route 160 Near Guiones

An older model Volkswagen van went up in flames Thursday May 17 afternoon on route 160 near the Yoga Institute.

Carrillo Beach Chamber of Tourism Prepares to Disband

There will be no Ecological Blue Flag for Carrillo next year. The Carrillo Chamber of Tourism didn’t register to participate in the program again, knowing they would be suspending the Chamber.

Nosara Emergency Services Jointly Certified in Vertical Rescue

Volunteers from Nosara’s Red Cross and Nosara Firefighting Association were certified in vertical rescue during a training course that started this past Saturday may 12. Three firefighters and ten Red Cross volunteers took part in the weekend long certification course, which included a theory exam on paper and two days of practice, concluding on May 13.

Costa Rica Post Office To Provide Foreigner ID Cards Starting June

Stating next year, the Correos de Costa Rica (post office) will be processing passports for the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (immigration service). The change was announced on Monday by the ministro de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública, Mario Zamora and the director of Migración y Extranjería, Kattia Rodríguez.

There Could Be A Gas Shortage Starting Tuesday

The continuing conflict between Costa Rica's transporters of fuel and the Ministerio del Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones (MINAET) could result in parked trucks and causing a fuel shortage starting Tuesday May 15.

Despite Recent Shutdown, Construction Resumes on Samara’s High School

On Monday, May 7th, the director of Samara’s rural high school in El Torito received a letter from the mayor of the Municipality of Nicoya giving permission to continue with the construction of new classrooms. The director, Maria Benita Gomez Moreno, said she was very content that the project is again underway after it had been shut down by the municipality on April 30th. 

New "Basic Food Basket" Take Effect Monday

Starting Monday, May 7, many consumers will get a whopping surprise at the supermarket checkout when some 90 products will begin to be taxed. Sausages, bread, meat, fruit and milk are some of the foods that consumers come Monday will have to the 13% sales tax on.

Cangrejal ASADA Inaugurates New Pump

With raffles, chicharron and music, about 55 people celebrated the inauguration of a new water pump for the Cangrejal area in Samara on Sunday, April 29th. Miguel Gomez, president of the ASADA, explained that the former well (1991) that provided water to Cangrejal had been made very quickly and the gravel was not done well, so sediments appeared in the water.  

Liberation Political Party Secured Control of the Nicoya City Council

The Nicoya City Council elected counselor Lisette Ana Espinoza, of PLN, as its new President. Because of that, the Council changed control from the former President, Juan Luis Aguirre Vidaurre of the Libertarian Movement (ML), to the National Liberation Party, the same political party as the Mayor, Marcos Jimenez, and the Costa Rican President, Laura Chinchilla.

Underfunded but Undeterred— Meet Nosara’s Firefighters

When flames sprang up at the Nosara dump last month, it had all the potential to be a catastrophic fire.  Layers of garbage, dried out by months without rain, sparked quickly in the midday sun on March 11. Compounding the issue were the combustible gases, methane and others, which had been created by decomposing material and trapped by more garbage.

Businesses Start to Comply with New Tobacco Control Law

The General Law of Tobacco Control was passed in March, and although it is in effect, it still hasn't been implemented because the Ministry of Health still has not published the regulations of this law and it is still not clear who will ensure compliance with the regulations.

Neighbor Presents Appeal Against Land Purchase for New Cemetery

The motion of the Municipal Council to buy a property where a new cemetery can be built in Nicoya has met with opposition from the Controller General of the Republic and the neighbors of Las Brisas del Cerro, the neighborhood where the Municipal Council intends to buy the land.

Evidence Surfaces of Illegal Shrimping with Pesticides
• Dead Shrimp Found in the River by Nosara Fisher

Shrimping in the Rio Nosara is a fairly lucrative business, and for many it's part of a way of life. However, there is a dark underbelly.

Blue Flags Are Flying High All Along the Coast

This year, seven beaches along the coast of the canton of Nicoya earned the prestigious Blue Flag. These include Carrillo, Samara, South Samara, Buena Vista, Guiones, Peladas and Ostional. While most of the area beaches were awarded one star, Guiones surpassed the standards and was awarded two stars. 

Nicoya Hospital Will Have Less Money

The Colegio de Médicos y Cirujanos (College of Doctors and Surgeons) is worried because this year the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social (CCSS – Costa Rican Social Security) has reduced budgets to 20 of the country's hospitals, clinics and health centers by 15 billion colones ($30 million), including La Anexion Hospital in Nicoya.

Transition into 2012's Rainy Season Should Be Gradual

Although the intermittent rains of the transition period are here, the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN-National Meteorological Institute) is predicting that the steady rains that mark the official beginning of rainy season, also referred to locally as "winter," will begin late this year and will be less rainy than normal.


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