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Latino Conservation Week Begins Saturday

Join the North Carolina Coastal Federation on a virtual field trip to learn Spanish names and phrases for species along the coast as part of Latino Conservation Week that begins Saturday and ends July 26.

Staff at 10 a.m. Tuesday will go live on the nonprofit organization’s Facebook at Ecological Marine Adventures on Topsail island.

The Hispanic Access Foundation started in 2014 Latino Conservation Week: Disfrutando y Conservando Nuestra Tierra, an initiative to support getting Latinos outdoors and participating in activities to protect natural resources.

“Latino communities are passionate about the outdoors and hold a strong belief that we have a moral obligation to be good stewards,” said Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation,  in a statement. “Latino Conservation Week helps break down barriers for Latino communities to access public lands and waters, encourages new opportunities for engagement and inspires the next generation of environmental stewards.”

Community, nonprofit, faith-based and government organizations and agencies across the country are hosting nearly 100 events this year, including online expeditions, roundtable discussions, Q&A sessions, scavenger hunts, film screenings and more. On social media, check out #LCW2020 and #LatinoConservationWeek to see more engagement.

Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States at more than 52 million people. Making up 16.7% of the nation’s population, Latinos are projected to become nearly one-third of the population by 2050, according to the organization, but a 2018 Outdoor Industry Association report found that only 10% of Latinos were engaged in outdoor recreation activities

“At a time when Latinos are disproportionately suffering from COVID-19, we need nature and the benefits it provides, now more than ever,” said Shanna Edberg, Hispanic Access Foundation’s director of conservation programs. “While the pandemic revealed and exacerbated deep inequities in access to green space, Latino Conservation Week events — from the virtual conversations and activities to on-the-ground hikes, birdwatching, picnics and neighborhood cleanups — are bringing this issue to the forefront and helping to bridge that gap.”

This year the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and National Wildlife Refuge System are joining forces with Hispanic Access Foundation’s MANO Project to provide programming virtually and at sites throughout the nation.

More than 200 parks, organizations and community groups have joined Latino Conservation Week including Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Corazon Latino, Denver Aquarium, Defenders of Wildlife, Frontera Land Alliance, HECHO, Inland Empire Resource Conservation District, LA Nature for All, Latino Heritage Internship Program, Latino Outdoors, National Parks Conservation Association, The Nature Conservancy, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Wilderness Workshop, and numerous Audubon Society chapters.

Additionally, those going to in-person events are encouraged to follow these principles in the #RecreateResponsibly campaign: Know before you go; Plan ahead; Explore locally; Practice physical distancing; Play it safe; Leave no trace; and Build an inclusive outdoors.

About the Author

Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.