Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao

by Friends of Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Help Protect Endangered Sea Turtles in Curacao
Session 1
Session 1

With a new nesting season coming up and a global pandamic still heavily affecting the world, our organisation is facing difficult times. We decided it is a great time to do a Theory of Change process. In this process a group of core STCC members determine what impact our organisation wants to make and how we aim to create it. 

This insightful process also includes follow up meetings with other stakeholder groups and it's a dynamic process, which will eventually lead to a visual pathway of change, which will make it very clear for everybody what STCC aims to do and how.

So far 2 workshop sessions took place. In the first one we talked about our vision and we created a vision statement: Curacao is a safe haven for sea turtles, caried by an involved community which is inspiring the world.

Our mission statement still hold: Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao aims to protect sea turtles and their habitat through research, conservation and education. 

We also discussed long term outcomes that need to be accomplished before the vision can become a reality. This basically breaks the vision statement down into seperate components: 

1. Curacao is a safe haven for sea turtles

2. The community is involved

3. Our program is an example for the world

In the second workshop we discussed the output that is needed and the programs STCC could create to contribute to the long term goals. Indicators were discussed as well as assumptions. 

The following weeks we'll be working on visualising these primary results into a concept pathway of change and once this is done we'll start planning stakeholder sessions, with volunteers, ministries, companies and other NGO's. So far the process has been extremely valuable and it will be the basis for further strategic planning, budgeting and a strong continuation of what was build in previous years.

It might be the harderst time we've faced since STCC was founded, but in the core there are some really driven people that want to do whatever is in their power to keep on protecting sea turtles and their habitat as best as we possibly can. We're confident this 'Theory of Change" will lead to a road on how we can survive this horrible pandamic that has affected us all. 

Group session 1
Group session 1
Session 2
Session 2
theory of change session 2
theory of change session 2

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Release 1
Release 1

Last 3 turtles that fell victim to sargassum are now released back to the sea


Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao (STCC), together with employees of the Seaquarium, brought 3 sea turtles back to sea on Saturday morning, 7 November. The turtles were the last 3 to recover at Curaçao Sea Aquarium after liberation from sargassum seaweed.

In the period from March to June, Curaçao had to deal with a large influx of sargassum. The North side in particular was hit hard. Sargassum is a brown algae that forms floating seaweed mats. In the open ocean, these floating mats act as hatcheries for various animals, including sea turtles. Sometimes a piece of the mat breaks off and then floats with the current towards the Caribbean. Here it ends on the coast of the islands. Once the sargassum hits the shore, it accumulates and then sinks and rot. During the decay process all oxygen is used up and hydrogen sulphide is formed, which can suffocate marine animals.

Several beaches on the north side are nesting or foraging areas for turtles. The accumulation of sargassum in these areas has had a negative impact on the turtle population, for example turtles became entangled in it, which can cause drowning, dehydration or suffocation. Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao, a volunteer organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of sea turtles, has been able to rescue a number of turtles that became trapped in the Sargassum. The turtles were all seriously weakened and were admitted by the Curaçao Sea Aquarium after possible medical treatment. Here they could recover under professional care.

After months of rehabilitation, the sea turtles were declared healthy and returned to their native habitat. Under the watchful eye of the caretakers of the Curaçao Sea Aquarium, the animals were weighed and measured one last time and they went in a caravan of cars towards the North Coast.

Under public interest, employees of Curaçao Sea Aquarium volunteers from STCC released the three turtles into the sea. This brought an end to the aftercare that was needed after the sargassum rescues.

Release 2
Release 2
release 3
release 3

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Turtle tracks
Turtle tracks

After some challenging times with COVID-19 lockdown, an unprecedented sargassum crisis, all 2020 internships being cancelled and a change in staff, the new normal for STCC is cristalizing. Hans Pleij was hired as the new field coordinator and is finding his way in managing all the field activities. And there are quite a lot.

Besides ensuring that the nestmonitoring is carried out 3 times a week at the different routes and the in water health checks, there are also some turtles in the care of the Seaquarium and at the veterinary practice. These turtles require intensive care, which means that on a weekly basis 2000 liter of fresh sea water should be brought  to the vet and regular lettuce drop offs should be done at both locations. The first dozen of nesting activities have been registered and some of the volunteers now got some additional field experience. 

For the summer holiday a fun and educational kids program was designed, which will start shortly. And the STCC documentary that is being made by 'Turtle & Ray' is  nearing the final phase. This goes for the annual report of 2019 as well. 

Last month the new website was launched and if you haven't yet seen it, please check it out. We're really proud of it!

turtle activity
turtle activity
Conformed nest
Conformed nest
clean up
clean up
STCC4kids
STCC4kids
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Research sign
Research sign

The last mile is the longest.

On monday February 17th the new Sea Turtle Information and Education Center in the Sambil mall will finally open. After months of planning, preparing and setting up partnerships everything is coming nicely together. In a 181m2 space in the Sambil mall, visitors will be able to learn about the efforts we are making to protect sea turtles and their habitat. Also famous artists like Giovanni Zanolino and Garrick Marchena made contributions to the new center.

Currently we are still working on the last things to make the center ready for the official opening. Only 3 more days. Really exciting.

This huge project really would not have been possible without the help of numerous dedicated volunteers who all contributed in their own way. 

After the opening on monday a full report will follow. Stay tuned!

Conservation sign
Conservation sign
Education Sign
Education Sign
Garrick Marchena working on his mural
Garrick Marchena working on his mural
Super volunteers
Super volunteers
Super volunteers2
Super volunteers2
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Presentation nicky
Presentation nicky

The 2019 season is slowly coming to an end. However, we are still seeing nesting activities and the monitoring of the beaches still continues. We check all the beaches 3 times a week. It hasn't been the best season. So far we registered a little over 30 nests. 

The turtle rescues are also a regular activity for our staff. Mostly Ard Vreugdenhil is the one to go out and help injured turtles. We so far had 2 incidents with loggerheads, otherwise it is mostly green turtles that are in distress. 

This season we had 4 interns assisting us. 2 of them already finished their internship and returned back home. The 7th of November all of them gave a presentation for interested volunteers about their work.

Amber, Isa and Nicky focussed on sea turtle population research. They collect and order data about resident sea turtles and they use oictures of the turtles to identify the individual turtles.

Eva focussed on education. We set up a specifically designed education program in collaboration with Green Phenix and FBTT travel. 3000 kids got a presentation about sea turtles and the threat of plastic pollution. We also incentivised the kids to collect plastic bottles and this worked better then expected, because kids collected a total of 30573 plastic bottles, that will be locally recycled, which prevents the plastic from ending up in the ocean. 

Also we are working on an expension of our #artforawareness piece in Sambil. More about this will follow soon!

resuce at klein
resuce at klein
turtle rescue
turtle rescue
release
release
loggerhead
loggerhead
Amber
Amber
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Organization Information

Friends of Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao

Location: Willemstad, Curacao - Curaçao
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Sabine Berendse
Willemstad, Curacao Curaçao
$20,547 raised of $75,000 goal
 
380 donations
$54,453 to go
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