Hola Volunteer, Supporters and Friends ~
We received an e-mail from Conanp the Mexican agency responsible for the protection of the marine turtle. The message stated that all marine turtle encampments along the coast of the State of Nayarit, such as ours, are reporting far fewer nests. In our case only 37 nests were found this year as compared to 131 found last season. Fortunately the unexpected drop in nests matched the unexpected loss of most our July and August volunteers.
Volunteer-wise, I miss the good-old-days prior to 2001, when we received over a hundred applications per season, and few of them turned down an opportunity to join us. So far this season we’ve received eighty-eight applications, these applications can be broken down into four categories.
When we tried to respond to their e-mail, twenty-eight totally failed to reply, although when we did receive a reply thirty were not interested at all? After they did agree to join us, nineteen cancelled out with few of them taking the time to tell us? The remaining twelve volunteers have or will join us. When we pushed for a reason for baling-out, most applicants would say they found a job or can no longer afford to join us.
In any case, today it is like an out-of-control pinball machine with the score or volunteers changing faster than we can keep track of them. By the end of July we have thirty volunteers that have agreed to join us, of which seventy are returning for their second to eleventh season.
Because of a small design flaw with the dune buggy’s new stainless steel fenders, we had to extend them forward by an extra five inches. This alteration was necessary to keep the fender from rubbing against the tire when sat on. Since many of the lug bolt holes were striped out of rear wheel hubs they were replaced. And the entire rear braking system was also removed, which for some reason tripled the braking power of the front wheels.
Weather-wise: More than two weeks of cool, cloudy weather in early July caused daytime temperatures to dip into the mid 70°s (thanks to several Atlantic tropical storms.) On the 11th the weather changed, unfortunately heat, humidity and rains returned with a vengeance, giving us 7.25 inches of rain in July.
On the 25th we finished cleaning/repairing the box nursery, but we it may not be put it into operation until we reach an average of at least five nests per night. Until then we will continue to place all nests within the beach nursery and hope that hurricanes are not on the menu this year.
Town-wise, Avenida Tercer Mundo is open to traffic and all planters are finished; now let’s get the bridge widened. With help of late July rains the lagoon is slowly rising, although it has not opened to the sea, the river is still dry, and last year the lagoon opened to the sea on July 26th. Without a single person coming to its rescue, the lifeguard station tumbled over a five foot bank into the sea, on impact the station was destroyed with the help of waves. Beach erosion was the cause of the stations demise and with the help of a few tropical storms and a little beach erosion, La Perla may soon become a drive/surf through restaurant.
Of the twenty-two homes that face the beach, all but one has turned off their lights throughout the night. We are eternally grateful to all those homeowners that understand how important this is to the future survival of the marine turtle. To the one homeowner who fails to see the importance of turning off the lights, we ask for your help. Keeping all the lights on at night will not make your house safer than the twenty-one that are totally dark.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Mexico tel. (311) 258-4100
San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico