Photo courtesy Kendra Schofield/Off the Wall @ Glover's Reef Atoll
The Adopt A Beach Program relies on the support of coastal property owners and protected areas managers to adopt beaches and keep them turtle friendly and monitor their beach for signs of sea turtle activity. Others may also wish to provide greater support by making it possible for dedicated researchers to conduct a nesting beach survey of critical beaches that are located along the isolated mainland cost from Sibun River to Punta Negra. Our goal is to get ALL beaches adopted by 2020, so please read on and see how you can help us achieve our goal and have all beaches monitored for sea turtle activity!
Why Adopt A Beach?
Belize has hundreds of miles of sandy beaches that sea turtles nest on each year. We need YOUR help to monitor them regularly for sea turtle activity. The data collected by volunteers will contribute valuable data on nesting sea turtles in Belize, including:
Monitor for impacts of climate change. If traditional nesting beaches are receding or inaccessible to turtles, their populations will decline. If you observe erosion on your beaches that threatens sea turtle nests, we need to know!
Resorts are encouraged to share the program details with heir guests. Destinations around the world become very popular if turtle watching activities are included.
Why Adopt all Beaches?
Belize has miles of isolated sandy beaches, which are ideal for nesting sea turtles. Researchers and community organizations lack the resources to conduct regular monitoring at these sites. Your contribution to this program will enable members of the Belize Sea Turtle Conservation Network to survey these isolated beaches so that we may be able to record the number of turtle nests that use this beach. If we know how many turtles nest in Belize, then we can monitor their changes over time, and assess changes in nesting turtle populations.
A key activity is to walk the beach each morning, especially during peak nesting season. Caretakers that rake the beach can also take on this roll of monitoring sea turtle activity on adopted beaches.
Adopt A Beach activities
Monitoring beach patterns and sea turtle activity is essential for the conservation of beach topography and marine life populations. The effects of urban development, climate change, and poaching can be studied, tracked and managed.
MONITOR THE BEACH
It's very easy to participate. Each day your Adopted Beach is monitored results can be recorded on the Adopt A Beach form, or the data can be submitted online. If you record your observations on a form at the end of each week the data should be submitted by scanning or taking a picture of the form and sending it to ECOMAR.
When turtle tracks or nests are sighted we'll notify the nearest member of the Belize Sea Turtle Conservation Network so they can send a trained biologist to inspect the tracks and nest in order to determine what type of turtle nested on your beach.
BE PATIENT & WAIT!
About 60 days after a sea turtle nests her hatchlings will emerge from the sand. This is a very special event to experience and you can alert your guests to a most spectacular reward, the hatching of about 100+ baby sea turtles!
NGOs & Protected Area Managers
Nesting Beach Characterization
Help is also needed in the monitoring of changes in beach patterns throughout the year. If you would like to characterize your nesting beach you can work with the scientists from your nearest NGO and you can work with them and learn how to characterize the beach so that changes over time and impacts from climate change can be monitored. Nesting beach characterization kits will also be available to purchase if you would like to monitor the beach yourself on a regular basis.