History

The idea of ​​Dos Mares was born in 2004 at the initiative of Mike Marshall, Carlos A. Espinosa and Carlos Rivas Leclair in order to carry out marine research and conservation in Nicaragua. During the period 2004 to 2005, a digital mapping of seagrasses was produced in the north of the Caribbean using Landsat images ( J. Rodríguez Rubí - 2007. Mapping of Seagrasses in the Caribbean of Nicaragua ) and in 2007 a Three-day training for government personnel from the same country on the environmental impact of oil exploration and exploitation conducted by Richard Pagett . Between 2008 and 2010, Dos Mares's activities ceased due to the fact that C. Espinosa migrates to the United States and becomes involved in different work circumstances, and M. Marshall deals in the same way with other professional matters in the United States. In December 2012, C. Espinosa retakes the Dos Mares initiative, this time focused on Central America, with an emphasis on supporting marine protected areas (MPAs), and in 2013 formulates a first conceptual plan which he updates in the year 2014.

 

During 2013, C. Espinosa collected data and generated information about marine scientific activity in the Central American region with which he published two editions of the Dos Mares Science Matter newsletter, in May 2014 and June 2015 that show a panorama of marine scientific activity in the region. both editions are also available in English. Between 2014 and 2015, Dos Mares began its presence on the social networks Facebook and Twitter by posting educational posts and videos in both languages, an activity that is still ongoing. Some technical videos were also produced, such as: a satellite view of the MPAs and an application to view the MPAs . This application generated the interest of the Conservation Finance Alliance (CFA) in 2020, who suggested that perhaps the idea could be better raised by starting in a pilot protected area to lower investment costs. Dos Mares will continue to manage this idea in 2021. In order to have regional support, in 2015 the Ambassadors of the Sea group was formed on Facebook. Members of this group have been contributing information on MPAs and announcements of diving services or seminars related to the sea. Starting in 2021, this group will be reoriented to have field participation and generation of project ideas for MPAs. This same year, C. Espinosa took the Marine Planning Advancement Training Course (MPA) with the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, North Carolina.

 

In 2017, the first map of MPAs was published using Google Map. Two years later, the ESRI tool was used to publish a story map to promote MPAs: " You have a lot to live! ... and the protected areas of Central America have a lot to live! In this same year, the first contact was made with Ocean Foundation requesting support from its "Fiscal Sponsorship" program for the project: " Project Portfolio for MPAs in Central America" and thus have a portfolio of projects emerged from the field through visits and interviews with the national authorities of protected areas. The project was not approved because it required prior approval from a donor, which was impossible because Dos Mares was not registered as a non-profit organization "501 (c) (3) nonprofit entity." This situation still persists in the year 2020 since Dos Mares does not yet have financial resources to carry out its legal incorporation in the United States.

 

In 2018, the MPA News magazine invited Dos Mares to publish an article about MPAs in Central America, for which three articles were prepared and published on this subject in this prestigious magazine: ' The MPAs of Central America: An introductory view of their successes, lessons learned, and ongoing challenges (first of three articles) ";" The MPAs of Central America (second of three articles): Challenges faced, including the emergence of well-financed criminal groups "and" The MPAs of Central America (last of three articles): Lessons learned from the past 20 years "In this same year, a second story map was produced in English and Spanish, in order to disseminate the damage that has been done in the refuge of life Punta de Manabique on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala: Agricultural Impact to Punta de Manabique . A third story map was also produced in English and Spanish about the impact of the African palm in the Laguna de los Micos and the National Park J eanette Kawas in Honduras: Laguna de los Micos, Honduras - A History Without a Future ?

 

In 2018, the first database of potential donors for Dos Mares was also prepared, classified according to their availability to offer fiscal sponsorship (Fiscal Sponsorship). One option that has been considered is for Dos Mares to submit projects to potential donors who offer fiscal sponsorship and obtain financial support, initiate actions on the ground, and subsequently become legally incorporated. Efforts to obtain support through fundraising or "crowfunding" have not worked despite the fact that T-shirts have been offered to those who cooperate. During 2018, two campaigns were planned: Meet In The Middle to form a group of business accelerator volunteers from anywhere in the world who could contribute to the legalization and operational expansion of Dos Mares, this campaign was not carried out due to time constraints, and the Let's Listen to the Sea campaign, which was carried out in order to generate a portfolio of projects based on the wishes of the citizens of each Central American country to conserve the sea, but it did not have the expected response, probably because its coverage by social networks it was not long enough due to financial constraints. This last campaign used the story map " You Have Much to Live! ... and the protected areas of Central America have Much to Live!"

 

In 2019, with the help of the Zoom platform, an online course was carried out: Increasing Sustainability in MPAs within the Framework of the Public Use Program, through which the importance of the programs of public use and value creation in protected areas and a Microsoft Excel tool was prepared to assess the status of public use programs. The course had a total of 14 participants, two from Guatemala, four from El Salvador, one from Honduras, six from Nicaragua and one person from Costa Rica. However, mainly due to the low speed and frequent loss of internet signal in those countries and the time restrictions of the participants, at the end of the course there were only three people. The content and message of the course are based on the hypothesis that the development of programs for public use would make marine protected areas acquire value in the eyes and interests of society, thus going from being passive protected areas to being active protected areas. That is, from being sites with little or no interpretive, recreational and scientific activity, to territories where visitors would be attracted to stay longer and return. At the discretion of society, especially local communities, added value would be generated to protected areas, which should lead to their greater protection and financial sustainability. Dos Mares will restart the course in 2021 within the framework of this new initiative: Creating VALUE in protected areas.

 

Since 2012 Dos Mares has relied on the resources of a single person, its founder and director C. Espinosa, who works full time in unrelated jobs and has few periods of time to develop Dos Mares, so at the end of the In 2020, the reorganization of the local support group Embajadores del Mar has begun, reorienting its activity towards the generation of projects. Likewise, it has been concluded that it is a priority to focus the Dos Mares approach on the creation of value of the MPAs in front of society. The present web page has been built focused on this new initiative, describing the three lines of work that lead towards this purpose: Educational Recreation , Inclusive Conservation and Relevant Science. Likewise, the creation of story maps on MPAs at risk and the creation of a database of marine researches findings in MPAs continues.

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