Bridging the Continents While Spanning the Geospatial Divide
The first project location of Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica, fits perfectly the mission and vision of GEOPORT. This project will build capacity to transition the community from farming and fishing to tourism to manage its own sustainable growth. Bahia Ballena is a southern Pacific coastal town of approximately 1000 people just north of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. The main economy has historically been farming and fishing but over the past 20 years, the community is transitioning to marine based tourism. The Bahia Ballena shoreline is the eastern (coastal) boundary of Marino Ballena National Park, the first marine park and second most visited national park of Costa Rica. It is the nexus for both the northern AND southern whale migrations, creating both a tremendous tourism economic potential while creating stress on the community and environment if not properly managed. Not only does Costa Rica bridge two continents, but this project is helping to bridge people’s understanding of the Bahia Ballena community through the use of geospatial technologies.