Restoring the Nandamojo River Basin Ecosystem in Costa Rica

Themes: Environmental Conservation

Related GLA Programs: Costa Rica: Beachside Service Adventure, Costa Rica: The Initiative for Children™ Flagship

Grant Recipient: Restoring Our Watershed

Restoring Our Watershed (ROW) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and revitalize the Nandamojo Watershed, a 30,000-acre river basin on the western coast of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province. The two primary objectives of ROW’s programs are ecosystem revitalization, and strengthening the local food system.

Targeted reforestation and erosion control are efforts that work to enhance the watershed’s natural ecosystem, which in turn, leads to viable farmland and the opportunity for sustainable living.


1. The Nandamojo basin’s geographical area extends from the town of 27 de Abril to Junquillal

2. ROW’s “Bees for Trees” program helps families increase their income through beekeeping. In exchange, the families reforest 10% of their farm, which aids in the organization’s overall reforestation efforts

3. ROW has planted over 8,000 saplings in its reforestation efforts, many of which are now 8-10 feet tall

Additional Information

In the mid-20th century, the once-vibrant land on the Guanacaste region was cleared by fire in order to make room for cattle grazing, which had detrimental effects on the local ecosystem. The local human communities, flora, and fauna have suffered due to the land’s inability to capture rainwater to replenish the aquifers.

With support from individuals, NGOs and other funding sources in the U.S. and Costa Rica, and in collaboration with the farmers in the watershed, ROW is strategically replanting the damaged land in an effort to restore and protect the watershed as a source of clean water and healthy soil.

ROW also strives to educate the public on their watershed restoration efforts. In 2016 alone, over 100 elementary school children participated in watershed education workshops. By educating the next generation on the vital role the watershed plays in the local community, the likelihood of future damage is greatly decreased.