Except for the ongoing fight with the poachers, most everything else went very well up until August 1998 when El Niño and its never ending rains destroyed 90% of our nests within the beach nursery. To find a solution to this problem several members and I drove up to SEMARNAT in Tepic to see what we could do to stop this loss. Their suggestion was different but doable. We were to place half the nests within a single beach nursery as we had done in the past. The other half in Styrofoam boxes to be incubated within a greenhouse nursery. To help us get started SEMARNAT would send a young lady to give us detailed instructions.
In 1999 we built our first 144 box nursery with a small beach nursery beside it. It was located a safe distance behind the beach. By July both nurseries contained nine nests, although when the first nests within the box nursery began to hatch, the survival rate was well within the high 90% range, while all the nests within the beach nursery failed. It was at that point that I decided to never place another nest on the beach again. Up to 2002 the box nursery behind the beach had been lengthened and improved several times while our methods of box hatching had greatly improved over the years.
With the new box nursery in full operation we were able to close down the one remaining beach nursery. Although by 2005 we were running out of free space in the box nursery and once again began placing a few nests back on the beach, but this time without a fence to protect them. It didn’t take long for the dogs to find the nesting area and start eating the hatchlings again. To protect these nests Joslin, Summer and Starlie spent many nights sleeping in the area. In 2008 with an ever increasing number of nests we had to again rebuild a new beach nursery.
The group began to be concerned about land use problems. National and multi-national land developers pressed for adoption of what professionals have called one of the worst designed environmental land use plans in recent history. At the heart of this ill-designed plan was a singular quest for high-density building that would allow hotels, condominiums, and tract homes along the now sparsely populated coast between Punta de Mita and Lo de Marcos, in the State of Nayarit, a continuation of Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta. What is lacking is a plan for a better system of roads and consideration for native wildlife including adequate open spaces and wildlife corridors both inland and along the coast. Even the last sections of virgin jungle are on the chopping block slated for high-density building
In 1999 we joined forces with a Sayulita Environmental group. Our plan at the time was to invite Dr. Alberto Székely, an international environmental legal consultant and lawyer along with the general public to attend a meeting in November to open dialogue on ways to speed up the process of completing the "Environmental Zoning and Ecological Land Use Planning Program". Later Dr. Alberto Székely filed a "Demanda" or law suite charging the Government with non-compliance of federal environmental laws, “Article 19 of Mexico’s General Environmental Act” or the "Environmental Zoning and Ecológical Land Use Planning Programs". In turn the suit caused the moratorium on all construction within environmentally sensitive areas.
It was the State of Nayarit fearing that any type of Land Use Planning Act would hamper their ability to raise revenue from future development located along the coast of Nayarit that killed our hopes for strong regulations which was designed to restrict out-of-control developments of the coast of Nayarit.
By December 2001 the Group's “Homeowners Directory” was published for the first time and had become a hot item with over 75 copies sold the first winter. This directory is still produced and given to our contributors today in return for their donation and support.