In the early 1970's, our young family, attracted by the abundance of wildlife in these still-virgin forests decided to live on this land and strive to create a lifestyle in complete harmony with our natural surroundings. In the 1980's commercial interests entered the area in a quite successful attempt to extract the natural wealth hidden in both the forests and especially the ocean. During these years we witnessed first-hand the complete degradation of the jungle and waters that we now considered our home. At this time the Costa Rican government had barely formed its now-famous National Park System, and much confusion lay between the word of the law and its actual implementation.
Making matters even more complicated, the history of environmental protection has clearly illustrated a sharp difference between the success and apparent importance of terrestrial and marine conservation. For a variety of reasons it has been easier to create and solidify the preservation of ecologically-important lands than the much-less understood and “fluid” waters that represent the source of all life. The political landscape in Costa Rica in the 1980's was no different, and very little attention was being given to the need to protect the country's abundance of tropical marine life.
A fortunate series of events brought our family in direct contact with high-ranking government officials, including the then-Head of State Oscar Arias. These brave individuals accompanied John Tresemer through our forests down to swim in our oceans.