Blue Flag Program for the Watershed
Restoring Our Watershed is a small organization – our reach is extended through local and international partnerships. One of our priorities has been to establish one of these partnerships with a committee led and managed by Ticos (Costa Ricans) so that we have a local counterpart congruent with our focus in the watershed. Fortunately, Costa Rica’s Programa Bandera Azul Ecológica, or Ecological Blue Flag Program (PBAE), recently established a framework by which watershed committees can be organized. PBAE is a program run by several different ministries, including those overseeing national water resources (AyA), tourism (ICT), environmental protection (MINAE), health (Ministerio de Salud), telecommunications (ICE) and education (MEP). It was started in 1995 and only was available to beach communities. Since then, the program has added new categories, one of which is for watersheds. In order to achieve the Bandera Azul (Blue Flag), the communities must form a PBAE committee, which works to reduce the amount of contamination in a water source and carry out educational initiatives. If the committee successfully achieves objectives laid out in their work plan, they are awarded a Blue Flag of varying degrees (1-4 stars). The Blue Flag committee in our watershed is made of 7 members from various communities in the valley, who are working to analyse and create a plan for restoring the Nandamojo River.
View photos of the Blue Flag Committee's work in the Watershed