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2012 brought extremely destructive thigh tides to the Playa San Miguel Costa Rica area.

2012 brought extremely destructive high tides to the Playa San Miguel (Costa Rica) area.

As the most evolved species on the planet, we – as humans- oftentimes inflict the most damage and leave a swath of damage in our wakes! The more primitive indigenous cultures sometime seem to be the true evolved ones, as their simple lifestyles allow them to monitor Mother Nature’s pulse.  When something is out of balance, they are often astute enough to connect it back to a particular event.   (An easy example would be, “That flying machine soared over the fields, and days later the grasses turned yellow and died…  later the people began getting sick with mystery illnesses we’ve never known…”)

saturday fiesta indiannn GARDEN SMILESS

An indigenous family near La Mocora Ecuador (Manabi)

Rarely do the Indians attempt to strong arm Mother Nature; they respect and live in harmony with her.  In contrast, we – the ‘evolved’ – use our brains and technology and modern equipment to literally move mountains at times!  Society progresses and sometimes later realize that we’ve upset Nature’s balance.

Growing up along the Mississippi River, I’ve witnessed firsthand the effects of trying to control the waterways via levee system;  John Barry’s Rising Tide – The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 should be a must-read for anyone who works in flood control/water management industry!  He tells the history of the the Mississippi River, the great floods, and how everything done to control that grand Father of Waters seemed to backfire.  When one learns those lessons and then sees those  same mistakes repeated  elsewhere – oh, it’s like watching someone being sucked into a whirlpool.

..S.ometimes Mother Nature bites back!!!!

Rio Jama – ..Sometimes Mother Nature bites back!!!!

When the local authorities strong armed the stretch of mangroves just downriver from my house, I chuckled when Mother Nature bit back and attempted to swallow the excavator.  Had she waited until high tide, she might have been successful in destroying that big orange machine!  Can we really blame her for biting the monster that ate those mangroves?

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A year later she said, ‘This is what I think of your rocks and your sign!’

5 kilometers upriver, Rio Jama protested about blocking her flow!!!!

5 kilometers upriver, Rio Jama protested about blocking her flow!!!!

Watching trucks haul load after load of sand from the nearby (empty) stretch of beach near La Division has always concerned me, and my gut instincts warned, ‘This is wrong.’    I have since learned that sand mining can impact a large area, and often takes (laterally) from other places to repair her wounds.

This could not be healthy for the beach, and surely accelerates the changes in this coastal area. (La Division - between El Matal and Don Juan)

This practice could not be healthy for the beach, and it surely accelerates the changes in this coastal area. (La Division – between El Matal and Don Juan)

The new moon escorted us into the new year, and with it she brought extra high tides to the area.  As with many world wide coastal areas, these destructive high tides often have no mercy on front-line areas.  I’ve watched the neaby El Matal-La Division beach slowly vanish over the past seven years since I first visited the area.

View of El Matal Ecuador

View of the stretch of beach that spans from Punta Ballena, El Matal to La Division and Don Juan Ecuador-

The following photos show the changes from the past few years.  Concerned residents are asking, “What can we do about this?’

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The following photos were either taken during the June 2012 Post-Painting Competition or were taken this past week (January 2014) for comparison.

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And now – as of January 12, 2014- below:

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Let’s keep walking: – - -In 2012, boat sheds provided shelter on the beach….

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Now the road serves as the dock.

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One of the prettiest posts painted in 2012 anchored the end of the road…

One of the prettiest posts painted in 2012 anchored the end of the road...

Painted by some very talented ladies at Coco Beach Village!

I gazed in disbelief when I realized that the post was gone!

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How painful...

How painful…

Let’s keep walking and inspect the damage up the coast… Uh-oh; sandbags…

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Uh-oh; warning bells and whistles from the upper end of Coco Beach Village to the lower end as well!

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Feedback anyone?

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The locals feel helpless and want to be proactive, yet do not know what to do!   Some people shrug their shoulders with an attitude of apathy.   Can one stand by and watch with a fatalistic stance, or is there a way to halt and hopefully reverse the loss of sand and front-line area?

I mourn the loss of this lovely mangrove tree.

I mourn the loss of this lovely mangrove tree.

Does the loss of river mangroves impact the coastal sands as well?   My friends and I are hopeful that some of the readers of this blog will have wisdom and experience and will provide valuable feedback!

Thanks in advice for your advice and comments!

Z

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