LAVA-Mar aims to engage the San Cristóbal community with the incredible marine ecosystem surrounding their home. The project is split into two initiatives: 1) coastal monitoring and 2) immersion and education.
The LAVA-Mar coastal monitoring project is carried out in conjunction with the local dive shop Wreck Bay. The Wreck Bay Dive Club, composed of young divers 8-14, conducts surveys of the benthic life in the Puerto Baquerizo Moreno bay. There is a paucity of information about the composition of the aquatic life close to the municipal area, so these students are collecting important data with the hope they can be used to assess the impact of the city on the proximate marine ecosystem. The project also encourages young divers to develop scientific skills and relate to marine life in new ways.
The second branch of LAVA-Mar is focused on opening up the marine world to people who have not previously experienced it. This is done through the use of an aquatic drone. In partnership with the National Park, groups are able to use the drone to see under the water and learn about marine fauna — all while remaining on shore! So far, the drone has been used with groups of the elderly, people with special needs, and children.