Portrait of Paso Pacifico Introduces Ventura-based Biodiversity Nonprofit to Santa Barbara Residents

Paso Pacifico Founder and Executive Director Dr. Sarah Otterstrom discusses her organization’s work at an October 4th gathering in Santa Barbara (Courtesy photo).

Ventura-based nonprofit Paso Pacifico is well-known in Nicaragua where a majority of their work takes place, but a significant portion of the Santa Barbara community is still largely unfamiliar with this biodiversity conservation group.

To help get the local community better acquainted, Paso Pacifico invited a group of about 50 people to attend a Portrait of Paso Pacifico on Thursday, October 4th in Santa Barbara. The evening event was hosted by local environmental conservation activists Joel and Visanti Fithian.

Guests were treated to a photography tour that told a story of Paso Pacifico’s various projects, as well as photos from Nicaraguan photographer Richard Leonardi, who was in attendance and discussed his work with the group.

Dr. Otterstrom also addressed the group of environmental enthusiasts and stressed the connectivity between Nicaraguan biodiversity and the local wildlife here in Santa Barbara.

“People might wonder why they should care about wildlife in Nicaragua,” said Dr. Otterstrom. “The reality is that we have one planet, and it’s much more connected than you might think. We learned recently that the whales that travel just off the Channel Islands are the same whales found in Central America. They aren’t only the whales from Alaska as previously thought. And we track birds both here and in Central America, and we’ve studied feathers that show the same birds that overwinter in Nicaragua nest and breed right here in the Southwestern U.S.”

To learn more about Paso Pacifico and their work both on the Central Coast and in Central America, visit pasopacifico.org.

About Paso Pacifico

The mission of Paso Pacifico is to restore and protect the Pacific Slope ecosystems of Mesoamerica. These habitats include the endangered dry tropical forest, mangrove wetlands, and eastern Pacific coral reefs. By working with local communities, landowners, and partner organizations, Paso Pacifico restores and protects the habitats that form building blocks for wildlife corridors. Paso Pacifico also lends its expertise to help migratory wildlife on the Central Coast of California, including threatened migratory birds and whales that overwinter in Mesoamerica. Through its high-impact programs, Paso Pacifico has established itself as one of the world’s leading biodiversity conservation organizations.

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