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Newsletter No. 68 - June-July, 2006
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Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~

The lack of rain this summer has caused the nesting marine turtles to wait offshore for moisture. To date we have collected only two nests, although under normal weather conditions by the 10th of July we should have recorded at lest 7 to 9 nests.

On the 8th of July I learned from our local fishermen that four men from La Piñata placed a one mile long gill net about two miles offshore from San Pancho. The local fishermen also mentioned that up to as many as 20 marine turtles drawn in this net over a three week period. The net was removed sometime during the first week of July. This incident overlap the period in which discovered an alarming number of dead Eastern Pacific Green and Olive Ridley marine turtles washed ashore.

Meanwhile we are geared up for the coming season: the nursery has been repaired, cleaned, and covered; supplies purchased, forms printed, electrical system upgraded, and the shade cloth put in place. After some minor repairs and a test runs the Groups trusty dune buggy is ready to go as well.

If I’ve counted the names below correctly and everyone shows up, we should have twenty-one volunteers this season. This will be a record. The names are arranged in the order of their arrival at the project. The names in green are volunteers that will be joining us for their second to sixth time. Sue Parker, Sean Charles Patrick Coogan, Louise Hansen, Carlie Cambden-Smith and Jacson Fortis, Les and Leora Rohssler, Jim and Linda Sorter, Angela Ken, Bronwyn O'Halloran, Riikka Immonen and Andres, Ryan Zapisocki, and Family, Jannine Gauthier and Michael Rossetto, Alex Hanson, Donny and, Mariska Schrever, Daniel Lamarre.

A two month working/vacation through Arizona, California and Idaho was very enjoyable, and fast moving. Besides visiting many close friends, attending to business, and purchasing supplies for México, I had an opportunity to fly up to Idaho with my son Eddy, a Learjet pilot as a guest of the aircraft’s owner.

Transforming digital images and photographic slides can be a impossible task, although while in California I was able to do just that. July the 7th will marked the beginning of a new season of presentations with new slides at Gallo’s Pizza, thus we would like to invite everyone to join our presentation, and to enjoy good food and fine wines at Gallo’s Pizza Restaurant in San Pancho.

The entire length of Calle Africa has been closed for reconstruction of the sewage system, and once again trucks and heavy equipment is passing through the center of town creating traffic jams, dust and noise A new by-pass road could significantly reduce this problem (See map below). It would run about 2 miles from the main highway to a point at the northeast side of Haresty’s new golf course.

Weather wise, the lack of rain remains in the spotlight, except for four brief showers that did little more then wash the dust to the ground we’ve received little measurable rainfall this season . San Pancho is now under water rationing, each street receives around two hours of water a day. What water we do receive is never enough to wash clothes, water down the street, or to water thirsty plants.

If we wish to keep our aquifer filled with fresh water the year around, there is something we can do about our water problem, the task is easy: We need to ask the members of the community to stop removing the jungle canopy from the mountain slopes within our watershed, and reforest the areas that been previously denuded.

As I have mentioned many times before, removing the jungle canopy and the decomposing plant matter below it, will in time allow summer rains to strike the exposed surface, carrying away fragile thin topsoil, and eventually exposing the thin top soil and the rock below. After the process of erosion has begun the drying effect of the sun will remove valuable moisture from below the surface. The loss of moisture will in turn keeps the plant matter from decomposing, and lowering the fertility of the thinning top soils. As the surface dries, it will become increasingly difficult for the larger jungle and landscaped plants to draw on moisture from the soil and fractured rock below. As dry areas spread, drought-resistant species of thorn tree, weeds, vines, and other undesirable plants replace the native plants. And eventually rains will be washed straight to the sea, instead of soaking into the land, and moving slowly into our aquifer and wells..

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

The solid black is a proposed by-pass road
The dotted line is the truck routes used today

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