Who are we?

Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper is a non-government organization, whose mission is to monitor, protect and restore water quality in the coastal watersheds and marine ecosystems between the Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve and the Caletas-Ario National Wildlife Refuge through research, field work, education and advocacy.

We want these watersheds’ water quality and scenic beauty maintained and restored to flourish, for present and future generations to benefit from and enjoy.

Measuring Ario pH

We are the guardians of clean water for the South Nicoya Peninsula, filling a critical niche in the coastal area as the watchdog, steward, and voice of the ocean and coastal watersheds.

Field Work, Education, Ario Valley Field Work, Education, Ario Valley

We establish broad-based community support aiming at fostering a community responsible for good stewardship of these aquatic resources.

Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance (www.waterkeeper.org), a global network of more than 200 Waterkeeper Organizations dedicated to cleaning up rivers, lakes and coasts through grassroots action. The vision of the Waterkeeper Movement is for swimmable, drinkable, fishable waterways worldwide. The guiding principle of Waterkeepers is that without water, there can be no life, and without clean water, there can be no healthy life.

Water is at the core of today's most pressing issues—security and scarcity, energy and climate change, the cause and spread of infectious disease. Communities are looking for ways to protect our right to clean water, as the quality and quantity of water resources decline around the world.

Coastal and marine water resources in the southern end of the Peninsula face threats which Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper addresses through research, field work, education, and advocacy.

Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper® implements innovative and sustainable programs that:

  • Protect water, communities and ecosystems
  • Foster access to water quantity and quality wise
  • Promote research
  • Encourage long-lasting solutions benefitting marine life, local communities, and coastal economies
  • Foster sustainable water management
  • Contribute to community empowerment regarding conservation, sustainable development and equitable use of water
  • Are socially fair, environmentally healthy and economically viable

Board of directors

Grey Hecht - President

Grey Hecht


Grey is a green home builder, philanthropist, farmer and restorationist who has been lucky enough to have grown up in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest in the United States. Tempered by rural lifestyle and a family culture of environmental stewardship, Grey is committed to the Waterkeeper mission of water protection and has been Board member of the Waterkeeper Alliance since 2009.

Grey received a BA in Environmental Biology from Southern Oregon University, is owner of Grey & Green, Cloudburst Enterprises, and Small Creek Farm in Oregon, and co-owner/founder of the Ola Honua Restoration Project in Maui. He is husband to Nicoya, and father of two boys, Kadin and Gracen. Grey enjoys ultra-running, surfing, snow sports, rivers and mountains to help keep him sane and enriched.

Nathaniel Grew Vice-President

Nathaniel Grew


Nat Grew is the Director of Hacienda Ario; a family owned, 5000 acre working ranch on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica that is striving towards creating a model for sustainable development on a watershed scale. Mr. Grew is a dual citizen of Costa Rica and the US, and received a B.S. degree from Cornell University in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development. Since 2006, Nat has been the CEO of Grupo Bongoario SA; a sustainable business incubation and land trust management company, focused in the Nicoya Peninsula's most important watershed. Throughout his work, Nat has been actively involved in regional sustainable development initiatives such as the formation of CIRENAS -Research Center for Environmental and Social Resources (whose mission is to create transformative connections between people and the environment through education, research, integration and innovation) and the consolidation of the Caletas-Ario Natioanal Wildlife Refuge. He joins the Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper' Board eager to contribute his time and energy towards long term strategic water resource conservation, education and research.

Favio López - Treasurer

Favio López


Born and raised in the Nicoya Peninsula, Favio is committed to his construction company. He enjoys and is very engaged in working for the community and its sustainable development. He is member of the Mal País and Santa Teresa Tourism Chamber and Vice-President of Cobano’s Health Board. His passion for the environment resulted in his involvement in Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper’s Board.

Luis Iglesias - Secretary

Luis Iglesias


Born and raised in San José, Luis´s interest in conservation and nature, lead him to choose a career as a biologist. Luis developed a fascination for agriculture, from a sustainable development perspective. From there on, he started training himself in organic agriculture techniques, deciding to study a Master’s degree in Ecological Agriculture. On 2008, Luis moved to Santa Teresa Beach, where he has worked on assessments for different projects on sustainable tourism, reforestation, organic production and conservation of biodiversity and water resources, through education and implementation of alternative green technologies.

Dahlia Nahome - Vocal

Dahlia Nahome


Following her Bachelor of Social Science Degree in Political Studies, Dahlia embarked on a 15 year career in the London Advertising world, working her way to managing partner and Head of Account Management at Y&R London. It was her responsibility to manage a department of over 70 people, develop strategic marketing plans for multi million pound clients and oversee the implementation of each campaign. Her clients included Marks & Spencer, Oxfam, Virgin, Peugeot, & Philips.

After having two children, Dahlia and her husband decided to bring their children up in a very different society to London life and moved to the beaches of Costa Rica. Since moving here, she has started an internet radio station, built a house, owns and manages a rentals management company, does freelance marketing projects and also runs the Santa Teresa Christmas childrens donations campaign. She is passionate about being involved in her community as well as keeping the beaches and waterways clean.

Nicoya Hecht - Vocal

Nicoya Hecht


Nicoya’s passion for the environment and community is deeply rooted in her family values. Nicoya began her career as a midwife and then later she embraced her own eco-friendly lifestyle to launch Nectar Eco-boutique as co-owner. Through her dedicated involvement in her community and internationally, she became a founding board member and visionary for the Siskiyou Waldorf School, served as board member of the Family Nurturing Center and as board president for Sangham Foundation. Born in Costa Rica and now hospitality manager of Rancho Cielo, Nicoya is dedicated to help carryout Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper's mission to protect the water resources and improve water quality in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula.

Ana María Pinto - Vocal

Ana María Pinto


Ana is a Landscape Architect and Design Director and Partner at VIDA Landscape Architects & Planners. With projects located throughout the country, Ana is constantly in frontier places, learning about the challenges each area holds and helping clients visualize their dreams to create sustainable projects that balance development with the natural environment. Her love for the Peninsula started at a young age when her family would spend holidays in Santa Teresa. Having recently bought a house in Malpais, Ana is excited to spend more time in the area and be a part of the Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper Board where she can contribute to a better future for the area and bring awareness to those who visit.

Cristina Sartori Medri - Vocal

Cristina Sartori Medri


Cristina was born and raised in Italy. She moved to California to study business at UCSB and then settled in Colorado. While in Colorado, she enjoyed the beautiful nature. She put into practice her ability as an entrepreneur, founding her own import business, a few restaurants, and the green design and developer firm Modverde.

After visiting for many years the Nicoya Peninsula, she moved with her family to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica for a change of pace and, most importantly, to be immersed in the amazing Costa Rican nature. In this beautiful town, she built a peaceful resort which she manages.

She is passionate about the environment and is excited to be part of Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper to make a change, create awareness and improve our world.


Carolina Chavarría - Waterkeeper & ED

Carolina Chavarría

Waterkeeper® & ED

Carolina has a major in International Relations at the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica and a Master’s Degree in International Cooperation for Development at the University of Pavia, Italy. From 2004, she has been working with non-governmental organizations managing and designing social development projects and strategies for developing countries, which has taken her to live in Morocco, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bolivia and back to her native Costa Rica. Originally from San José, driven by her passion for nature, on October 2012 she moved to the beautiful town of Santa Teresa on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast to initiate the Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper Organization.

José Pablo -

José Pablo Delgado

Waste Management Project Manager

Native from the Central Valley of Costa Rica, José Pablo was born in a city surrounded by green mountains and exuberant nature, which in short time made him understand the importance of natural resources and see Mother Nature as a source of life and beauty. Paradoxically, his professional background is in Industrial Engineering at University of Costa Rica and Universidad Internacional de las Américas in San José, but something that started as a curiosity changed his life completely: Surfing. He learned to ride the waves, which motivated him to change his comfortable city lifestyle for one that could let him live deeply his two passions: Nature and wave riding. That is what encouraged me to move to Playa Santa Teresa in 2001, the place that since then I call home. He worked in the tourism service industry, the most important economic activity in the area, until he finally discovered the job that best fitted him: Naturalist tour guide. In 2008, he received his Tour Guide Certification and since then, he got involved full time in the development of a model of sustainable tourism for the region, as an initiative to preserve the natural resources. That is how in the year 2014, I was attracted by Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper and I attracted them, to unite our dreams and intentions for a better future, preserving the main resource from nature: Water.