Along with co-funder SEE Turtles, $BEACH is absolutely delighted to be partnering with the Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative to patrol and protect sea turtle hatchling beaches. Listen to them describe their work in their own words:
The Conflict Islands are one of just two Mission Blue, Hope Spots in Papua New Guinea. The Conflict Islands are a privately owned atoll 22 kms by 14 kms wide in the center of a richly biodiverse marine ecosystem. The conservation work by Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative (CICI), an Australian not-for-profit, has evolved thanks to our growing network of partners and supporters from all over the world.
CICI’s projects are young, and the environment is harsh and hostile at times, but through all the difficulties, we have an enduring amount of hope for the future as we enter a time of change and heightened awareness of the climate and environmental crisis we are facing. During the pandemic here at CICI it has been extremely challenging, with only 2 of our 5 programs being able to be continued with outside funding. These programs are our Marine Debris and Turtle Monitoring and Protection Program, which in our nesting season that started in November 2021 has been booming with over 300 nesting events to date. Another great success was the co-authoring of new research by our marine biologist Hayley Versace on cooling techniques for turtle nests (Trialling seawater irrigation to combat the high nest temperature feminization of green turtle Chelonia mydas hatchlings. Smith et al, 2021), which is the first step in introducing these much-needed techniques to remote and hard-to-access locations with very limited resources like ours.
As a result, we made it our mission this season (2021–2022) to increase our efforts and have doubled the size of our Community Conservation Ranger team, education and training program. CICI is now proud to have rangers representing us from 11 different community groups and nine different islands. Their training and work will continue over the 6-month nesting season and will instill long-lasting skills and knowledge that they can impart to their communities and families in future seasons.
In 2020 CICI secured a powerful partnership with the well-renowned organization Take 3 for the Sea. Last year alone the rangers on the islands collected a staggering 1,928 kgs of marine debris off the shoreline consisting of 123,328 pieces of plastic! This plastic was collected, weighed, sorted, and recorded by our team of rangers on the ground. This year in the preamble to the turtle nesting season, our Community Conservation Rangers collected 893 kgs of marine debris from the shores of the atolls islands consisting of 42,651 pieces of plastic in just one month! The rangers will continue to do collections while in the field to help maintain a healthy environment on the islands.
Our mission is to do everything in our power to help our environment in every way possible.
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