Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Playa Grande & the Tamarindo Estuary from the air

Here is the first photo from my son's gyrocoptor aerial tour of Tamrindo. This shows the mouth of the Tamarindo Estuary, with the beach of Playa Grande running to the left and the estuary snaking behind it on the right.

Playa Grande and the Tamarindo Estuary are part of the Las Baulas National Marine Park. The beach at Playa Grande is the primary nesting site for the endangered Pacific leatherback tortoises. They swim to Tamarindo from the Galapagos Islands to lay their eggs.

If you enlarge the photo and look closely, you may be able to detect that there are some homes and small hotels nestled within the trees near Playa Grande. That is the site of a major environmental controversy over the boarders of the park and whether private property near the beach should be purchased by the government to protect the beach (and, of course, at what price should the land be purchased).

As I have mentioned before, Costa Rica prides itself on having a larger percentage of its land set aside for national parks and wildlife refuges than any other country -- 25%. The country has many needs for government expenditures, including roads and other infrastructure. Spending tax money to buy expensive beachfront land, primarily from foreigners, is difficult. On the other hand, some international environmental groups have put pressure on the government to proceed with expropriating land, otherwise they have threatened to withhold funds from conservation initiatives underway or planned.

Landowners have challenged the government's right to take their land, but my understanding is that earlier this year the court has ruled that the government has the authority to do so. This is a difficult issue and the position of both sides undoubtedly has merit.

As you can see from this photo, Playa Grande and Tamarindo Estuary are a beautiful area. With all of the growth and development in recent years in Tamarindo, which you will see in some fo the upcoming aerial photos, I think it is worthwhile to have areas set aside for wildlife and conservation close to Tamarindo. And the pristine area shown in today's photo is indeed close. The town and beach of Tamarindo are right below the spot from which this photo was taken, as the mouth of the estuary is a very popular place for surfers.


brattcat said...

Oh, I knew I would love these. Can't wait for more.

Sharon said...

What a beautiful view. You can see the estuary very well.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

a wonderful view from the gyrocopter. it is nice to see that Stuart could take photos without blurriness and without the glare of glass. It would be weird to fly through the air in this type of device. very interesting and peaceful way to view the world. Like riding a bike through the air. Great aerial photos. I look forward to more of them

glenda said...

Great photo, Stewart! That is a very special place because of the leatherback sea turtles. Hopefully they will continue to protect the environment and site for these magnificant turtles.

Hilda said...

I hope the current property owners don't make it difficult for the government. This project can only be good for everyone. But then, there are still many people in the world who cannot see beyond themselves.

Anyway, it's a fantastic shot and a wonderful view!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...