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Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~

By the end of December we had collected a total of 773 nests, which oddly comes to 33% less than we had found the year before.  Although the drop is nothing to be overly concerned about as all marine turtle nurseries up and down the coast have experienced the same drop.

By mid-March an estimated 41,914 hatchlings released will have been from the box nursery at 89.3% survival,  around 9,603 from the beach nursery at 51.1% survival, and 1,122 estimated from all the nests left on the beach.  The total hatchlings released by the end of the season should come to around 52,639.

With few nests collected after December 6th, we discontinued the nightly coverage of the beach in mid- December.  Although our work is far from over, there are still thirty-five nests within the box nursery, and twenty-six within the beach nursery.  It is safe to say that we will releasing up to 5,150 hatchlings over the next seventy-five days, or up to mid-March.

Volunteer-wise:  For the first time ever we were fortunate to have the help of four volunteers through most of December, Curt and Joslin, Chuck and Alisha.  Again, I would like to thank all 56 of our volunteers for their dedication and outstanding help in our efforts to guarantee the safety and return of an additional 300 young adult marine turtles in 11 to 16 years from now.   Former volunteers, we need to receive from you the dates that you are planning to join this next seasonThis is important as we need to fill in the empty dates with new volunteers and schedule your housing.

Incubating nests in the box nursery is carefully controlled by adding moisture to the boxes, ventilation and heaters,  whereas nests left on the beach or within our beach nursery are at the mercy of the elements such as hurricanes, flooding by high waves, heavy rains, fly larvae and unusually cold weather.  Since 1992 we had experienced only two such serious events,  El Niño in 1997 and hurricane Kenna in 2002. Adverse weather conditions over the past two years have caused more damage than the proceeding seventeen years combined.  This is troubling in the sense that the nests of the marine turtle cannot adjust to a rapidly changing  global climate, even if the adult turtles can (at least until they eventually become extinct).

Weather-wise, December was a little colder than normal especially at nights where temps dipped into the mid 50°s while daytime temps were milder with temps between the low 80°s to mid 70°s.  Since the end of November there has been no rain, few clouds, little wind, while waves have been small.  Beaches are clean with sand moving southward for the winter.  The river with a fair amount of runoff from the hills is not showing any sign of drying up.

Town-wise:  In mid-December six arched heavy steel girders were placed between the bridge abutments.  The arch will push the weight of the bridge into the abutments and on the center.  If sidewalks are not added, the bridge will be wide enough to pass three small vehicles comfortably.  If all goes as planned the bridge looks will be finished by mid-January.  Just before X-mas all the street planters were painted in three alternating attractive colors (See images below) The Puerto Vallarta bridge was opened to traffic during the first week of December.    

I have no problem with a possible Oxxo store in San Pancho, except for the proposed location, the malecon. The beach below the Malecon has been since the first humans arrived in San Pancho a hazardous area for both nesting marine turtles and hatchlings.   Turtles and hatchlings are attracted to light, with additional lights from the Oxxo and the possibility of replacing the burnt out lights within the malecon, will attract more turtles into an area where 85% of poachers  enter the beach.  One other problem, most poachers found on the beach are under the influence of alcohol. With easy access to alcohol on the malecon they would be more likely to go out on the beach despite our surveillance.

Help us find renters, we need to occupy these apartments.  All utilities are paid, and they are very affordable at 600, 650 and 750 dollars a month.  They including high speed wireless internet, water, propane, electric and several palm laden beaches.  Past volunteers; this is a good opportunity to re-visit San Pancho and the friends you left behind.  If interested, contact us by e-mail or contact Caren or Allison at San Pancho Rentals info@sanpanchorentals.com

Copies of the large and small “2011 Homeowners Directory” are available at my house.  I know that the economy is not the greatest, but please remember it takes months of hard work to publish this directory, plus the cost of paper, binder, cover, printer repairs, toner and cartridges, altogether the directory cost us two-hundred pesos to produce each copy.  A six-hundred peso donation is only a thirty-three dollar donation.

We are looking for additional furnishings for our apartments, although we do not need electrical or gas appliances, but we would like  bed lamps, dressers, chairs, mattress pads, quilts and blankets, coffee tables, small bookcases, computer tables, office chairs.  All types of framed paintings, photos, or drawings, and wall hangings.  We will pick up any donated items, call 258-4100

Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Tel. 311-258-4100

Vol      Vol

Tri-colored planters along the main street of town                 The almost finished new bridge


December 29th sunset release with about 150 bystander      

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