Newsletter No. 229, March 2021 ~ Grupo Ecológico
Hola Volunteers and Supporters ~
After years of vigorous work, Grupo Ecológico is making a fresh start for the 2021 season. We updated our non-profit’s constitution and strengthened our team with new officers and board members. We are creating new objectives and goals. And we are developing a transition plan that includes recruiting a university-degreed Marine Biologist, experienced in marine turtle conservation, to become the Director when I retire.
We would like to thanks to our March volunteers; Karen Sorum, Hallie Loveridge, Juan Flores and family for their help. It’s incredible that while going through the records I discovered that Grupo Ecológico has enlisted over 193 volunteers since 1992, many of whom are still with us. This year we need more volunteers, because we will reopen the box nursery when the pandemic recedes. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, please refer them to our Volunteer webpage.
A new book features my marine turtle conservation work in San Pancho with a chapter called “Twenty-eight Years of Buggy Adventures on a Mexican Turtle Beach”. It was written by Madison McLoughlin and Katherine Comer Santos. You can read the chapter here. The full book is here.
Please “Follow” and “Like” our new Facebook page at San Pancho Marine Turtle Project. You will see regular updates.
All four apartments at our turtle camp have been refurbished at a cost of $15,100 pesos, including deep cleaning and new paint. At this time, they are occupied by Bob and Sandy in unit #1, Katie Grant in unit #2, Director Frank Smith in unit #3 and Gale Greer and Lorren Garlichs in unit #4.
We are extremely grateful to the March donors; Gale Greer, Patricia Perez-Arce, Karen Hope, Jennifer Nelsen, Colin Wood, Denis Colard, Leeann, and Dick Fairfield, Susan Butler and Bob and Sandy Klusmeyer.
The dune buggy received its most recent repairs in late March. As of today, it is running well. We plan to cover the beach once each morning by foot up until mid-June, at which time we will patrol full time using the buggy.
When the pandemic subsides, we will again be able to release hatchings for the public, reopen our box nursey, host visitors and sell T-shirts. All nests deposited between April and mid-June will be relocated higher to the north end of the beach, away from the mother’s tracks. We will place them deeper, tamp tighter, spread them further apart, and leave them unmarked. Doing this will allow nature to do her work as she has for two million years and will help keep parasites out of the nests.
Over the past several months San Pancho residents and visitors have been confused by Facebook pages promoting “Vida Libre”. These pages and PayPal account do not represent us at all. Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C. is the only legally authorized marine turtle conservation group in San Pancho. Do not be deceived; donations given to Vida Libre go to a single individual who is not legally authorized to handle marine turtles on our beaches. To donate to Grupo Eco, please go to Grupo Ecológico's PayPal portal.
Weather-wise, daytime temperatures in February were in the low to mid-70°s. Nighttime temperatures were in the low to mid 60°s. We have not yet received any rain this year.
The town’s streets and beaches are packed with tourists. “Semana Santa” has arrived. The restaurants are open, the beach is packed with tents, and there is no parking available in town. Our beaches may need a good cleanup after this holiday. The lagoon’s water level is slowly dropping and beautiful Water Hyacinths are beginning to cover the surface. Construction in town is at a fever pitch. Trucks loaded with workers, cement, blocks and rebar pass our complex throughout the day.
And here’s the best news; I received my Pizer vaccination shots!
Frank Smith, Director
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Facebook page: San Pancho Marine Turtle Project
Tel. 311 258 4100