Tell Trinidad to Save its Sea Turtles

Target: Ganga Singh, Minister of Water and the Environment

Goal: Aid leatherback sea turtle conservation and prevent nesting sites from being destroyed.

Almost twenty thousand baby leatherback sea turtle hatchlings and eggs were crushed and killed in Trinidad this weekend when excavators bulldozed over their nest site. The site was supposed to be protected, but officials in the Trinidad Ministry of Water and the Environment did not request the assistance of any of the local turtle protection groups, nor did they have anyone on site to make sure the work was done correctly and with as little damage as possible.

Ultimately, only about five hundred hatchlings were saved, while the rest were left as food for vultures and stray dogs. Leatherback sea turtles are endangered due to reduced habitat, human consumption of eggs, and getting caught in fishing gear. While each female sea turtle lays about one hundred eggs at a time, not even one percent survive to adulthood.

The excavation was meant to divert the Grande Riviere, which had been eroding a nearby eco-tourist hotel and the nesting area. The beach is typically popular with tourists who enjoy seeing the tiny turtles heading out to sea. This weekend, unfortunately, they were witness to thousands of baby sea turtles dying on the beach.

By signing the petition below, you are asking the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Water and the Environment, who gave permission for the excavation and coordinated it, to donate time and money to sea turtle conservation, and to try to compensate for the killing of these 20,000 baby sea turtles.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ganga Singh,

The recent tragedy that occurred during the Grande Riviere diversion was preventable. Twenty thousand sea turtle hatchlings and eggs were needlessly killed and destroyed because of a lapse in communication. The beach was a known nesting area, and the diversion was requested because the river was beginning to erode the nesting area, as well as a nearby hotel populated by tourists who visit to watch the sea turtle hatchlings head out to sea.

The excavation crew that you gave permission to dig up the beach may or may not have been aware that they were digging up a nesting area, but the fault ultimately lies with the Ministry of Water and the Environment Drainage Division. There is no way to make up for the 20,000 lives that will never make it out to sea and help swell the numbers of the already-endangered leatherback sea turtle, but you can take steps to prevent this from ever happening again.

I am asking you to meet with local sea turtle conservation groups, and not only determine how to prevent this from happening again, but also offer to donate time or money to help protect sea turtles, and promote conservation.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. They just don’t care about anything but development and money, with no regard for ecology. Sooner or later we will all be extinct with no ecology.

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Signatures

  • Ingrid Kirschner-Lentsch
  • Rosa Almeida
  • Isabella Oliveira
  • Zairê de Fatima Weisheimer
  • Zairê de Fatima Weisheimer
  • Ariane Macharelli
  • Carollina Kormann Batista Rodrigues
  • siriadamore
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