By Nesmarie Negron
Last November, I traded in my NYC commuter shoes for my hiking boots and embarked upon a Central American adventure to help address water quality issues in Costa Rica. I spent two months working in San Jose, as part of the American Fellows Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State and promotes the exchange of professionals throughout Latin America.
Facing many of the same water quality challenges as the U.S., the Costa Rican Ministry of the Environment (MINAET) was interested in learning about our regulatory and voluntary framework for addressing surface water contamination (the Clean Water Act), guidelines for developing watershed plans to restore and protect waters, and nonpoint source initiatives in Puerto Rico which could also be implemented in Costa Rica to address nutrient and pathogen contamination in water bodies. More