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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
AIM
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 173
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Whale and dolphin festival will be two weekends this month
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Residents of the southwest coast plan a whale of a fiesta for two weekends at the Parque Nacional Marino Ballena about 10 miles south of  Dominical.

This is the VI Festival de Ballenas y Delfines. The festival is an effort to draw tourists to the area, and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo is one of the sponsors.

But there is a good reason. The whales are in at this time of year, and the national park has many more hectares in the ocean where the sea mammals can show off. The institute says that whale-watching is on the upswing, based on surveys done at the airports.

The event is from Friday through Sunday this week and next. Another organizer, the Asociación de Operadores de Turismo, said that last year's event drew 9,000 visitors.

In addition to whale-watching trips, visitors also will be able to relax on the beach and sample some of the dishes prepared by local restaurants. There also will be activities typical to local festivals.
whale
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo photo
The whales are waiting in the south Pacific.


Environmental tribunal halts small housing project at poisoned spring
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo has frozen construction work at a 20-lot subdivision because the project may affect the local water supply.

The project is El Alto de El Tablazo between Copalchí de Cartago and Higuito de Desamparados. There are five springs in the area, and one of them made the news in July because someone put poison in it.

The Tribunal ordered the two municipalities to refrain from issuing permits for terracing or construction until a survey can be made to locate the springs and the ground recharge area.

The Tribunal also sought an evaluation from the Área de Conservación Cordillera Volcánica Central for the worth of some 16 trees that already have been cut on two of the properties, it said. The Tribunal will seek compensation.

When the spring was poisoned, service to 8,000 persons was halted, and the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados had to haul water. The Tribunal said there were multiple complaints filed about the project, mostly relating to the springs. 

A map released by the Tribunal showed that the subdivision was platted directly on top of most of the springs.
subdivision map
Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo graphic
All but one of the springs that are shown as triangles surrounded by a circle are within the boundary of the subdivision. A white triangle is an existing home.

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