If you live near a sea turtle nesting beach, consider organizing a group of friends to monitor nesting activity during the appropriate time of year. Contact the WIDECAST Country Coordinator in your country to find out whether nesting occurs in your area, and if there are ongoing programs that you can join.
If no one is making an effort to safeguard a local nesting beach, talk with your WIDECAST Country Coordinator about how you can help. Something as simple as an early morning walk along the beach can provide important information on the abundance and distribution of nesting, as well as factors that threaten the survival of sea turtles and their young. You might document evidence of poaching, erosion, predators, disorientation by lights, etc. – and this information can lead to discussions with local authorities and other stakeholders on how best to reduce these threats. Visit our page on Threats and Solutions for more information!
Remember that in many places you will need formal training and special permission by Government to intervene – for example to tag turtles or to handle eggs – so be informed before you organize a conservation effort.
One example of a community-based program to care for sea turtles and their young is “Neighbors Ensuring Sea Turtle Survival!” (NESTS). NESTS is a successful program in Florida where individuals, homeowner associations and businesses living near the coast work together to help protect sea turtles that nest nearby. Perhaps the NESTS program will inspire you to organize a similar effort in your community!
Hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around the world, including many Caribbean and Latin American countries, participate in The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup every year. If this isn’t a regular activity in your community, contact The Ocean Conservancy about organizing an annual beach clean-up to provide a clean and safe incubation environment for sea turtles nesting on your shores.
Do you have a story to tell concerning a successful program that was organized in your community? Let us know!
Send an email to WIDECAST at firstname.lastname@example.org.