Create the Cocos-Galapagos Swimway
The Cocos-Galapagos Swimway is an underwater "superhighway" that endangered marine species including sea turtles, whales, and sharks use to migrate between Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park and Ecuador’s Galapagos Marine Reserve, where they become vulnerable to fishing activities.
Sign this petition to urge Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica, and Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador, to protect the swimway to save marine species and leave future generations a better world.
Haga clic aquí para firmar la petición en español.
To Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica, and Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador:
On behalf of current and future generations, we the undersigned urge you to quickly move forward in creating the Cocos-Galapagos Swimway, one of the world’s first bilateral fully protected marine protected areas designed to safeguard the migratory pathways of endangered marine species including leatherback sea turtles, scalloped hammerhead sharks, and green sea turtles.
This is a critical part of the expansion of both of these marine reserve areas which will anchor the ambitious plan to protect at least 30% of the marine territories of each country, a goal both Ecuador and Costa Rica have wisely committed to achieve.
We also urge both governments to fulfill their commitment to increasing protection in the open waters surrounding both Cocos and Galapagos: a wider process that integrates the Swimway concept with providing resilience to climate change, protection from illegal fishing, and taking firm steps towards a bluer economy in both nations.
Studies providing the scientific and economic justifications for protecting these important marine ecosystems have been completed by an international group of marine scientists among which MigraMar has been a key contributor. In addition, support has been shown by a growing number of environmental organizations including the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project who supported some of these studies and Mission Blue who recently declared the Cocos-Galapagos Swimway an international “Hope Spot.”
By creating the Cocos-Galapagos Swimway, the nations of Ecuador and Costa Rica will protect the marine biodiversity of the Galapagos and Cocos Island World Heritage sites, which is threatened when these highly migratory species move beyond the fully protected zones of the reserves and fall victim to fishing pressures. Furthermore, the Cocos- Galapagos Swimway will create a new paradigm for marine species protection and will highlight the proactive efforts of your two great nations.
For these reasons, we urge you to sail forward quickly and decisively. In your hands is the opportunity to set an incredible global precedent for marine conservation by building on the cutting-edge environmental reputations you have built through the creation of terrestrial National Parks. Now is the time to extend similar protections to the sea.
Turtle Island Restoration Network is a global ocean conservation nonprofit based in Olema, California. Learn more about our campaign to create the Cocos-Galapagos Swimway at www.seaturtles.org.