Yesterday I showed a view up the Caribbean beach shoreline. One reader, Brattcatt, who frequently notices and leaves insightful comments about the details in my photos, left a comment yesterday asking about the debris that she could see on the beach. I therefore decided to post this picture. The beach debris consists of logs, branches sticks, palm fronds, and whatever else washes up from the ocean.
Tortuguero is an area of dense vegetation. Therefore there is a lot of vegetation that drops off trees, or trees that fall into the water and are carried out to sea and then wash up on the shore.
There is not much litter on the beach because very few people live in the northeastern corner of Costa Rica. Much of the coastline is protected as a national park. The area can be reached only by boat or small plane. There are no roads leading into or out of Tortuguero because it would be simply too expensive and impractical to build bridges over the honeycomb maze of rivers and canals.
Although there are few people to generate trash, there are also few people to pick up trash. Whatever might be floating in the ocean and washes up on shore will tend to stay there.
This raises the subject of litter, so I will address that now. Although Costa Rica has an amazing environmental ethic and has set aside more of its land for national parks and nature preserves than any other country -- 25% -- it does have a problem with roadside trash. The popular culture of preserving land for wildlife has not extended enough into keeping towns, villages, and roadsides clear of litter. There are efforts to improve that, however, and some communities, including Tamarindo, have had community clean-up and recycling days to remove litter.
In Tamarindo and Playa Langosta where we have our condos on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, our beaches are clean and we do not have aproblem with litter or debris washing up on the beach. In fact, Playa Langosta has maintained the coveted Blue Flag certification for passing the highest international standards for cleanliness of the beach and water.