Matura Turtle Beach Cleanup 2016

MATURA BEACH IS READY FOR THE TURTLES

On Sunday February 28th volunteers poured onto the Matura Beach to give their time and effort to assist Nature Seekers in clearing the shorelines of garbage and debris in preparation for the Turtle Nesting Season 2016. An overwhelming 1,710 volunteers commenced work from 7am to ensure that this globally important nesting site was safe for both nesting turtles and hatchlings alike during the upcoming season.

Participants were greeted by Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat – Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries. Minister Rambharat relayed his enthusiasm in seeing the large number of youths participating in the clean-up which is geared towards creating a safe habitat for the critically endangered species, the Leatherback turtle. Additionally he informed attendees that the opening of the turtle nesting season (March 1st. 2016) coincided with the closing of the hunting season.

Minister Rambharat was accompanied by several officials who were all in attendance to support this important event. These were:

Ms. Glenda Jennings-Smith – MP for the Toco/Sangre Grande Constituency and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of National Security

Mr. Nigel De Freitas – Vice President of the Senate

Senator Avinash Singh – Parliamentary Secretary and Senator

Ms. Joy Persad – Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries

Councillor Martin Rondon – Chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation

The Nature Seekers pre-season beach clean-up also featured an environmental exhibition in which stakeholders came together to share an array of knowledge regarding environmental conservation and disaster preparedness. Exhibitors included the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) along with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM). The Zoological Society and the El Socorro Centre for Wildlife Conservation were also present both having animals with which the public was allowed to interact.

A highlight of the day’s event was the rescuing of a stranded Green turtle which was found amongst debris along the beach. Officials from the El Socorro Centre for Wildlife Conservation were able to re-hydrate the turtle which appeared to have been damaged from the strewn debris.

The day’s event closed off with the awarding of the trophies for the popular sand turtle competition. The group known as Eco Warriors walked away victorious in the competition with ASJA Boys College and Vishnu Boys placing 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Nature Seekers extends its gratitude to all volunteers and exhibitors who were in attendance at the event. Additionally special mention is to be made to CSF Couriers, Tropical Shipping and Green Fund.

As the turtle nesting season opens, Nature Seekers in partnership with the Forestry Division and the Turtle Village Trust is dedicated to increasing the opportunities for experiential learning for the public. The non-profit organization will be connecting conservation activities with opportunities for the public to have a unique experience in nature. Persons are invited to come truly “Experience Conservation” under the guidance of Nature Seekers.

See link for more information on Turtle Watching experience

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