Newsletter No. 248, October 2022 ~ Grupo Ecológico
Hola Volunteers and Supporters ~
Good news, most the remaining 132 nests within the box nursery are hatching extremely well, while many beach walkers have noticed hundreds of hatchlings making their way to the sea from the 567 nests we relocated along the beach. The total number of nests recorded by October 1st came to 1,121, with 452 placed in the box nursery, and as expected, the poachers have slimed-off with 37 or .03%.
Bad news for beach lovers, and turtles alike, on the morning of the 23rd, our beach was transformed into an unpleasant mess of driftwood. The main cause of this disaster was a tropical storm that dropped heavy rain throughout our mountains, which in turn carried tons of driftwood down the rivers to the sea. High waves then pushed the driftwood unto the beach, into beach restaurants, up to Calle Cuba and Las Palmas.
That next night Christian and I drove the beach on the Can-Am, and we could not believe the damage. Huge piles of driftwood, and beach erosion everywhere especially in front of town. The mouth of the river was two hundred yards wide; the ocean was muddy and filled with debris. This was the worst damage I’ve witnessed in many years and unfortunately it may take many months to clean up. Only one palm tree out of five remains standing in front of the condo and during high tide waves are hitting the building. (See photos below)
Just when you need it the dune buggy fails, for some unknown reasons the dune buggy has burnt up three coils in five days. The grate need, that day we cleaned 18 nest boxes, and was taking the first 12 buckets of sand to the beach and got a block from the nursery and the third coils fails. Bad news as we have 38 buckets of sand and 12 baskets of hatchling to move out to the beach ASAP. With no other options and in the dark of night the CRV got the job done in three trips.
It is the hatchlings that are in trouble, can they find their way to the sea through tons of driftwood? I will try to find local volunteers to walk the beach and help them. Despite the damage we were able to drive the entire length of the beach and was surprised to find that a few turtles were able to nest despite the steep cutbanks and huge piles of debris. Also, we are very lucky not have a beach nursery at this time, or it would have been totally destroyed.
Just before this happened, I experienced the worst self-inflicted computer meltdown ever. Nothing remained, except my files, photos and some small parts of the operating system, not a single application including Microsoft Office remained. It took a week before I could answer my mail, and today the computer is only 90% back to normal, a total nightmare.
September volunteers: Karen Sorum, Jessica Hiller, Cristian Garcia, Montserrat Iniesta, Quetzalli Balderas, Stacey Hunter, Amy Emerson. Taylor Kimbell, Rick Burke and Susie Stephens. Two of our volunteers that were planning to arrive on October 26th have come down with Corvid-19 and had to cancel, by the end of October, we had only two volunteers, Rick and Sue.
We are very appreciative to have received donations from: Sara Finnegan-Doyon, Jennifer Nelsen, Patricia Schmidt, Arthur Robbins, and Steve Nelson. Without your donations our work would be nearly impossible.
It was two weeks after the computer meltdown that we were able to receive PayPal donations online once again. Our financial problem in a nutshell, the replacement of the dune buggy motor, the purchasing of the much needed Can-Am, and paying for a worker to help us to collect nests have together drained us financially and we really need help. To contribute go to Our PayPal site
Weather-wise: Temperatures during the day were in the mid 80’s°, while nighttime temps were in the mid 70s°. 5.16 inches of rain in October, and for the year rainfall came to 37.46 inches. As expected, all around good weather.
Town and country-wise: Regular gasoline is around 4.41 dollars per gallon. The exchange rate is around 19.5 pesos per dollar.
Frank Smith, Director
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Facebook page: San Pancho Marine Turtle Project
Tel. 311 258 4100