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We are a grassroots non-profit organization working on the frontlines studying and protecting nesting and feeding sea turtles in Costa Rica. 


COASTS is on a mission to prevent the extinction of sea turtles and protect their natural habitat through targeted conservation actions, habitat restoration, scientific research, and outreach and education.

At the core of our work is a passionate and dedicated team of local assistants, scientists, students, conservationists, citizen scientists, and volunteers. We pride ourselves in being able to collaborate with a wide range of diverse groups, combining local knowledge with applied science and engaging and activating local stakeholders, to reach our goal and fill data gaps in sea turtle conservation.


Our specific goals are to safeguard sea turtle populations and their habitat in Costa Rica, to fill existing knowledge gaps in biology and ecology of sea turtles that could help to better protect local populations, and to engage in environmental outreach and capacity-building activities for local communities. Our activities are meant to mitigate and counteract the direct and indirect threats sea turtles face because of human activities, such as the exploitive use of adults and eggs through poaching, incidental catch by fisheries, the ingestion and entanglement as a result of ocean plastic pollution, and the effects of climate change on the clutch and hatching success, as well as sex ratios because of sea-level rise and rising temperatures due to climate change.


In 2014, Dr. Christine Figgener gathered several veterans of sea turtle conservation and research efforts within Costa Rica to form a new grassroots alliance to empower local research and conservation efforts and fill existing knowledge gaps. This was the birth of the Costa Rican Alliance for Sea Turtle Conservation & Science (COASTS). The first projects COASTS was involved in were sea turtle research projects on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, including Ostional and Rio Oro. In 2020, COASTS reinstated a formal monitoring and conservation program for sea turtles nesting at beaches in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge and started in-water research projects on the Caribbean and Pacific coast. 

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