Earlier than final Saturday, June 18, guests to Las Cuevas didn’t know that sea turtles have been approaching shore at night time throughout their nesting season.
They have been unaware that alongside the western a part of the seaside little cubs emerged from the sand, speeding in the direction of the waves. That they had no concept that a part of the seaside was fraught with risks associated to people, because it was removed from the much-frequented bathing space close to the constructed facility.
All the time on the alert to assist with issues affecting the general public well being of quite a lot of environments in and round Trinidad and Tobago, the NGO Fishermen and Associates of the Sea (FFOS) responded instantly to the Las Cuevas Environmentally Pleasant Affiliation to host an pressing seaside cleanup. As it’s turtle nesting season, FFOS didn’t hesitate to assist coordinate sponsorship sourcing for this occasion.
Whereas distributing luggage and mentoring volunteers alongside the Las Cuevas group, FFOS’ Kyrie Roopsingh commented on the need of the morning actions.
When the Las Cuevas Eco-Pleasant Society contacted us, the corporate’s secretary, Gary Abboud, was at Damien’s Bay, one other turtle nesting web site. He has collected greater than 40 jumbo-sized luggage of garbage made up of plastics and different non-biodegradable supplies.”
“Knowing the risks to ecologically sensitive species in such exposed habitat, he immediately joined the clean-up initiative. We engaged HADCO, EMA I Care and the Department of Tourism to help at this crucial nesting time. We have extended an invitation to volunteers to come to Las Cuevas to exercise their civic responsibility to protect Marine species and their habitats”.
“It’s all about people using the beach, being proud and not leaving footprints that negatively impact the environment.”
Las Cuevas is one of the top-rated beaches and one of the most popular, according to visitor records. It has been awarded the Blue Flag by the International Blue Flag Jury, a globally recognized environmental award.
Among the criteria listed, the facility is responsible for ensuring that nearby habitats such as leatherback nesting sites are protected and sustainably managed.
Unfortunately, as evidenced by the amount of waste collected along the western area of the beach where sea turtles nest, the lack of maintenance has led to the need for voluntary beach cleanups.
Tons of trash collected above the high tide line included plastic bags, plastic bottles, glass bottles, boxes of Styrox, plates and cups, slippers and shoes, face masks, and even a five-dollar bill.
Volunteers such as hiker and conservationist Ashell Edwards worked among the marginal vegetation where most of the trash was stuck.
“It bothers me a lot when we see a lot of litter on hiking trails and, likewise, on our beaches. When I was invited to this beach cleanup, I knew this was an important time to nest and hatch hides from behind, and I was happy to be able to help provide a safe environment Where turtles can come and nest and not choke on someone’s plastic or get trapped by things.”
“It really is a great way to give back to nature because it offers us so much in its beauty and all of its other resources.”
Las Cuevas Eco-Friendly Society is a community-based NGO that works tirelessly to protect beach safety, with a particular focus on the western tip where sea turtles nest. According to association president Arlene Williams, the site has been a nursery for four of the five species of sea turtles that visit the north coast annually.
“We monitor, tag and try to protect turtles every night from March 1st to August 31st annually. We have seen leatherbacks, green, hawksbill and bighead.”
“It has been a very busy leatherback season at this beach. Just last night, a total of 673 baby turtles went to sea and we had 35 leatherback hatchlings nesting on the beach. Before Covid-19 and the effects of climate change, we didn’t have many turtles nesting in a month March is when our season usually starts. We used to only get 10 to 12 turtles.”
“However, in March of this year we recorded over 40 turtles coming in. Since then, we have had young hatchlings coming out in the thousands every night. This explains how many turtles have nested so early. We have had leatherback nests here since February.”
“Given the amount of rubbish we collect here today, you can see how the survival of our turtles is threatened by people’s lack of thought. When the young ones go out, they get stuck in the trash and become vulnerable to predators like crabs, crabs, hawks, dogs and even humans.”
At this level, Williams revealed a situation most individuals do not find out about.
“When youngsters encounter sandcastles, these are major obstacles on their way to the sea. Everyone loves to build sandcastles and we have no problem with that. However, when the structure is left as is it becomes a hindrance for the turtles. We usually ask people when they come to the beach That they level their castles after that, because the young get stuck in them and are killed by prolonged exposure to the scorching sun.”
Las Cuevas Eco-Pleasant Society has been round since 2013, and earlier than that, it volunteered to patrol out of affection for its pure surroundings and the marine creatures that rely upon it to breed their species.
The group has been making use of for funding however has to this point been unsuccessful. Their observe file says loads about their devoted volunteer work in sustaining the standing of this internationally acknowledged marine habitat. Funding is crucial and key to the success of those efforts.
Though the Forestry Division has assisted them with their patrols prior to now, members of the group haven’t been formally appointed as honorary rangers of the sport regardless of functions being made.
Nonetheless, they proceed to guard ecologically delicate species in an space vulnerable to selflessness.