Friday, September 04, 2015
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Working Together for a More Sustainable Future

Nandamojo Watershed - Costa Rica

Restoring Our Watershed (ROW) is a US-based non-profit organization (501c3) that has been working in the Nandamojo River Valley of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, for more than 10 years.

ROW began its work in 2000 with a series of university-level courses developed by Tom Peifer of El Centro Verde in Costa Rica, and Will Raap, founder of Gardener’s Supply Company and the Intervale Center in Vermont. Ecologists, social entrepreneurs, educators, students and local residents came together over a period of several years to assess the various environmental and economic pressures on the watershed.

What emerged from this work was a commitment to restore and protect the land, water, flora and fauna of the Nandamojo watershed for future generations. ROW is pursuing this vision by modeling community-based environmental planning and sustainable land use techniques, and increasing the vitality and resiliency of the local economy.

ROW works in collaboration with many other local, national and international NGOs, as well as landowners, schools, farmers and government officials in the Nandamojo. The success of our projects depends on the strength of these valuable partnerships.

In 2011, the board of directors approved a contract with Impact Development Consultants, LLP, in order to successfully advance its mission. In doing so, it appointed Matt Rosensteele as Executive Director and Ann Marie Titsworth as Director of Operations from 2011 until 2013. Over the next several years, ROW will work to develop and implement projects that realize the goals set forth in the Land Use and Sustainable Development Plan for the Restoration of Rio Nandamojo Watershed.

ROW Leadership

Matt Rosensteele, Executive Director

Matt graduated from DePauw University in 2007, and joined Peace Corps in 2008. As a rural community development volunteer in La Florida, a small village in the Nandamojo watershed, he worked to develop a community bank and computer lab. He completed his service in 2010, and founded Impact Development Consultants with his wife, Ann Marie, in 2011.

Ann Marie Titsworth, Director of Operations

Ann Marie graduated from DePauw University in 2005, and spent six years in the private sector at Angie’s List. During her time as an operations manager there, she oversaw major changes in data processes, and was responsible for the company’s first successful completion of a system certification audit.

ROW Board of Directors

Will Raap, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board
Nancy Lewis-Heliotes, Co-Founder and Treasurer
Lito Fernandez, Hotel Playa Negra
Juan Bravo, FUNGAP 
Dana Kaleta, Milwaukee Urban Ecology Center 
Valerie Guthrie, Junquillal Leatherback Project 
Wayne Edwards, President/CEO Bill Hudson Agency

ROW Partner Organizations

FUNGAP: The foundation for Participatory Environmental Management (FUNGAP- Grupo Antigua) was created in 2003, a non governmental, not for profit organization headquartered in Costa Rica that supports our activities on a regional level. Their mission: to “promote the integral conservation of environmental, social and cultural diversity”.

ASOCIACION de CONSERVACION VIDA VERDIAZUL-(Formerly: CONSERVACION DE BAULAS DEL PACIFICO): Project started with funding by World Wildlife Fund, works to monitor and protect marine turtles, especially the leatherback that is in danger of extinction. Now an independent non-profit organization, this group performs important outreach activities and also does environmental education within local communities.

ASOCIACION INTEGRAL de DESARROLLO JUNQUILLAL: Official local development and regulatory oversight group. Launching program to restore and protect the majestic mangrove ecosystem where the Nandamojo River meets the Pacific by placing government approved markers to clearly define the zone of total protection. 

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF COSTA RICA: Enhances the validation of the program as a public University and also provides student volunteers to support different research projects in the watershed restoration effort.

EARTH UNIVERSITY: A partner in different projects in the watershed, also provides students as interns helping in the development of the project in addition to ongoing activities.

ASSOCIACION SALVEMONOS-(SAVE THE MONKEYS): Organization dedicated to reforestation, biological corridors and "monkey bridges" over streets and highways in order to better harmonize development with the local populations of Howler monkeys.

FAUCA: Organization of community water boards in the Nandamojo valley. Vital partners in assuring long term control over and access to supplies of potable water for the rural communities.