The Bicho D’água Project strives to conserve creatures like dolphins, manatees and whales that inhabit the Amazon river in the state of Pará. It is run by two energetic women, Maura Elisabeth and Renata Emin, who cooperate with various business sectors to fulfill their mission.
Some years ago they started reaching out to local fishermen, whose work in the estuaries of the Amazon and Tocantyns rivers on the Atlantic coast brings them into close contact with endangered animals.
Gradually, relying on their charm, they wove a grassroots surveillance network that promptly reports any unexpected trends or event to them. They also teach fishermen emergency procedures for rescuing beached whales.
One of Bicho D’água’s top projects right now is rehabilitating a manatee called Omar that was rescued five years ago, when he was still just a baby, on Salazar beach in Salvaterra. Once rehabilitated he will be released into the wild. The Institute is feeds and reeducating Omar with a view to returning him to the ocean. The project is not only time-consuming but costly.
The NGO funds itself by selling products that encourage consumer awareness. We assist Bicho D’água by offering their products, including a reusable drinking straw made of stainless steel that comes with a brush for cleaning it. The straws bear the hashtag #amazoniawecare. This item is much attuned to the recent European Union law that outlaws disposable, single-use plastic goods starting in 2021. The practical and elegant straws are made in Brazil. They are sold in cloth pouches sewn by artisan seamstresses on the island of Marajó at the Amazon’s mouth.