Oceana and National Geographic are currently on a scientific expedition to Sala y Gomez Island and Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui). Author Alex Muñoz is the Executive Director of Oceana Chile. This blog dispatch was originally posted at National Geographic.
Today we had an extraordinary meeting with representatives of the Rapa Nui chamber of tourism and other members of the local community. They told us of their project to create a marine preserve right off Hanga Roa Bay, which they said is a critical initiative for them. They know that Hanga Roa concentrates incredible marine life. Also, it's one of the most beautiful spots here for divers, as indeed for any island visitors, which makes it both ecologically and economically important.
The Rapa Nui community formally presented this proposal to the Chilean government a few years ago, but unfortunately it was turned down. Now they want to explore collaboration with us and see if we would be interested in supporting them in an effort to present this project again.
Our colleagues down in Chile have just released a fantastic new video featuring Chilean actress Leonor Varela, who recently visited the pristine region of Punta de Choros in Northern Chile to promote Oceana's Energy Campaign.
Our team in Chile has been working to prevent several proposed coal-fired power plants from being built near pristine marine reserves in Punta de Choros.
During her visit, Varela asked Chilean President Sebastián Piñera to keep his campaign promise to oppose all thermoelectric power plants that negatively affect communities, the environment and quality of life.
Check it out:
Andy Sharpless is the CEO of Oceana.