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Previousleft arrow                                          Newsletter No. 190 November, 2017 Nextright arrow


Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Readers ~

For late in the season, November produced a record number of nests, about 77 in all.  Total nests recorded for the season came to about 958 while a total number of nests incubated in the box nursery came to over 745.  On the beach, over 152 nests were left in protected areas.  So far, about 82,374 hatchlings were released to the sea, while the slimy poachers made off with 3.8% of nests and 28 nests were washed-out by high surf.  By the end of November, we had about 100 nests still incubating in the box nursery.

We are beginning to print the first copies of the “2018 San Francisco Homeowner's Directory” and here's how you can help us with this vital fund-raising project. If you know a friend or neighbor that you think might like to contribute and be included in the directory, please send me their name and email address as soon as possible. Thank you!  Oh, come to my house and pick up a copy.

I would like to give special thanks to Douglas Calvert of Hoskin Scientific Ltd.  He presented our program with several moisture-sensing instrument that checks the moisture content of the sand in the nursery boxes. The moisture/sand ratio is critical in assuring optimal hatching rates. Douglas also gave us computer chips that we can place in the center of a nest box to transmit temperature and moisture information directly to our computers.  (See image below)  

Part-time volunteers for November were: Manuel Murrieta, Julio Gonzales and America, and Juan Flores. Full-time volunteers were:  Lisa Fisher, Zac Wilson, Murray McKay, Lois Barton, Karen Sorum and Hallie Loveridge, Keely Mitchell, Andrew Boyle and Léan Kieran, Gale and Lorren.  Volunteers remaining in December are Gale and Lorren, Lisa Fisher, including all the part-time volunteers.

Important: The application page is working again, go to http://project-tortuga.org/volunteers1.html and follow the instructions. “Answer all the questions and send it to grupo-eco@project-tortuga.org.  Please answer all the questions carefully.”

Weather-wise:  Daytime temperatures were mostly in the mid to high 80s°, night time temps were mostly in the low to mid 70s°.  Rainfall for October was .02 inches, for the year 58.45 inches.  There were no tropical storms or other unusual weather events in November.  If weather conditions remain static, we may end up with a very warm winter. Here’s hoping.

Regarding the new construction on the beach, I’ve not been able to find any benefits from the construction of the proposed condominiums. Below you will find a list of possible problems regarding its existence.

First, let me share an increasable fact with you.

One afternoon, a friend came to my house and said, “Frank, you have to come down to the beach and see what’s happening.”  I was astonished to see that waves, almost 35 feet high, had washed away four rows of large palm trees.  All the restaurant tables and chairs and many palapas, plus the entire beach, were also washed away.  Only an eight foot strip of sand and a single row of palm trees remained between the shoreline and the Malecon.

Because the condominiums will be located about 70 feet out beyond the Malecon, any large storm surge could cause severe damage the structures despite their attempts at reinforcing there foundations.  (The buildings are not being built on solid rock but, instead, on many feet of unstable beach sand.)  (See image below.)

What was even more astonishing that day, was when I walked down the six-foot stairs off the Malecon onto the beach and held on to one of the last palm trees, I found that the waves had created a drop-off that exposed a stratum of decomposed granitic about 20 feet below. Bear in mind, the condominium will be located about 70 feet out beyond the Malecon.

·     * I am not sure if the owners of the condominium are aware that they are destroying several thousand square yards of marine turtle nesting habitat and a beach that the marine turtles have nested on for tens of thousands of years. 

·     * Another concern is the lighting which the condominium will install.  Any lights that shine on the beach will seriously disorient and draw hatchlings and adults away from the sea and toward the light.  This leads to the death of thousands of hatchlings and life-threatening disorientation for adult turtles.

·     * There are serious infrastructure issues to consider with the addition of so many units to an already over-taxed system.  Some of these include:

·     * I have lived in San Pancho for nearly thirty years, and almost every year, I’ve gone totally without water for weeks.  We can’t flush the toilet, take a shower, or even wash dishes.  It is troubling to think of adding hundreds more flush toilets, sinks and washing machines when San Pancho has a history of serious water shortages. 

·     * The old sewer plant is over-taxed and all additional overflow will be dumped directly into the lagoon causing a stink along the entire beach.  This is a serious health risk to all that live here and enjoy San Pancho.  When the lagoon breaks open to the sea, all the accumulated sewage empties into the ocean and floats along the beach front.  This is a health risk for all swimmers and possibly contaminates the seafood that we all love to consume. 

·     * The trash service in San Pancho is already insufficient.  What will be the result of adding 50 plus additional households?

·     * The WiFi or internet in town is weak and of poor quality.  Adding so many more connections to the network will weaken what little WiFi we have. 

·     * People in town have waited for months to receive a new phone line. Will the condo folks jump the queue?

·     * Traffic in town is currently unmanageable, especially during the high season and especially holidays.  Add more traffic and the result will be serious gridlock.  This is especially a concern in San Pancho due to the single road in and out of town.

·     * Have the future owners of each condo been told that they have exclusive rights out to the beachfront?  Will the public be allowed to picnic or even cross the so-called condominium property line?

·     * What other town services will be impacted?

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


Temperature and moisture from nest box to my computer


Twenty foot cliff just under or in front to the proposed condominum.



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