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Newsletter No. 66 - January/February, 2006
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Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~

At sundown on January 8th, the last four hatchlings of the 2005 nesting season hit the beach running. The total number of nests recorded this season comes to 371, of which 310 were placed in our nursery producing a total of 25,290-hatchlings. The survival rate recorded for these came to 86%. An additional 32 nest were moved to a special protected area on the beach, producing an estimated 2,170 hatchlings at 74% survival rate. Alas, the poachers took 27 (or 7%) of the total nests recorded.

The cost of operating our nursery has jumped by 33% due, in part, to the purchase of 50 additional nest boxes and general nursery improvements. The cost of incubation and the releasing just one hatchling comes to about 3¢, although when you add up the cost of collecting the nest, operating the dune buggy, the cost comes to about 17¢ per hatchling.

Our cost of subsidizing volunteer housing jumped by a healthy 45% due, in part, to the shortage of volunteers able to share the monthly rent. To overcome this shortage we are planning to raise the monthly rent by 20% next season.

We are planning to make three small repairs to the Dune Buggy before the coming season. Both front spring/shocks and left front fender will have to be replaced. The transmission will have to be removed in order to find out why it will not stay in reveries. The total cost for this is estimated to be less than $450 dollars. Never the less when comparing this years maintenance cost with last years, the dune buggy actually cost us 51% less, Wile fuel cost dropped by 5% despite the higher price of gasoline.

Despite the endless roar of dump trucks, and the hassle of inexhaustible building, San Pancho remains a palm laden paradise to most of us. To the community, the building has brought prosperity and a noticeable enhancement of living conditions. Although despite this prosperity two serious health problems remain in our air: smoke and dust. Perhaps the most threatening of these problems is toxic fumes from burning plastic. Today, a steady reduction in the numbers of trash fires have led to cleaner air, thanks in part to public trash disposal, and a heightening awareness that toxic fumes are inconvenient and outright dangerous.

On the other hand, excessive dust during the dry months seems to be in the increase. In fact dust seems to find its way into every corner of our paradise. Besides creating the dust, dump trucks add to the problem when material falls to the street from there tell gate or off the top of the load. This fact was made evident when we began to remove this material from the road, and found that one-third of it was gravel.

An answer to the dust problem had already taken form, and you can help. Each Saturday at 2:30 PM members of the community (an adult work crew) take on the challenge of removing all debris, weeds, dirt, sand and gravel from the streets, plus trims the trees and breaks concrete mixing tables, etc., (See the photo below) If you have time, bring your own tools and join us.

Improving the environment was on the minds of 7 adults and 46 kids as we drove from the Park up to the main bridge on Saturday 21st. After unloading the crew, giving instructions and handing out about 70 bags, the young workers and their leaders took on the challenge of cleaning the river. By 2:30 PM all trash bags had been filled, and over one mile of the river had been cleaned. (See the photo below.) On the 28th smaller work crew of children and adults clean the front of the lagoon

A letter from a volunteer; and a perfect gift for the Holidays.

"Hello Frank! Hope you and the turtles are doing well! I have just returned to the warm weather of my island. I wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to collaborate in the project and allowing me to participate in the environmental program. I really enjoyed being in San Pancho; a wonderful place with wonderful people, you're lucky to be there! I was impressed with the amount of work accomplished throughout the year and of course, with your dedication to save as many of your adoptive hatchlings as possible!! I wish you good luck with the rest of the nesting there and I hope you sell a lot of directories and T-shirts!!"

"Take care, Roxanne."

Again, copies of the "2006 San Francisco Home Directory" are now available. If you have not received a copy, please drop by my house on America Latina, or call me at 258-4100.

Weather wise, December nights were too cold for comfort, although January's weather turned pleasant with nighttime temperatures in the mid to high sixties. Days are warming up to the low eighties to high seventies.

Except for those times when the lagoon is temporarily flashed out to sea by summer storms, Water Lettuce may never be successfully removed. Although by taking advantage of the wind and the fact that Water Lettuce is a floating plant, we can remove it from the southeasterly corner of the lagoon where the wind has pushed it. Removing it, in this way will not stop it from eventually covering the entire surface, but it will slow it down progress and allow the surface to be clear of the plant for at least ten months. The plant is not all bad, it will in fact clean the water of sewage within the two or three months before the lagoon is forced into the sea, thus reducing the amount of pollutants entering the sea.

Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
México tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, México

Paul's classes Paul's classes

Community work crew sweeping the main street, and the childreb's river cleanup crew.

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