Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
By August 30th the box nursery filled to capacity, 430 nests, with the first nests scheduled to hatch on September 2nd. Total recorded nests came to about 510, this is about 130 nests more than the end of last August. The poachers have taken about 21 nests at 3.8%.
The first group of 50 nests placed within the beach nursery began to hatch on August 3rd and continued to hatch through the month, although the final survival rate of this group came to a miserable 7.5%. Heavy rains prior to nesting season dumped about 9.5 inches on the nursery, while rains continued up to the end of August, dumping over 28 inches-- an unusually large amount for so early in the season.
With the box nursery filled to capacity on August 30th, all new incoming nests (the second group) must once again be placed in the failing beach nursery, although this time via a new method. We are planning to dig each nest hole 20 inches deep by 14 inches in diameter. In the center of the hole, we will place a 6 inch PVC pipe that is 20 inches long. Once centered, semi-dry sand will be poured around the outside of the 6 inch pipe and 4 inches at the bottom. After the eggs are in place, the pipe will be pulled up and a ID placed in the center. There are three benefits behind the experiment, 1) it will keep the nests semi-dry, water logged sand is the leading reason why our nests are failing. 2) air can reach the eggs freely. 3) It will keep excess heat, which is conducted through wet sand, from reaching the nests.
Flash, just like last year on August 31st, the power of nature with help from hurricane Ileana’s 9 foot waves and a 4.5 foot new moon high tide teamed together to wipe out the beach nursery (see photos below) although the plastic tarps may have kept the 17 experimental nests dry. To make matters worse, heavy rain that day washed multi tons of floating debris onto the beach, looks bad (see photo below).
Volunteer-wise, August volunteers that have returned home are: Katy McGinnis, Kathrin Gansera, Mary Schumacher, Morgen English, Lilliana Christine Lopez, Lisa, Eric, Carly and Annie Hoffner. For the entire month: Joslin and Summer Bertrand, Jessica Schmidt, and Mark Hiller, Andres Rodriguez, Tom Hofmann and Kym Gardnir. Joining us in the last week of August: Chuck D Dewitt, Gale Greer and Lorren Garlichs, Jim and Linda Sorter. For less than a week were: Bernard Barbour, Neelan Rajah, Kunal Amin, Justyna Szarek. (See photos below of our last adventure to the falls.)
Town-wise, after several months of construction, Plaza del Sol, the streets around the Plaza, Calle India and the alleyway to the beach have been turned into a beautiful place to visit. (see photo below). The reconstruction includes underground power and telephone lines, new sidewalks, painted new curbs and cemented cobblestone surface. Vehicles will not be allowed to park in the alleyway, but can park on the southwest side of Plaza del Sol. Sidewalks and underground power and telephone are being installed on Calle Tercer Mundo from the malecon up to Calle Africa for the time. The pesos is 12.6 per dollar. The river began to flow around August 7th forcing the lagoon open, heavy rains may keep it open for months, and keep us from crossing.
After taking a thrashing for decades, the jungle is recovering due to a change in the Ejido laws that took effect almost two decades ago. The law had required that anyone wishing to ranch or farm on commonly owned Ejido land must acquire a permit. This permit required users to continually improve the land in order to keep the permit. This improvement generally turned out to be slash-and-burn followed by over-gazing, one of the major reasons for erosion and deforestation within our jungle and land throughout México . When Ejido land was redistributed to the people, the slash-and-burn stopped, and the land was set to rest and began to recover
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
17 experimental nests under the Tons of floating debris washed from the local river.
the black tarp may be ok.
At the falls, Andres P., Katy M, Tom H., Top: Joslin B., Gale G., Lorren G., Neelan S. below:
Jessica S. Kathrin G., Kym G., Kunal A., Bernard B., Justyna S. Tom H., Kym G., Kathrin G.,
and Summer B. Kunal A., and Summer B.
Volunteers not in photo, Mark H., Jessica S., Chuck D.
Plaza del Sol after reconstruction.