Manual of best practices for safeguarding sea turtle nesting beaches

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Title:
Manual of best practices for safeguarding sea turtle nesting beaches
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Spanish
Creator:
Choi, Ga-Young
Eckert, Karen L.
Publisher:
Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network ( WIDECAST )
Place of Publication:
Ballwin, MO
Publication Date:

Notes

General Note:
WIDECAST technical report no. 9

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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All rights reserved by the source institution.
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issn - 1930-3025
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AA00000378:00001


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For bibliographic purposes, this document may be cited as:


Choi, Ga-Young and Karen L. Eckert. 2009. Manual of Best Practices for Safeguarding Sea Turtle
Nesting Beaches. Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) Technical
Report No. 9. Ballwin, Missouri. 86 pp.


ISSN: 1930-3025


Cover Photo taken by Ga-Young Choi in Aruba


Copies of this publication may be obtained from:

Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST)
1348 Rusticview Drive
Ballwin, Missouri 63011 USA
Phone: + (314) 954-8571
Email: keckert(widecast.ora


Online at www.widecast.orc







Manual of Best Practices for
Safeguarding Sea Turtle
Nesting Beaches





Ga-Young Choi
Karen L. Eckert
2009


LWIDECAST
Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network


C CAST
6 Cai bean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism









Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


For nearly three decades the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), with
Country Coordinators in more than 40 Caribbean States and territories, has linked scientists, conserva-
tionists, natural resource users and managers, policy-makers, industry groups, educators and other
stakeholders together in a collective effort to develop a unified management framework, and to promote
a region-wide capacity to design and implement science-based sea turtle conservation programs.

As a Partner Organization of the UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme and its Regional Programme
for Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW), WIDECAST is designed to address research and man-
agement priorities at national and international levels, both for sea turtles and for the habitats upon
which they depend. We focus on bringing the best available science to bear on contemporary manage-
ment and conservation issues, empowering stakeholders to make effective use of that science in the
policy-making process, and providing an operational mechanism and a framework for cooperation at all
levels, both within and among nations.

Network participants are committed to working collaboratively to develop their individual and collective
capacities to manage shared sea turtle populations. By bringing people together and encouraging
inclusive management planning, WIDECAST is helping to ensure that utilization practices, whether con-
sumptive or non-consumptive, do not undermine sea turtle survival over the long term. Among these
capacity building initiatives is a regional program, implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Alliance
for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), to provide the hospitality sector with information on how property
owners and managers can help protect sea turtle nesting beaches on or near their properties.

This Manual responds to recommendations made by industry representatives attending a workshop
sponsored by the Tourism Development Corporation in Barbados, and co-hosted by WIDECAST and the
Barbados Sea Turtle Project. By unanimous Resolution', workshop participants requested guidance in
constructing a Sea Turtle Policy Statement to be adopted by the hotel and villa rental community, and
help in designing "standard guidelines and criteria for implementing the Sea Turtle PolicyStatement".

The intent is to assist beachfront property owners and managers in identifying actions that can be taken
to protect sea turtles and their nesting beaches. We provide a model Sea Turtle Policy Statementand a
"check list" for its implementation, followed by a primer on sea turtle biology. The body of the Manual is
devoted to recommendations for the pre-construction phase, building setbacks, coastal lighting, beach
cleaning and restoration, erosion control, vegetation and landscaping, and the operation of marine
vessels near nesting beaches, explaining in each case the linkages between actions taken from a facilities
management standpoint and the benefits of those actions to endangered sea turtles. Finally, we discuss
Guest Education and Participation and offer insight into the implications of investing in conservation pro-
grams as they relate to Green Globe and other industry certifications.

Please visit http://www.widecast.orc for more information, including updates on conservation technology,
descriptions of successful programs, and inspiration on how to become more involved!


Dr. Karen L. Eckert
Executive Director, WIDECAST
October 2008

Eckert, K.L. and J.A. Horrocks (Editors). 2002. Sea Turtles and Beachfront Lighting: An Interactive Workshop for
Industry Professionals and Policy-Makers in Barbados. Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network. WIDECAST
Technical Report No. 1. Bridgetown, Barbados. 44 pp.


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


The senior author wishes to thank Dr. Karen Eckert my academic advisor and co-author for intro-
ducing me to the world of sea turtles and for her invaluable support and expertise, without which this
manual could not have been possible. I would also like to thank Deirdre Shurland, (former) Executive
Director and Jennifer Dorhmann-Alpert, Program Manager (Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism,
CAST); and the staff of the Caribbean Hotel Association for providing me with the opportunity to intern
with their organizations and for teaching me so much about the Caribbean region and the hotel industry.

We are indebted to Ewald Biemans (Managing Director) and his staff at Bucuti Beach Resort for sponsor-
ing Ga-Young's travel to Aruba and providing wonderful hospitality, and to Denise Leeming (Labor
Manager) and her fellow managerial staff at Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida for sharing their
successful sea turtle conservation efforts. We also thank Cindy Clearwater (Cormorant Beach Club), Erin
Hawkins (Buccaneer Hotel), and Beverly Nicholson (Hotel and Tourism Association) in the U.S. Virgin
Islands; Jurgen van Schaijk (Managing Director, Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort), Jan van Nes (General
Manager, Playa Linda Beach Resort), Mark Purcell (Director of Facilities, Aruba Marriott Resort and
Stellaris Casino), and Edgar Roelofs (Director of Operations, Manchebo Beach Resort) in Aruba; and
Richard May and Christine Wilkinson of Sandals Resorts for sharing information about their properties.

For their invaluable expertise, access to literature, and other contributions, we express our gratitude to
Dr. Scott Eckert (Director of Science, WIDECAST); Dr. Anne Savage, Senior Conservation Biologist and
Jerry Brown, Curator of Conservation Station (Disney's Animal Kingdom); Dr. Richard and Edith van der
Wal (Turtugaruba Foundation, Aruba); Marelisa Riviera (Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Puerto
Rico); Michael Evans (Manager, Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge), Kimberly Wood (Biologist, Buck
Island Reef National Monument) and Dr. Amy Mackay in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; Becky King
(Director, Ocean Spirits, Grenada); Nancy Mettee, DVM (Juno Beach Marine Life Center, Florida); and
David Gulko (Aquatic Biologist-Coral Reefs, Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawai'i).

At Duke University the Kuzmier-Lee-Nikitine Internship Fund, Whitney Lawson Chamberlin Memorial
Endowment Fund, Student International Discussion Group, and the Lazar Foundation, as well as H&J
Industries Inc. in Arizona, provided financial support for Ga-Young's internship and travel in the Carib-
bean during the summer of 2004. Dr. Karen Eckert's time was partially supported by the Mary Derrickson
McCurdy Visiting Scholar Fellowshio at Duke University. In addition, the project could not have been
completed without financial support from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (USA), Bucuti Beach Resort
(Aruba), and Turtle Safe Products (www.turtlesafeproducts.com).

We are very grateful to the following reviewers for their comments: Ewald Biemans (Bucuti Beach Resort,
Aruba), Janice Blumenthal (Dept. Environment, Cayman Islands), Rafe Boulon (Virgin Islands National
Park, St. John), Mykl Clovis (Environmental Awareness Group, Antigua), Alex Dawes (Hilton Barbados),
Jennifer Dorhmann-Alpert and Deirdre Shurland (CAST, Puerto Rico), Dr. Carlos Drews (WWF), Loreto
Duffy-Mayers (Casuarina Hotel, Barbados), Dr. Scott Eckert (WIDECAST), Dr. Marina Fastigi and Dario
Sandrini (KIDO Foundation, Carriacou, Grenada), Janet Gibson (Wildlife Conservation Society, Belize),
Peter Goren (Florida Green Lodging, Florida Dept. Environmental Protection), Jennifer Gray (Bermuda
National Trust), Hedelvy Guada (CICTMAR, Venezuela), James Gumbs and Stuart Wynne (Dept. Fisheries
and Marine Resources, Anguilla), Ray Hobbs (Kelco Management and Development), Dr. Julia Horrocks
(Barbados Sea Turtle Project, Univ. West Indies), Michelle Kalamandeen (Guyana Marine Turtle Conserva-
tion Society), Denise Leeming (Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Florida), Carl Lloyd (Ocean Spirits, Grenada),
Adolfo Lopez (CAST, Dominican Republic), Daisy Mottram and Kate Orchard (Saint Christopher Heritage
Society, St. Kitts), Trudy Nixon (Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association), Emile Pemberton (Dept. Fish-
eries, Nevis), Georgita Ruiz, DVM (Mexico), Dr. Richard and Edith van der Wal (Turtugaruba Foundation,
Aruba), Jean Weiner (FoProBiM, Haiti), and Jem Winston (Rosalie Forest EcoLodge, Dominica).


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PREFACE AND INTENT 1
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 2
TABLE OF CONTENTS 3

I. WHY IS THIS MANUAL NEEDED? 4
Executive Summary: Best Management Practices for Sea Turtle Nesting Areas 5

II. SEA TURTLE POLICY STATEMENT 8
Getting Started 8
Sea Turtle Policy Statement 9
Check List for Implementing Your Sea Turtle Policy Statement 10

III. SEA TURTLE PRIMER 11
Basic Biology of Sea Turtles 11
Threats to Sea Turtle Survival 13

IV. SEA TURTLE MANAGEMENT ISSUES 17
Pre-Construction Phase 17
Construction Setbacks 19
Beachfront Lighting 21
Responding to Disoriented Turtles 25
Beach Sand Mining 27
Beach Maintenance 28
Obstacles to Nesting 29
Litter and Debris 30
Beach Stabilization 32
Beach Restoration 34
Vehicle Use 36
Protecting Coastal Habitats 37
Beach vegetation 37
Seagrass and Coral Reefs 39
Boats and Personal Water Craft (PWC) 42
Final Considerations: Think Global, Think Climate Change 45

V. GUEST EDUCATION AND PARTICIPATION 46
Environmental Programs 47
Getting the Message Across 48
Sea Turtle Encounters and Turtle Watches 50

LITERATURE CITED 53

APPENDICES
I: Sea Turtle Policy Statement 59
II: Sea Turtle Species Identification 61
III: Sea Turtle Nesting and Crawl Signs 64
IV: Sample Materials for Placement in Hotel/Villa Rooms 70
V: Turtle Watching: Beach Etiquette 77
VI: Turtle Watching: In-Water Etiquette 80
VII: Green Globe and Blue Flag Certifications 82


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For more than a decade, dozens of progressive hotels and beachfront property owners throughout the
Caribbean region have been working closely with the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network
(WIDECAST) to invest in conservation technologies (such as energy-efficient "turtle friendly" lighting),
train staff, educate guests, design innovative landscaping, and support local sea turtle research and
conservation programs ... all to enhance the survival prospects of endangered sea turtles nesting on or
near their properties, engaging their guests in unique experiences (such as Turtle Watching), and gener-
ally committing themselves to a more sustainable future.

These partnerships generally start with a request for help:

"What can we do to ensure the survival of sea turtles and their young on our beach?
The poaching of nesting females is still a challenge for local authorities, and we know
that dogs dig up several of the turtle nests each year. As for hatchlings that survive the
incubation period, many of them end up trapped in our gardens or dead on the road.
We've heard that the only solution to the disorientation of these hatchlings is to turn off
all of our security lights at night! Is this really necessary? How do we take the sea
turtles into account while protecting our guests, grounds, and staff? Any information
that you can provide would be greatly appreciated."

Other enquires focus on developments still in the planning stages; for example:

"We are very concerned about a development proposed for [Beach X] which, as you
know, is an important nesting ground for marine turtles. An EIA is currently being
prepared for the development and [Regulatory Agency Y] has asked our organization to
review the document to ensure that the development will not compromise the sea
turtles. We will be meeting with the developer and the architect next week to bring to
their attention the requirements under [Regulation Z] for developments on this beach,
and also our national commitments to various international agreements aimed at
safeguarding depleted sea turtle populations throughout the region. Could you please
provide us with advice and any relevant material you may have on best practices for
coastal developments? The developer proposes to use the fact that it is a turtle nesting
beach as a marketing tool, so we may be able to turn this into an opportunity for sus-
tained collaboration. Thank you in advance!"

Perhaps you've asked (or thought about asking) just such a question to a local biologist, fisheries officer,
or sea turtle conservationist. Perhaps you've done a little reading on your own and already invested in
some conservation alternatives, but you're not really sure that you did the right thing. Perhaps you've
scheduled some renovation with the aim of saving money (e.g., landscaping with native or salt tolerant
plants, eliminating redundant lighting) and figure that this is the time to take a fresh look at the larger
issues of beach management. For these reasons and many more, this Manual was designed for you!

This Manual emphasizes the positive role that the hospitality and tourism sector can play in biodiversity
conservation by demonstrating ways in which the industry can help protect endangered sea turtles and
their nesting habitats. Some recommendations, such as construction setbacks, require considerable fore-
sight; others, such as moving sunbeds and other potential obstacles to nesting, directing lights away
from the beach, or rescuing disoriented hatchlings, can be adopted at any time. Our hope is that the
Manual will inspire you to adopt and implement a Sea Turtle Policy Statement, collaborate
with local experts, communicate relevant information to guests, staff and contractors, and
start taking steps, however small, to promote the survival of Caribbean sea turtles.


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Sea turtles are ancient creatures, living mostly unseen in the world's oceans. At certain times of the
year, egg-bearing females must come ashore to lay eggs deep in the warm sand of tropical beaches.
The nesting process can be threatened by various aspects (e.g., deforestation, lights, sand mining, roads
and construction, noise, activity, recreation) associated with beachfront development. Fortunately, an
informed property manager can help ensure the survival of endangered sea turtles and their young by
implementing the following check list. Following a brief overview (see "Sea Turtle Primer"), recommen-
dations associated with each of these activities are explained in greater detail in the chapters that follow.


Know whether (and when) sea turtles nest on
beaches near your property
, Be aware of laws and policies protecting sea
turtles and their eggs
> Support the development and implementation of
an independent Environment Impact Assessment
> Evaluate and commit to minimizing impacts
to the nesting beach from access roads, vegeta-
tion removal/burning, excavation, erosion, lights
and activity associated with work crews, etc.
> Schedule construction during non-nesting periods
> Identify and collaborate with local sea turtle
experts to monitor the effects of construction
> Support formation of a local Advisory Board for
transparency, information-exchange, oversight
> Adopt a Sea Turtle Policy Statement


Chapter IV.
Management Issues:
Pre-Construction
Phase


Do not construct permanent buildings, snack
bars, pools, etc. on the sandy beach platform
To protect both the nesting beach and coastal Chapter IV.
Construction infrastructure, establish reasonable setbacks Management Issues:
Setbacks between the ocean and any permanent buildings Construction
> Inform contractors and partners of the Setbacks
importance of these setbacks, and of preserving
native vegetation within a buffer zone

> Commit to reducing "light pollution" that can be
fatal to nesting females and their young
SConduct lighting inspections, at least annually,
and respond promptly to recommended
corrective measures
>All exterior fixtures anywhere on the property Chapter IV.
that produce light visible from the nesting beach Management Issues:
Exterior Lighting should be shielded, directed only where light is Beachfront Lighting
needed, generally placed as low as practicable,
and use long wavelength lamps (e.g., red/amber
LEDs, low pressure sodium) and black baffles
>Avoid bright white light, such as metal halide,
halogen, fluorescent, mercury vapor, and incan-
descent lamps and never use where such light 1WlDECAST
could be visible from the beach @2009


Pre-Construction
Phase


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


>Turn off balcony lights when not in use
> Use ornamental vegetation to block and reduce
light leakage to the nesting beach
> Emphasize timers and motion sensitive lights to
reduce beachfront lighting and operational costs
> Prohibit bonfires or fire pits on the beach or in
line-of-sight of the beach during nesting season

> Commit to reducing the amount of light that
reaches the nesting beach from hotel rooms,
restaurants, and other interior spaces
Glass Windows When possible, use blackout curtains or shade- Chapter IV.
and Doors Visible screens if glass tinting is an option, apply film Management Issues:
from the Beach with a visible light transmittance value of 45% or Beachfront Lighting
less to all windows and doors within line-of-sight
of the beach
>Turn off lights when not in use!

Know the law with regard to sourcing
Beach Sand construction aggregate Chapter IV.
Mining ,Avoid using sand mined from coastal beaches Management Issues:
M Report violations of sand mining laws Beach Sand Mining

> Remove furniture and recreational equipment
(kayaks, small sailboats) from the beach nightly
> Stack and arrange furniture off-beach
> Use a permanent umbrella holder or sleeve Chapter IV.
Obstacles on the never thrust an umbrella (or other penetrating Management Issues:
Nesting Beach object) into a nesting beach Obstacles to Nesting
> Consider signage (if egg poaching is not a
problem) alerting visitors to nest locations and
asking that they stay 2m (6ft) from the nest site

SImplement policies to keep grounds and
adjoining beach areas clean
> Hand-rake beach debris (vs. using a tractor) to Chapter IV.
Litter and Debris avoid harming eggs incubating below the surface Management Issues:
> Partner with local youth or conservation groups Litter and Debris
to conduct Beach Clean-Ups, especially just prior
to the nesting season

> Seek alternatives to coastal armoring/seawalls
> Protect beachfront property through enforced
construction setbacks, mixed-species (preferably
native) vegetation buffers, and dune protection Chapter IV.
Beach > If beach restoration/rebuilding is unavoidable, Management Issues:
Stabilization and replacement sand should be similar (grain size, Beach Staboiliation
Restoration organic content) to the original beach sand, Beach Restoration
thereby maintaining the suitability of the beach
for egg incubation
> Beach restoration should never take place during iUWIECAW T
the nesting/hatching season @ 2009 S ..--.


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With the exception of authorized patrol or
emergency vehicles (which should drive below
Vehicles on the the high tide line), motorized vehicles should be Chapter IV.
Beach prohibited from driving on sandy beaches Management Issues:
> Smooth-out tire tracks ruts trap emerging Vehicle Use
hatchlings, prevent them from reaching the sea

Know the law regarding removal and restoration
of coastal vegetation and maritime forest
Incorporate established vegetation into archi-
tectural plans minimize removal of beachfront Chapter IV.
Protecting Beach vegetation, restore what has been lost Management Issues:
Vegetation > Emphasize the use of native plant/tree species Protecting Coastal
Construct raised walkways over sensitive areas Habitats
Consider planting "beach gardens" to help
restore nesting habitat for hawksbill sea turtles

> Prohibit actions that damage seagrass or coral
Require all marine vessels be moored or docked
Restrict anchoring to non-sensitive marine areas
Demarcate a no-wake Swim Zone offshore the
Protecting nesting beach Chapter IV.
Seagrass and Eliminate sedimentation and pollution e.g., Management Issues:
Coral manage wastewater effluent, recycle graywater, Protecting Coastal
maintain high standards for sewage treatment, Habitats
emphasize low doses of landscape chemicals
Educate divers and snorkelers about appropriate
behavior underwater

> Commit to reducing the impact of recreational
boating on sensitive marine ecosystems
Enforce a slow speed or no-wake zone offshore Chapter IV.
Boats, Personal the nesting beach Management Issues:
Watercraft > Encourage the use of propeller guards to reduce Boats and Personal
injury to marine life, including sea turtles Watercraft
Ensure that staff and guests know and
understand all relevant rules and restrictions

> Regularly train/evaluate staff in environmental
management systems and sea turtle protocols
Involve guests in sea turtle protocols; e.g., close
curtains at night when interior lights are lit
Make conservation fun! Host a Sea Turtle Sum-
mer Camp or Story Hour, sponsor a Beach Clean- Chapter V.
Educating Staff Up, invite a local expert to give a Sea Turtle Talk, Guest Education and
and Guests organize Nature Tours, recognize staff efforts Participation
> Partner with a local conservation group to offer
professionally guided Turtle Watches, if sea turtle
species and habitats are conducive to viewing
> Use signage/in-room materials to inform guests
of sea turtle (and other conservation) issues WFlIBEPUT
>Always report nesting and hatching events @2009 Ue r--m


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Sustainable development requires commitment to a broad range of social and environmental issues. The
intent of this Manual is to promote sustainable development within the hospitality sector, and specifically
to assist beachfront property owners and managers in identifying actions that can be taken to protect sea
turtles and their nesting beaches. We recommend that a Sea Turtle Policy Statement(STPS) be adopted
to guide conservation efforts, that it support existing environmental management systems, and that it
conform to industry standards (http://www.iso.orc/iso/iso 14000 essentials). To this end we begin with
a model STPS and a "check list" for its implementation, followed by a primer on sea turtle biology. The
body of the Manual is devoted to recommendations, explaining in each case the linkages between actions
taken from a facilities management standpoint and the benefits of those actions to endangered sea
turtles. Finally, we discuss Guest Education and Participation and offer insight into the implications of
investing in conservation programs as they relate to Green Globe and other industry certifications.



As stewards of some the most valuable and most vulnerable of Caribbean landscapes coastal sandy
beaches and nearshore marine environments the tourism sector has the capacity to play a vital role in
preventing the extinction of Caribbean sea turtles. Beachfront hotels in sea turtle nesting areas should
have a Sea Turtle Policy Statement supported by environmental management systems (Eckert and
Horrocks 2002). Guests, staff and contractors should be encouraged to take measures that protect
nesting sea turtles, their eggs and their young. Staff in departments responsible for the actualization of
the Policy should be trained annually. These departments may include Sports and Activities, Security,
Grounds, and Maintenance.

Hotels should maintain important information, including emergency numbers (such as for local sea turtle
experts, veterinarians, fisheries and wildlife officers, and police) and a calendar of nesting and hatching
months. Relevant information should also be communicated with guests, including how (and to whom)
to report a sea turtle sighting and how to behave if a sea turtle is encountered (e.g., see Appendix V, VI).
Guests should be alerted to the fact that it is illegal to carry sea turtle parts and products, including
jewelry, through Customs. Hotels should take all necessary steps to ensure that no items made from sea
turtle shell are sold in gift shops on site, and that guests are aware of national laws protecting turtles.

In addition, consider making information about local sea turtle conservation projects available to guests.
Guests and clients can be an important source of support for conservation projects, providing volunteer
labor, donated skills and services, equipment, networking, and funding. Informed and active guests are
more likely to pay attention to hotel rules concerning sea turtle conservation, and more likely to leave
their vacation experience with treasured memories of their stay.

Making your property inviting to charismatic wildlife species and investing in their conservation can pay
important dividends in public awareness and sustainable development, while providing an enchanting
experience for guests and clients.

In the sections that follow, you will find useful information concerning a variety of considerations that, if
properly addressed, can help to ensure harmonious co-existence with endangered sea turtles.
We hope that by learning more about sea turtles and the issues that affect them, you will be inspired to
implement the Manual's recommendations and to encourage others to do so. Sea turtles return to their
birthplace to lay their eggs, meaning that your area supports a unique assemblage of reproductively
active adults. If the population is extinguished, it cannot be replaced in any relevant time frame and,
with its demise, will go the special value of your coastal property. We invite you to invest in your eco-
nomic and ecological future by participating in sea turtle conservation we can show you how!


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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops standards for business, government
and society, including requirements and guidelines for environmental management systems (EMS). An
EMS meeting the requirements of ISO 14001:2004 is a management tool enabling an organization to
identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products or services; improve its environ-
mental performance continually; and implement a systematic approach to setting (and achieving)
environmental objectives and targets. The intention is to provide a framework for a holistic, strategic
approach to environmental policy, plans and actions (see http://www.iso.orc/iso/iso 14000 essentials).

WIDECAST's objective in developing this Manual of Best Practices for Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting
Beaches is to provide the hospitality sector with a greater awareness of what can be done, within an EMS
context, to "control the environmental impact of its activities" as far as sea turtles and their nesting
beaches are concerned, and to provide "a framework for a holistic, strategic approach" to sea turtle con-
servation. As a first step, we recommend adoption of a Sea Turtle Policy Statement (see also Appendix
I), not only for the benefit of sea turtles but also in support of the larger goals of sustainable develop-
ment and good corporate citizenship. It should be the management's responsibility to ensure that the
Policy Statement is available and accessible to all employees and published externally for the public.

Sea Turtle Policy Statement

Recognizing that sea turtles contribute in significant ways to the ecology, culture, and economy of the
Wider Caribbean Region; that sea turtles are severely depleted from their historical abundance; and that
while the large majority of Caribbean nations protect sea turtles, population recovery will not be possible
without greater attention to the conservation of essential nesting and feeding habitats, We Pledge To:

> Encourage a commitment to environmental responsibility among employees and guests;
> View sea turtle protection as an opportunity for civic engagement in biodiversity issues;
> Be vigilant and aware of any risks to the environment which may occur within or outside
our development area as a result of our activities;
> Assess environmental impacts of all activities, planned and ongoing, as they relate to the
conservation of sea turtles and their habitats;
> Provide employees and contractors with information and instruction to enhance their
awareness of relevant environmental issues, and to ensure effective management of
environmental impacts, including impacts on sea turtles and their habitats;
> Identify and collaborate with local experts in designing, implementing and evaluating our
sea turtle program to ensure that it fits within national sea turtle conservation priorities and
ongoing initiatives;
> Make continual improvements in operations and management oversight to increase the
effectiveness and reliability of our sea turtle conservation program;
> Comply with environmental legislation and local best practice policies related to turtles and
their habitats (sandy beaches, seagrass, coral reefs) and encourage others to do so;
> Promote setbacks, maintain vegetated buffer zones between buildings and sandy beaches;
> Implement measures to minimize waste, including applying monitoring procedures to
ensure that the nesting beach and nearshore waters remain free of debris and pollution;
> Conduct regular (at least annual) lighting assessments to identify sources of light pollution,
and strive to eliminate artificial light visible from the beach during nesting season;
> Implement a system that removes potential obstacles to sea turtle nesting, including
sunbeds and recreational equipment, from the beach each night during the nesting season;
> Discourage vehicles on the nesting beach and require hand-raking of debris and seaweed;
> Support sea turtle research, including offering financial or in-kind support, as practicable;
> Report all incidents of sea turtle harassment or harm to the proper authorities.


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D Identify sea turtle nesting habitat on or near my property, know when nesting occurs.

E Request assistance from (and compensate) local experts for staff training and evaluation.

D Preserve native maritime forest; restore vegetative cover near nesting areas to help stabilize
the sand, as well as further inland to reduce sediment run-off to reefs and seagrass.

D Stop the mining of sand, gravel and stones from beaches and adjacent areas; utilize alterna-
tive and more sustainable sources of construction material, and advocate for others to do the same.

D Conduct beachfront lighting assessments at least annually; remove, extinguish, redirect and/or
lower light sources to guarantee a dark nesting beach and advocate for others to do the same.

D Share the beach! During nesting season remove obstacles (e.g., sunbeds) from the beach each
night, hand-rake beach debris, and restrict or prohibit vehicle use, pets and bonfires in nesting areas.

D Provide for ongoing beach cleaning through government and private initiatives, public aware-
ness efforts; provide garbage collection, proper sewage disposal, and effluent control.

D Control the number of visitors to sensitive areas; implement policies and enforce restrictions.

D Think outside the beach: implement policies to protect inter-nesting habitat and feeding grounds,
including no-wake zones and mooring requirements, and enforce restrictions.

D Provide for dedicated public access lanes to all beaches and, where appropriate, provide
facilities for beach users (e.g., parking, safety measures, sanitary facilities, garbage disposal).

D Plan for existing and future coastline change by positioning all new development, large and
small, a "safe" distance landward of the line of permanent vegetation. Consult the Department of
Physical Planning and/or relevant studies for information on appropriate setback distances.

D Review and carefully consider all options (planning, ecological, engineering) when considering
ways to slow the rate of coastline change; monitor changes and share findings with stakeholders.

D When considering new construction: conduct, review and commit to implementation of an
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Identify and collaborate with sea turtle experts at
all stages of planning, construction and operational phases, including for monitoring of impacts.

D Involve all stakeholders (Government, coastal residents and communities, NGOs, beach users,
SCUBA dive operators) in the review and permitting process for coastal developments and always
take the needs of sea turtles into account! Planning processes should be equitable, transparent.

D Involve our guests, clients, staff and contractors in conservation measures through visible
personal and corporate commitment to conservation issues, education, and invitations to participate.


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There are seven species of sea turtle in the world, and six of these species are found in the Wider
Caribbean Region (see Appendix II and Appendix III). These are, from largest to smallest, the leather-
back (Dermochelys coriacea), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), hawksbill
(Eretmochelys imbricata), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii),
ranging in size from nearly 1,000 kg in the case of an adult male Leatherback to about 40 kg for an adult
ridley. Most sea turtles inhabit tropical and subtropical waters. The leatherback has the broadest distri-
bution of any living reptile, including swimming into subarctic waters.


'I


Sandy Caribbean beaches are uniquely valuable in providing nesting habitat for endangered sea turtles, such as these loggerhead
turtles shown during egg-laying (left) and, in hatchling form, scurrying for the sea (right). Photos: Scott A. Eckert (WIDECAST).


Basic Biology of Sea Turtles

Sea turtles are gentle, ancient reptiles adapted to life in the ocean. Like all reptiles, sea turtles have lungs
and must come to the surface regularly to breathe air. With few exceptions, the only time a sea turtle
leaves the ocean is to lay eggs. During breeding years, adult sea turtles leave their feeding grounds and
migrate hundreds, sometimes thousands, of kilometers to mating grounds and nesting beaches.

No one knows for sure how long sea turtles live, but research shows clearly that sea turtles are slow
growing, late maturing, and long-lived. Remarkably, sea turtles are 12 to 40 years old, depending on the
species, before they breed for the first time. Once mature, a female may nest for two decades or more.
Nesting behavior is stereotypic (meaning that basic behaviors do not differ appreciably among species)
and generally occurs at night. Having located a suitable site above the tide line, a nest cavity is dug with
the rear flippers and 80-200 or more eggs are laid and covered with sand. Females typically nest 2-6
times per year at 9-15 day intervals, depending on the species, and this cycle is repeated at 2-5 year
intervals (only the smallest of sea turtles, the ridleys, tend to nest every year).


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A sea turtle may produce thousands of eggs in her lifetime, but not all of them will hatch. Some will be
infertile, some will be lost to erosion or eaten by predators, and others will be collected for human con-
sumption, often illegally. Hatchlings are eaten in large numbers by predators; juveniles, too, face many
dangers. Scientists estimate that only 1 in every 1,000 eggs will result in an adult sea turtle.

Once free from the egg, hatchlings work cooperatively to reach the beach surface. Generally they wait
just beneath the surface of the sand for the temperature to cool, and most commonly become visible to
beachgoers during the late afternoon or early evening hours. There is no parental care, and hatchings
must find the sea using subtle light cues (orienting to the lowest, brightest horizon). When they reach
the water they take advantage of an instinctive "wave compass", which compels them to swim directly
into incoming waves. The tiny turtles then engage in a "swim frenzy", well known to science, that
ultimately leads them into oceanic convergence zones that offer food and shelter during their early years.

With the exception of the leatherback (for which almost nothing is known about the juvenile life stage),
young sea turtles return to coastal waters when they are about the size of a small dinner plate after
having spent several years on the high seas. Once they return to the coastal zone they assume their
adult diets and spend the next one to several decades traveling throughout the Caribbean Sea, slowly
growing to maturity. At maturity, adult females return to the area where they were born, sometimes
undertaking trans-oceanic journeys, to engage in egg-laying. Because adults tend to migrate long
distances to preferred nesting beaches, nesting populations are often unrelated (genetically) to resident
juvenile and adult foraging populations encountered year-around in coastal waters.


Sea Turtle Biology: Internet Resources

WIDECAST, Caribbean Sea Turtles (including taxonomic keys, terminology, and links for
further reading): http://www.widecast.orcl/Biolocgy/BasicBiolocly.html

FFWCC Florida Marine Turtle Program (including biology, research, and conservation
issues): http://myfwc.com/seaturtle/

WWF, Marine Turtle Programme for Latin American and the Caribbean:
http://www.panda.orc/what we do/endangered species/marine turtles/lac marine turtle
proqramme/

WIDECAST, Caribbean National Sea Turtle Recovery Plans:
http://www.widecast.orq/Resources/STRAPs.html

NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources, US National Sea Turtle Recovery Plans:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.clov/pr/recovery/plans.htm#turtles

NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources, Marine Turtles:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.clov/pr/species/turtles/

US Fish and Wildlife Service North Florida Field Office, Sea Turtle Information:
http://www.fws.ciov/northflorida/SeaTurtles/seaturtle-info.htm

Orientation and Navigation of Sea Turtles (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
htt p://www.unc.edu/depts/oceanweb/turtles/


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During non-breeding seasons, leatherback turtles travel extensively on the high seas in search of jellyfish
and related prey. Other species are more likely to be coastal in their habits. Loggerhead and ridley tur-
tles are omnivores, consuming mollusks, crabs, jellyfish and other invertebrates; fishes and plants are
also eaten. The green turtle is an herbivore, preferring to graze in calm, shallow seagrass meadows.
Hawksbills specialize on coral reef sponges. Because most sea turtles will eat jellyfish, plastic bags pose
a serious threat and can be fatal if ingested.

Sea turtles play important keystone roles in the marine environment, such as helping to maintain species
diversity in coral reefs. Sea turtles are more easily studied on the nesting beach than at sea, however, so
comparatively little is known of their non-nesting distribution, abundance, and behavior. Research con-
ducted in the Caribbean Sea including capture-recapture studies, tissue sampling, tagging, and
telemetry has taught us important new facts about patterns of residency, local and international move-
ments, diet and growth, habitat use, genetic origin, and population status and trend. For more detail,
please explore http://www.widecast.orq.

Threats to Sea Turtle Survival

In general, and notwithstanding laudable conservation successes, sea turtle populations in the Caribbean
Sea and throughout the world are severely reduced from historical levels. According to the World
Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species (http://www.iucnredlist.orcg/), persistent over-
exploitation, especially of adult females on nesting beaches, and the widespread collection of eggs are
largely responsible for the Endangered or Critically Endangered status of all six Caribbean species. Some
of the largest sea turtle populations the world has ever known once flourished in the Caribbean Sea (for
example, the green turtles of the Cayman Islands), and these have all but vanished.

Sea turtles face a variety of dangers, both natural and man-made, that threaten their existence and
result in localized extinctions. Threats accumulate over long periods of time and can occur anywhere in a
population's range. Because sea turtles are highly migratory, declines often result from a combination of
factors, both domestic and foreign.

In addition to a largely unmanaged harvest that has spanned centuries, turtles are accidentally captured
in active or abandoned fishing gear, resulting in death to tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of
turtles each year. Coral reef and seagrass degradation, chemical pollution and marine debris, high
density coastal development, and an increase in ocean-based tourism are among the many factors that
have damaged or eliminated important nesting beaches and feeding areas throughout the Caribbean Sea.
International trade in turtle products has also contributed to the demise of some species.

Sea turtles must return to the land to lay their eggs, and many contemporary threats are associated with
physical development on or near nesting beaches. Perhaps the most pervasive problem is artificial
lighting. Sea turtles orient themselves for the return trip to the ocean by heading toward the lowest,
brightest horizon which, under natural circumstances, is the open horizon over the ocean. Artificial lights
and their glow confuse both adult females and hatchlings, disorienting them and luring them away from
sea, making them more vulnerable to predators, dehydration, exhaustion, and an untimely death.

In addition to lighting, development often creates unnatural cycles of erosion, reducing potential nesting
habitat. Many mechanisms influence beach erosion, including the armouring of the shoreline, place-
ment of permanent structures on the beach, and the removal of native vegetation. Beach restoration
and nourishment are sometimes executed to combat erosion. In bringing foreign sediments to the shore,
however, beach nourishment can compact the surface of the sand, disturb or bury incubating eggs,
and alter sand composition and temperature, potentially skewing the sex ratio of the hatchlings. Hatch-
ling gender is largely determined by the temperature at which eggs incubate: warmer temperatures
favour females, while cooler temperatures favour males.


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The chronic removal of beach sand scars the terrain, accelerates erosion, and degrades or destroys
stabilizing beach vegetation by extraction or saltwater inundation. Sand mining may also cause the
formation of saline ponds in unsightly pits, the loss of trees to the sea, and the elimination of entire
beach habitats. The loss of sandy beaches not only reduces the reproductive success of sea turtles, but
endangers beachfront property and has serious economic implications for locally vital industries such as
fishing and coast-based tourism. The Caribbean is replete with examples of sand mining operations that
have reduced previously sandy beaches to rocky shorelines or foul-smelling saline pits, and eliminated
once active nesting assemblages of sea turtles.


Beach erosion exposes sea turtle eggs in Trinidad (photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST), beach sand is mined in Montserrat (photo:
Corinne Martin, Marine Turtle Research Group), and a local group protests beach sand removal in Bonaire (photo: STCB).

Obstructions, such as physical objects left on the beach at night (e.g., beach chairs, umbrellas, sail
boats) can prevent sea turtles from finding suitable nesting habitat and, later, fatally hinder hatchlings
from finding their way to the sea. Beach driving and the mechanical cleaning of beaches can crush
incubating eggs and tire ruts trap hatchlings as they crawl across the beach to the sea.

Improper disposal of waste products also pose a threat. Litter can entangle or trap emerging hatchlings,
preventing them from reaching the sea. The smell of garbage draws non-native predators such as
dogs, raccoons, rats, and mongoose that eat eggs and hatchlings. Natural predators, including ants,
vultures, crabs, and so on, also take a toll. Once at sea, predatory birds and fish prey on hatchlings and
larger predatory fish and mammals (such as orca or 'killer' whales) prey on juveniles and adults.


Native (vulture) and introduced (dog) predators consume eggs and hatchlings on the nesting beach (photos: Scott A. Eckert,
WIDECAST), and a wide variety of carnivorous fishes (catfish) prey on hatchlings at sea (photo: Jacques Fretey).

In addition to predatory birds, fishes and sea mammals, turtles also face man-induced threats far from
shore. Large quantities of marine debris are found in the ocean: plastic can block the stomach and
hinder buoyancy and respiration, and sea turtles can die from eating plastic bags mistaken for jellyfish.
Active or abandoned monofilament fishing lines entangle or hook sea turtles, often injuring or slowly
killing them, and commercial fishing practices drown a tragically high number of sea turtles every year.


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Potentially fatal encounters with fishing line (loggerhead turtle), an abandoned net (olive ridley turtle), and a buoy rope
(leatherback turtle). Photos: T. Dellinger, R. L. Pitman, and J. DeSalvo, respectively.

Dredging, indiscriminate anchoring, blasting and chemical fishing also contribute to sea turtle
mortality. Other consequences of general coastal development, such as industrial, residential and agri-
cultural operations, include the runoff of pollutants (e.g., materials used in agricultural and industrial
processes) and the dumping of untreated or under-treated sewage directly into the sea. The addition of
organic pollution, nutrients, and sediments encourages algal growth while negatively affecting seagrass
beds and coral reefs, both critical habitats for endangered sea turtles.

An oil contaminated environment can be lethal to sea turtles and their eggs. Behavioral experiments
indicate that sea turtles possess limited ability to avoid oil slicks. Crude oil significantly affects the skin,
some aspects of blood chemistry and composition, respiration, and salt gland function in juvenile sea tur-
tles, as evidenced by physiological experiments. Oil and tar fouling can be both internal and external;
cleaning is not difficult but does require expertise.













A young hawksbill turtle, drenched in tar, is cleaned and later released from The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida (photo: The
Turtle Hospital); a giant leatherback turtle, fatally injured, is not so fortunate (photo: P. Miller); a green turtle is heavily afflicted
with fibropapillomatosis tumors (photo: MarineLife Center of Juno Beach, Florida).

Various diseases and parasites affect the health of sea turtles. Fibropapillomatosis, certain species of
encrusting barnacles, blood flukes and roundworms can all cause harm to sea turtles. Fungi and bac-
teria sometimes invade nests, lowering the probability that the eggs will hatch. Invading plant roots,
especially from creeping beach vines, can also engulf and destroy incubating nests.

While the focus of this Manual is on habitat management, with a special emphasis on encouraging beach-
front properties to adopt and implement a Sea Turtle Policy Statementto minimize development-related
factors that threaten the survival of sea turtles, it is noteworthy that the direct take of turtles and
eggs remains a significant source of mortality in many areas. Partnerships between coastal developers,
local communities, conservation groups, and natural resource management agencies can lessen or
eliminate this threat for example, nightly beach patrols and/or guided Turtle Watches can help protect
sea turtles, eggs and hatchlings, while at the same time collecting valuable management data, offering


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seasonal employment to community partners, and providing an opportunity for guests to interact with
local biologists, historians, and other experts while potentially witnessing the nesting process.

In addition to the consumption of meat and eggs, other products including oil, skin (leather) and shell -
may have cultural significance, medicinal value, or other utility. Hawksbill shell, in particular, has tradi-
tionally been crafted into jewelry and other ornamentation. International trade in hawksbill shell,
illegal under the terms of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora (CITES), is widely implicated in this species' decline. Such commerce is significantly reduced
today, but turtle shell items can still be found for sale in some countries. Vendors should be vigilant
about ensuring that turtle shell is not offered for sale to tourists, as departing the country with endan-
gered species products in possession directly violates international law.














A clock face affixed to a green turtle carapace (left, photo: courtesy of the CITES Scientific Authority in Aruba) and accessories
made from hawksbill shell in Mexico (middle) and Costa Rica (right) (photos courtesy of WIDECAST).



buy or self crafts, gift ites, S,
0ahL, or bevrages derived
fmtLweqhare our conmintnent
o thie cohpervat iot and recover rie
of en~iangered aribbeat ase.a turtfes
ynoti purtchlasit sea turtfe products
at home or abroad.
Pease remember it is against
ite ntin a~l ca l~a e to traei omrt sea
turte products between countries.
"'Itigetfier we can mak a diffTerence





Vendor placards, available from WIDECAST, assure customers that products derived from endangered sea turtles are not sold.


In the chapter that follows, priority sea turtle management issues are presented in greater detail.
Recommendations are given to assist and encourage the hospitality sector, and managers of beachfront
property in particular, in their efforts to reduce mortal threats posed to sea turtles by construction and
vehicles, beachfront lighting, beach stabilization and restoration, the removal of native vegetation, and
other common consequences of shoreline development. Discussion is also aimed at pre-construction
phases. In each case, recommendations are followed by suggestions for further reading and
links to online reference materials.


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In support of an internally adopted Sea Turtle Policy Statement (see Section II), beachfront property
owners and managers can take practical steps to enhance the survival prospects of endangered sea
turtles nesting on or adjacent to their properties. In addition to the positive effect on sea turtles, benefits
range from cost savings, including greater energy efficiency and/or lower water use, to stronger partner-
ships with local communities (including native plant vendors, artisans, historians, suppliers, tour guides,
youth and conservation groups, law enforcement), greater staff involvement in conservation and com-
munity issues, unique guest experiences, and progress toward certain industry certifications.

We hope that the recommendations presented herein will inspire additional steps, large and small, that
can be accomplished within an EMS context and with an aim to meaningfully and measurably improve
sea turtle survival for the benefit of generations present and future.

Pre-Construction Phase

The pre-construction phase is the most important phase for environmental planning and for
establishing a clear commitment to best practices; this is the phase where the placement of roads
and buildings and patterns of access are established by design. In addition, it is in the pre-construction
phase that workers typically bulldoze access roads, cut bush, fell native trees, dig trenches, burn debris
and may in general be subject to less supervision than the more skilled workers that follow them.

Strict guidelines and the will and the capacity to enforce them are needed during the pre-construction
phase, both on the part of Government and, equally important, at the highest levels of property owner-
ship and management.

We recommend that developers and other stakeholders identify and approach local sea turtle experts
(visit http://www.widecast.orc/Who/Contact.html for contact information) early in the planning stages to
discuss relevant issues, and to facilitate awareness and knowledge of practical solutions to potential
threats to sea turtles resulting from the development scheme. From a beach protection standpoint,
adequate setbacks are the most important aspect of any development, followed by proper attention to
access roads and drainage, minimizing vegetation losses, and emphasizing the importance of keeping
sandy beaches and associated dunes unlit and in their natural state.

Without a serious evaluation of the environment and terrain of access roads leading to key parts of the
resort (including sandy beaches), gullies, dams and barriers may be inadvertently created or deviated
and, as an unwanted consequence, the beach may be badly damaged by heavy rains. Resulting sediment
plumes can affect nesting sites and adjoining marine habitats, including seagrass and coral reefs, and
these can be severely degraded by new drainage patterns that carve through the beach, wash away
vegetation, erode enormous volumes of sand, and undermine the root systems of even the largest trees.
These issues should be addressed in an independent Environmental Impact Assessment, transparently re-
viewed and adhered to. There is no single source for information on best practices for Caribbean coastal
construction, and relevant laws and policies differ from one country to another. But one thing is always
true: it is cheaper to do it right the first time. Early planning to meet conservation goals pays its own
dividends in eliminating the need to revise, retrofit, and re-engineer.

Pre-construction measures that should be accomplished to facilitate achieving environmental goals and
prevent excess impacts include planning (project design can reduce impacts), scheduling (determining
most appropriate/inappropriate times for project activities; e.g., avoiding sea turtle nesting and hatching
seasons), operational details (considering the manner in which project activities are carried out; e.g., with
minimal land clearing, hand-clearing vs. bulldozing, etc.), and technological considerations (e.g., using


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control devices to prevent or restrict the release of deleterious substances; for example, use of filters and
scrubbers, etc.). Security personnel during this phase should be trained to view the destruction of sea
turtles and their habitats as an undesirable and unacceptable outcome, if not a criminal act.

Safeguarding environmental assets, including an uncontaminated water-table, clean sandy beaches, and
erosion control, sediment filtration and shade provided by native vegetation, may not be intuitive (or
even a high priority) for a developer. Moreover, national expertise may not be available to properly eval-
uate the scheme proposed. Therefore, establishing partnerships with experts and advocates is important.
Ask colleagues for recommendations. Expertise can also be sourced from the UNEP Caribbean Environ-
ment Programme (http://www.cep.unep.orc/issues/czm.html), OECS Environment and Sustainable
Development Unit (http://www.oecs.orc/esdu/index.html), Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism
(http://www.cha-cast.com/), Caribbean Development Bank (http://www.caribank.orc) and its Register of
Consultants, UNDP in Latin America/Caribbean (http://www.undp.orc/recions/latinamerica/), Caribbean
Environmental Health Institute (http://www.cehi.orc.lc/), eLAW: Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide
(http://www.elaw.orc/), experienced faculty of the region's many universities, and so on.

Experience has shown that it can be very useful to bring stakeholders and experts together through the
formation of a local Advisory Group able to contribute in a positive way to ensuring a desired degree of
procedural transparency, identifying solutions to a broader range of environmental challenges than can
be addressed in this Manual, and then serving as or overseeing an independent monitoring body. The
Advisory Group should be able to invite additional expertise, facilitate greater public awareness of key
issues, and communicate effectively within and among affected sectors.

We hope that in reading through the sections that follow, developers and their advisors and contractors
will be moved to take early action to forge partnerships with conservation experts, consider carefully the
environmental consequences of access roads, drainage designs and deforestation, take into account the
various recommendations of this Manual, and take pride in their role as sea turtle stewards.


Getting Started: Internet Resources

NOAA Ocean and Costal Resource Management, Planning, Policy and Regulatory Approaches
to Shoreline Management:
http://coastalmanacement.noaa.cov/initiatives/shoreline ppr overview.html

UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme, Coastal Zone Management:
http://www.cep.unep.orc/issues/czm.html

Island Resources Foundation, Environmental Planning, Sustainable Development and Impact
Assessment in the insular Caribbean: http://www.irf.orc/mission/planninq/pubs.php


A Note about Internet Resources: Each topic is followed by links to more detailed information avail-
able on the Internet. As an example, see "Getting Started: Internet Resources" above. The name of the
host organization, as well as the title of the page or article, is presented. Specific Internet addresses may
become inactive over time, but the information you seek is most likely still available. Access the host
organization (e.g., WIDECAST, UNESCO-CSI, NOAA, Surfrider Foundation), then search for the subject of
interest. To minimize the probability that Internet information will disappear, we have confined our links
to well-established programs; for example, UNESCO's "Environment and Development in Coastal Regions
and in Small Islands" program, NOAA's "Ocean and Coastal Resource Management" program, etc. The
Manual is concise by design and intent, but the issues are complex. Stakeholders should always identify
local experts, create partnerships, and actively seek information on current (and sometimes evolving)
best practices.


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SConstruction Setbacks


I
.b. -


Hawksbill sea turtles (left: Jumby Bay, Antigua) often seek the shelter of vegetation, while green sea turtles
(right: Mona Island, Puerto Rico) tend to prefer the open beach platform. Photos: Scott A. Eckert (WIDECAST).

Many sea turtle species preferentially select wide, obstacle-free beaches for nesting. Losses to erosion
and salt water inundation are less likely to occur in nests located on the higher areas of the beach.
Coastal development, especially beachfront development, can reduce the quantity and quality of available
nesting habitat. Physical development, including construction, equipment storage and landscaping, ap-
propriately set back from the sandy beach, is the best way to promote continued nesting by sea turtles.

Most shorelines continuously change due to the nature of wave action, making setbacks desirable to
protect both beachfront property and sea turtle nesting habitat, as well as to protect pristine vistas that
enhance the tourist experience. Specific characteristics of the beach and backshore environments must
be considered in determining an appropriate setback. Setback limits should reflect any potential damage
that a major storm can cause to the beach and its surrounding areas. Areas of vegetation sand dunes
and lawns located between buildings and the beach also need to be considered in establishing the
setback.

According to Cambers (1998a,b), coastal setback provisions ensure that development is prohibited in a
protected zone adjacent to the water's edge. Setbacks are often defined as a prescribed distance to a
coastal feature (such as the line of permanent vegetation, see Wason and Nurse 1994), within which all
or certain types of development are prohibited. Coastal development setback guidelines differ depending
on shoreline characteristics and typically range from 15 m to 100 m from the line of permanent vegeta-
tion. The shortest setback distances are typically associated with cliffed coasts or low rocky shores, while
longer distances are typically associated with less predictable sandy shores.

Setbacks serve several widely recognized functions:

Setbacks provide buffer zones between the ocean and coastal infrastructure, within which the
beach zone may expand or contract naturally without the need for seawalls and other structures
that may imperil an entire beach system
Setbacks reduce damage to beachfront property during high wave events, such as hurricanes
Setbacks provide improved vistas and access along the beach


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Setbacks provide privacy for the occupiers of coastal property and also for persons enjoying the
beach for recreation














The grassy lawn landward of the maritime forest serves as a "buffer zone" on Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida (left, photo:
Ga-Young Choi), as opposed to the more traditional style of Caribbean beachfront development sited directly on the beach
(middle, photo: Barbados Sea Turtle Project). Private homes in Antigua effectively utilize native shrubbery to shield
the nesting beach from light and activity (right, photo: Jumby Bay Island Company).

Ideally, native vegetation and especially woody vegetation (which stabilizes the beach zone) should
remain in place, as opposed to being cleared for "beautification" purposes or to make room for shoreside
development. Some sea turtles prefer to nest in the vegetation, and others tend to nest in front of the
vegetation the farther the vegetation is cleared from the water, the further an egg-bearing female has
to crawl to reach a favorable nesting site.

The setback area can be thought of as a "buffer zone", an area that can be utilized for activities that
have minimal effects on sea turtles. Within this zone, salt-tolerant native species and ornamental land-
scaping can help minimize the potentially negative effects (e.g., lighting) of the primary development.

A lawn-style buffer zone is an option better suited for large properties, but with the caveat that dense
ornamental grasses can prevent sea turtles from successfully digging a nest and therefore such plantings
should not extend to the beach boundary. Non-native grasses often require excessive water and fertili-
zer, as well. Landscaping with native shrubby can block or reduce light pollution while at the same time
demarcating a property boundary without further reducing nesting habitat. As a bonus, native shrubbery
can actually provide important nesting habitat, as in the case of hawksbill sea turtles which tend to select
sites within beach vegetation to deposit their eggs (Witzelll 1983, Meylan and Redlow 2006).

Cambers (1998a,b) suggests that one possible development option for the buffer zone might be a "small
individual building made of wood and with no concrete foundations, to be used exclusively as a restau-
rant and/or bar", on the grounds that their economic viability depends on their proximity to the beach,
with a setback for these structures established at 8 m landward of the vegetation line. The challenges in
this case would be to limit artificial lighting on the beach (see "Beachfront Lighting") and to ensure that
the structure did not hinder access to suitable nesting habitat.

Remember, the more dynamic the beach is, the more area of setback is necessary! In the absence of a
setback, sea turtle conservation goals are more difficult to achieve.

Benefits of Implementation

In addition to protecting sea turtle nesting habitat, construction setbacks have been shown to significant-
ly reduce the risk of property damage due to shoreline erosion (e.g., Cambers 1997, Clark 1996, 1998,
McKenna et al. 2000, Cambers et al. 2008).


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In the absence of construction setbacks, beachfront property is highly vulnerable to damage from natural erosion and storm cycles,
as illustrated by this Four Seasons Hotel in Nevis, pictured before and after Hurricane Luis. Photos: Gillian Cambers (UNDP).


Beachfront Lighting

A pervasive challenge throughout the Caribbean region is "light pollution", which can be defined as the
introduction of artificially produced light into areas where it is neither needed nor desired. At nesting
beaches, light pollution is known to modify sea turtle behavior. For example, artificial lighting onshore
can discourage egg-bearing females from coming ashore to nest (Witherington 1992).

Beachfront lighting strongly affects sea turtle hatchlings, misdirecting them inland and away from the
sea. Therefore, by depositing her eggs in lighted areas, the female may also endanger the lives of her
hatchlings (for example, see studies by Witherington and Bjorndal 1991a,b). Hatchlings immediately
orient themselves towards the ocean under natural (unlit) conditions, because the brightest direction is
the open horizon of the sea. When artificial light becomes the brightest horizon, hatchlings can become
either misdirected (move in the wrong direction) or disorientated (unable to orient in one constant direc-
tion), causing the hatchlings to suffer high levels of mortality due to predation and dehydration.

Bonfires are also a concern, as hatchlings can be attracted to and burned by the flames (Mortimer 1979).


Coastal Setbacks: Internet Resources

Coastal Ecology of The Bahamas, Best Management Practices for Site Design and
Construction:
http://henge.bio.miami.edu/coastalecology/sustainable%20development/Best%/20Practices.
htm

UNESCO-CSI, Coastal Setback Provisions: http://www.unesco.orq/csi/pub/info/info49.htm

Government of Barbados (Coastal Zone Management Unit), Coastal Setbacks:
htt p://www.coastal.cqov.bb/info.cfm?cateqcorv=2&catinfo=9

NOAA Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, Construction Setbacks:
http://coastalmanaqement.noaa.qov/initiatives/shoreline ppr setbacks.html


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Beachfront hotel lighting can confuse and disorient nesting sea turtles and their young, and is a common threat to
sea turtle survival in the Caribbean region (photos: John Knowles, The Nature Conservancy).

Fortunately, reducing light pollution is among the most manageable of conservation practices. Artificial
light does not need to be eliminated if proper light management techniques are adopted.
Artificial light only becomes a problem if the light or glow from the source can be seen from
the beach during nesting and hatching seasons.

"Problem" light sources directly or indirectly produce a glow on the beach that can negatively influence
sea turtle behavior. Direct lighting is a source that is visible from the beach, while indirect lighting illumi-
nates buildings and landscaping which can be seen on the beach. The cumulative effect of lights from an
area creates a sky-glow that can also affect sea turtles. Sky-glow can emanate from lights located inside
and outside of buildings, as well as from street lights and recreational facilities (e.g., tennis courts, base-
ball fields) several miles away.

Hotel and resort projects in their initial stages of development should be encouraged to incorporate good
lighting techniques into their building plans. The best practice is to prohibit lights near the nesting beach
area. While it may not be practical in many cases to eliminate all lights near the beach, developers are
often receptive to new ideas when informed about beach lighting and its potential consequences. With
this in mind, hoteliers and developers, along with their architects, should discuss their lighting plans with
local and regional experts. Developers should also be aware that Caribbean governments are increasingly
requiring "sea turtle friendly" lighting for all new beachfront development.

The following discussion of "Inspections" and "Corrective Measures" is taken from the authoritative
source on this subject: Witherington and Martin (2000).

Inspections

Existing hotels and resorts can take several steps to manage light pollution. Conducting an inspection is
the first of these steps. First, demarcate the area to be inspected (e.g., the boundary lines of the hotel
property) so that a census of the types, locations, and numbers of light sources observable from the
beach can be conducted. The surveyor should conduct a preliminary daytime inspection to determine the
exact locations of light sources that may be harder to verify in the dark. Along with placement, the sur-
veyor should include detailed descriptions so that each light source can be located during follow-up
inspections in the future. This process entails sketches, descriptions of the light sources (type of light,
mounting), and photographs. The surveyor may also remark about how specific problems can be cor-
rected (e.g., that the light can be turned off, shielded, or redirected).


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Because the effects of some light sources, particularly indirect sources, are difficult to evaluate during the
day, a night-time inspection (preferably on a moonless night) follows the daytime inspection, using notes
taken during the day as a guide. Night-time inspections involve searching for visible light while walking
the length of the nesting beach. Each source of light is categorized as either "direct" or "indirect", de-
pending on how it appears on the beach. If the observer notices a bulb or glow from a light source, then
this source qualifies as a direct source. If an illuminated building or landscaping is visible from the beach,
the illumination is described as an indirect source.

The surveyor should also note the location of the light source, mounting (porch, pole), style of fixture,
lamp type and color, and the number of lights. Photographing these sources at night is very useful. For
indirect sources, the surveyor should take note of lit buildings and the angle of illumination. In a follow-
up daytime inspection, a potential source for the indirect illumination should be determined, and property
owners alerted to options to rectify the problem.

A comprehensive lighting inspection should occur at least annually, just prior to the nesting season. A
follow-up night-time inspection should always occur two weeks after the initial inspection in order to
identify lights that may have been missed previously. Two supplementary inspections during peak
nesting and hatching periods will alert managers in a timely way to new and/or unexpected lighting
problems on their own or adjoining properties. Potentially problematic lights should be remedied quickly,
before they affect sea turtle behavior.


The Bucuti Beach Resort (Aruba) has incorporated many ecologically-sound management schemes, in addition to providing support
to local sea turtle conservation organizations. The resort is continually looking to better its property, including assessing the costs
and benefits of replacing existing outdoor lights with more 'sea turtle friendly' low pressure sodium lights. Photo: Ga-Young Choi.


Corrective Measures

All artificial lights can affect sea turtle behavior, but through certain management techniques, hotels and
resorts can effectively reduce or eliminate potential harm. The following are recommendations for out-
door or external lights on hotel property. After the property makes alterations to the lighting scheme, a
night-time inspection and regular follow-up inspections (see above) should take place to verify the
effectiveness of the new lighting.


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Priority Recommendations

Invest in Alterative Light Sources Sea turtles are less sensitive to certain types (and colors) of
lights. All metal hyalites can have adverse effects on sea turtles and should be replaced as a
priority. High pressure sodium vapor lights also strongly affect sea turtles, and should only be
used in areas not visible on the beach. Incandescent lights have moderate effects on sea turtle
behavior, except for "bug lights" which are tinted yellow. Low pressure sodium vapor lights
(LPS) are the least detrimental to sea turtles. Monochromatic yellow in color, LPS lights have the
longest wavelengths, which sea turtles do not detect as readily. The best choice, if light is
necessary, is often LPS lighting.

Lower Lights The most visible lights (from a beach standpoint) are lights mounted high on
buildings or poles. In many cases, simply lowering the height of the light may solve the problem.
Lowering and directing light to precisely where it is needed can also be more aesthetically pleas-
ing, more functional, and more cost-efficient from an energy usage standpoint.

Use Directional Fixtures Some lights, such as carriage lights or globe lights, disperse light in
every direction. Be thoughtful about your lighting! Do you really need to illuminate (and pay
for!) the entire night sky? Directional fixtures applied to broadcast lights can focus the light
downwards and away from areas visible from the beach.

Shield Lights -Shielding an open light source may reduce the amount of light directed onto the
beach. Simple screens (such as the use of aluminum flashing) or planting vegetation (such as an
ornamental hedge) can effectively shield lights. Be creative! Soften lights with locally-made
basket shades, make greater use of wall sconces, and/or recess lighting in architectural ele-
ments. If shielding is impractical, then these lights may need to be substituted with lower,
directional lighting.

Install Motion Sensitive Lights When night-time lighting is indispensable, particularly from a
security standpoint, installing lights with motion detectors reduces their detrimental effect on sea
turtles because of the relatively brief duration of their illumination. Moreover, motion sensitive
lighting carries the element of surprise, conveying a distinct advantage to posted guards who
remain in the shadows. Motion-lighting provides light only when necessary, and is ideal for low-
traffic areas.

Remove Unnecessary Lights Lighting inspections may determine that some lights are unneces-
sary or redundant and can be removed or turned off, saving money and benefiting both
ambiance and sea turtles. Try to avoid the use of purely decorative lighting, such as lights that
highlight vegetation, in places that can be seen from the beach.

General Options and Recommendations

Time Restrictions Restrict usage or extinguish lights during peak sea turtle nesting and
hatching seasons, and especially during peak hatching hours (typically 7-11 PM) when hatchlings
are most likely to emerge from their nests.

Area Restrictions Limit beach lighting to areas of the beach that are not used by sea turtles,
keeping in mind that even distant light sources can influence hatchling orientation.

Window Treatments Interior lights, especially from high-rise buildings, can strongly affect
hatchling behavior. Hoteliers can remedy this problem in various ways, including the use of black-
out draperies (or heavy, opaque curtains), shade-screens, and/or tinting or using shading film on
windows. Guests need to be reminded to close the drapes during sensitive hours. If window-


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


tinting is an option, tint the windows to meet the 45% light transmittance from inside to outside
standards this will reduce light leakage, as well as decrease energy loss and cooling costs.

Vegetation Plant a decorative vegetation buffer between the beach and any buildings, with the
specific aim of blocking light emanating from built structures. Use native plant species whenever
possible (see also "Construction Setbacks").


Always consider where light is actually needed, and install lighting to meet that need (source: Witherington and Martin, 2000)


Benefits of Implementation


Reduce electrical demand by eliminating unnecessary lights, utilizing motion-sensitive lights, replacing
incandescent lights with low pressure sodium (LPS) lights, etc. Initial costs may be high, but the invest-
ment is repaid by reducing the frequency with which light bulbs need to be replaced and reducing energy
costs. If supplies for alternative lighting schemes are locally unavailable, consider networking with other
hotels and developing a bulk supply order. Negotiate with the hotel association, tourism development
agency, or other industry group to import the supplies at discounted rates.

Responding to Disoriented Turtles

During sea turtle nesting and hatching seasons the grounds should be inspected daily, both during the
night and in the early morning, to rescue any adults or hatchlings that may have crawled inland. This
task can be delegated to security officers, grounds staff, or any person routinely on hotel premises early


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in the morning. Contribute to the national database by reporting sightings, as well as incidents of dis-
rientation, to the appropriate management agency or conservation organization.

Adult Turtles

The following are helpful in ensuring the safety of a disoriented turtle: Turn off the offending lights to
help the animal regain her bearings; quietly position yourself landward of the turtle to block her path
away from the sea; clear any obstacles in her path; direct her movements with a dim flashlight (take care
not to shine it directly in her face); allow her to crawl unassisted; and monitor her progress until she re-
enters the sea.

Hatchlina Turtles

Hatchlings rescued during the night or early morning hours should be allowed to crawl unassisted to the
sea. Hatchlings rescued later in the day (when the sun and sand are hot) should be placed in a shaded
bucket or cooler with slightly damp beach sand; at nightfall, they can be released at the site of hatching
(with the offending lights turned off) or at a nearby locale with natural dark ambiance. In either case,
hatchlings should be allowed to crawl unassisted across the beach to the sea. The beach crawl helps
them to get their bearings. During the release, follow the same recommendations as above for adult
turtles. Turn off lights, flashlights, and flash cameras. Do not place hatchlings directly in the surf.

Under no circumstances should hatchlings be retained as pets, for display or for profiteering. Hatch-
lings benefit from residual yolk that is internalized at hatching and is sufficient, under natural conditions,
to nourish them during their offshore swim (see "Basic Biology of Sea Turtles"). If held captive during
their earliest days, hatchlings may fall short of their swimming goal and meet an untimely death.

More questions? Model studies, including lighting inspection methodology for Caribbean properties and
easy-to-follow, fixture-specific recommendations for problematic lights, are provided in Knowles (2007)
and Lake and Eckert (2009), both of which are downloadable at http://www.widecast.orq.


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Disney's Vero Beach Resort (Florida) has implemented low pressure sodium (LPS) vapor lights, low and close to the ground to
illuminate all walkways (left, photo: Ga-Young Choi). The US Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with Sea Grant and
WIDECAST, has created switchplate stickers to remind hotel guests to turn their lights off during peak nesting and hatching periods.


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


Beach Sand Mining

We recommend that beach sand mining be prohibited by law. Because mining removes sand from the
coastal system as a whole and may ultimately affect beach properties distant from the mining, lobbying
for holistic regulations and enforcement is important. Specific sites, preferably inland deposits, should be
designated for sand mining extraction fees should be implemented and permit conditions enforced.

Natural beach sand deposits are important for recreation by residents and tourists and serve as a barrier
against storm waves, thus protecting coastal residences and commercial investment. Sand is important
as a raw material for cement, but chronic removal of sand for construction and other purposes can
accelerate beach erosion and degrade or destroy coastal vegetation by uprooting it or flooding the
ground with seawater. In severe cases, saline ponds are formed in unsightly pits left by mining oper-
ations, shoreline trees and other stabilizing vegetation are lost to the sea, and entire beach habitats are
eliminated.


Beach sand mining degrades sea turtle nesting habitat in Nevis (photo: Alicia Marin) and Sint Eustatius (photo: STENAPA).


Beachfront Lighting: Internet Resources

Witherington and Martin (2000), Understanding, Assessing and Resolving Light-Pollution
Problems on Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches:
http://research.mvfwc.com/publications/publication info.asp?id=39080

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Marine Turtle Program (including
"Marine Turtles & Lights"): http://mvfwc.com/seaturtle/

FFWCC/USFWS, Wildlife Lighting Certification Program:
http://www.mvfwc.com/conservation/Conservation LivincWith WildlifeLichtinc index.htm

WIDECAST, Conservation Threats and Solutions:
http://www.widecast.orci/Conservation/Threats.html

International Dark-Sky Association (including approved fixtures): http://www.darksky.orq/

Starry Night Lights (including approved fixtures): http://www.starryniqhtliqhts.com/


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Beach sand removal has reached crisis proportions in many area of the Caribbean (e.g., Cambers 1997).
Islands, in particular, are replete with examples of sand mining operations that have reduced previously
sandy beaches to rocky shorelines or foul-smelling saline pits and eliminated once active nesting assem-
blages of sea turtles. Loss of sandy beaches not only reduces the reproductive success of sea turtles and
endangers beachfront property, but it has serious economic implications for vital sectors such as fishing
and coast-based tourism.

Benefits of Implementation

The use of beach sand in construction provides inferior results, including corrosion of steel support ele-
ments and electrical components. By using high quality, legal aggregate developers achieve better con-
struction with less impact on fragile coastal resources and help to protect sea turtle nesting habitat.


Beach Sand Mining: Internet Resources

UNESCO-CSI, Coping with Erosion (Case 6: Where Sand has been Mined from the Beach):
http://www. unesco.orc/csi/pub/source/erol. htm

UNESCO-CSI, Managing Beach Resources in the Smaller Caribbean Islands:
http://www. unesco.orc/csi/pub/papers/papersl3. htm



I Beach Maintenance

Sea turtles return predictably to sandy beaches to lay their eggs. At the same time, restaurants, hotels,
resorts, and other service-providing businesses take advantage of and rely on these same beaches to
appeal to beachgoers and tourists.

With a little effort and to the benefit of both, businesses and sea turtles can share the beach. Emphasiz-
ing best practices with regard to beach maintenance not only enhances the beauty of these areas and
safeguards their utility for sea turtle reproduction, but can also improve the health and safety of beaches
for residents and tourists alike.


A leatherback turtle crawls ashore to nest: if she encounters a major obstacle, such as a storage building, a fence or stone wall, a
sailboat or swimming pool, she may be unable to locate a suitable nest site. Similarly, small hatchlings can become trapped and
disoriented by obstacles. Photos: Benoit deThoisy, French Guiana (left) and Jenny Freestone, Antigua (right).


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The following are recommendations for safeguarding nesting habitat, including beach cleaning, evalua-
ting the need for beach restoration and stabilization structures, managing traffic patterns, and more. In
each case, suggestions on overcoming the most common challenges are provided.

Obstacles to Nesting

Hotels and resorts often provide guests with beach chairs and umbrellas. If these remain on the beach
at night, they may block egg-laden females from suitable nesting sites or confuse hatchlings attempting
to find the sea. Beach furniture, recreational equipment (e.g., sailboats) and other large objects should
be removed from the beach before nightfall. To the extent practicable, furniture and equipment should
be removed manually because vehicles can compact surface sand and crush incubating eggs.

If beach furniture cannot be removed from the beach entirely, consider stacking it. Furniture left on the
beach can deter females from reaching nesting areas above the high water line (Figure 1), whereas
stacked furniture (Figure 2) is less likely to have the same effect. Furniture should be arranged so that
the shortest side faces the water.


Figure 1


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Umbrella sleeves or permanent holders can offer additional protection against nest damage by ensuring
that umbrellas will not be thrust into a nest area. Umbrellas that fasten onto other furniture present
another practical alternative. Ideally, a sea turtle expert should be recruited (or trained in-house) to
monitor the beach, make note of the position of new nests, obscure (rub out) the nesting crawl if
poaching is a threat, and clearly block-off these nests every morning before guests or staff begin to re-
establish the beach furniture.

With the help of local conservation groups, beachfront hotels and resorts can promote nest protection
using any one of several techniques that prevent beachgoers from accidentally damaging the incubating
eggs. These techniques can include markings and signs that caution beachgoers to sensitive habitat, and
can be informative in terms of letting the public know that sea turtle eggs are incubating. Signage can
also inform tourists that chairs and umbrellas should be established at least 2 m (6 feet) from marked sea
turtle nests in order to prevent the accidental puncture of eggs or compaction (crushing) of the nest.


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Cautionary notes: if egg poaching is a threat, nest locations should not be marked. Eggs should never be
handled (such as with the intent of relocating them to hatchery enclosures) without appropriate permits
from Government and without explicit training and oversight by local sea turtle experts. Internationally
accepted protocols should be adopted (e.g., Eckert et al. 1999, Wood 2004, Stapleton and Eckert 2008).


The hotels on Eagle Beach (Aruba) support the efforts of local conservation groups to protect turtle nests from beach traffic. The
barricades (left) prevent people from accidentally trampling on the nest. Signs affixed to each barricade (middle) describe
appropriate behavior around nesting turtles and hatchlings. The barricaded nests generate curiosity amongst tourists,
who eagerly await the emergence of hatchlings (right). Photos: Ga-Young Choi.

In the absence of any mitigative action, experience shows that sea turtles can be mortally harmed on
beaches strewn with recreational equipment and other potential obstacles to nesting.


Beach chairs, umbrellas, boats and kayaks act as obstacles to nesting and hatching sea turtles (left, photo: Ga-Young Choi) and
Can be fatal as in this case (right) where an egg-laden female was impaled in a beach chair while attempting to
nest in Florida (photo: Zo6 Bass, Coastal Wildlife Club, Inc.).

Litter and Debris

The ubiquitous presence of marine debris, coupled with its physical, ecological and socio-economic
complexities, poses a severe threat to the sustainability of the world's natural resources. Marine debris -
man-made objects that enter the marine environment through careless handling or disposal, intentional
or unintentional release, or as a result of natural disasters and storms is one of the ocean's most
pervasive, yet potentially solvable, pollution problems (e.g., Coe and Rogers 1997, Sheavly 2007).

Litter and debris along the coast, including on sea turtle nesting beaches, soon makes its way to the sea
where turtles and other marine creatures may consume it and be injured or killed as a result. Since both
sea turtles and the tourism industry not to mention the broader ocean benefit from clean sandy
beaches, it is important to remove (and dispose of) litter and debris in an environmentally sound way.


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Beach cleaning should be accomplished by non-mechanized raking and litter removal. EMS protocols
should emphasize the importance of beach cleaners reporting any evidence of sea turtle crawling, nest-
ing, egg poaching, or hatching before the evidence is disturbed by raking.
















Cleaning equipment should only be used outside of the sea turtle nesting season: tractors compact sand and can crush incubating
eggs, making it more difficult for females to nest and for hatchlings to emerge successfully (photo: Frankston City Council,
Australia). Hand-raking is an environmentally friendly alternative (photo: Turtugaruba Foundation, Aruba).

Heavy machinery can compact sand, destroy nests, and leave deep grooves that trap hatchlings as they
crawl to the sea. If the use of mechanical equipment cannot be avoided during the nesting season:

Cleaning should only take place at or below the high tide line, and only during the day
Cleaning equipment should not penetrate more than 2 inches into the sand
Collected debris and trash should be disposed of properly, away from the beach
Cleaning equipment should be kept at least 3 m (10 feet) from salt-tolerant beach plants

Hoteliers can take preventative measures to reduce the amount of garbage discarded on or near nesting
beaches by the convenient placement of waste receptacles. Receptacles must be emptied often so as not
to become unsightly and/or attract unwanted predators (including dogs, mongoose, rats, foxes, vultures
and seagulls) of sea turtle eggs and hatchlings.

Equally important are efforts to reduce waste generation, in accordance with EMS, in all aspects of facility
operations. For example, reducing the amount of plastic used by the hotel will reduce potential plastic
waste on the beach. To the end, Disney's Vero Beach Resort (located on an important nesting beach in
Florida) has eliminated the use of plastic lids and straws, offering reusable cups and glasses instead
(Denise Leeming, Disney's Vero Beach Resort, personal communication).

Organizing a beach clean-up offers a way for staff, members of the local community, conservation part-
ners, and even guests and clients to become involved in keeping the nesting beach safe for sea turtles
and sanitary for beachgoers. In-house options may require that a different department take turns,
perhaps on a monthly basis during the nesting season, organizing an employee-sponsored beach clean-
up. Inviting guests to participate might involve offering, on a lottery basis, a complementary meal or
night's stay when they book a future vacation.

It is a common occurrence throughout the Caribbean that local conservation groups, in partnership with
youth, organize community-sponsored beach clean-ups, enticing volunteers with incentives such as free
prizes and food. Members of the hospitality sector often become involved in these campaigns by paying
for garbage bags, sponsoring bus transportation or water for volunteers, or donating prizes. Joining the
International Coastal Cleanup (see "Internet Resources") links your efforts to global databases.


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Youth participating in community-organized clean-ups of sea turtle nesting beaches on Union Island, Saint Vincent (photo:
Environmental Attackers), Nevis (photo: Nevis Turtle Group) and Rosalie Beach, Dominica (photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST).



Beach Cleaning: Internet Resources

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Share the Beach Guidelines for Beach
Cleaning during Sea Turtle Nesting Season:
http://www.myfwc.com/WILDLIFEHABITATS/Seaturtle BeachCleaninci.htm

Surfrider Foundation, Beach Grooming: http://www.surfrider.org/a-z/beach groomincl.php

Surfrider Foundation, Marine Debris: http://www.surfrider.orc/a-z/marine debris.php

NOAA, Marine Debris (including definitions, types and components, sources, movement, and
impacts): http://marinedebris.noaa.cqov/marinedebrisll01/mdinfo.html

The Ocean Conservancy, International Coastal Cleanup (register and get involved!):
http://www.oceanconservancy.orc/site/PacieServer?pacename=icc home

Katelios Group (Greece), Education A Decalogue for Tourists:
http://www. kateliosclrou p.orc/decalocgue. htm


Beach Stabilization

Most Caribbean beaches are naturally dynamic. To protect commercial investments, such as beachfront
hotels, from cycles of erosion and accretion, beach stabilization typically involves the use of breakwaters,
jetties, impermeable groynes and/or seawalls. However, these structures are expensive and can be less
effective in the long term than certain alternatives, such as the use of construction setbacks (see "Con-
struction Setbacks"). Moreover, because they interfere with the natural longshore transport of sediment,
the armoring of one beach segment often results in the "starvation" and eventual loss of other beaches
down-current (e.g., Greene 2002). In addition, the armoring of beaches can limit or eliminate access to
sea turtles seeking a suitable incubation environment for their eggs.

According to Cambers (1998b), "One of the dominant characteristics of beaches is their constant changes
in form, shape and sometimes the very material of which they are composed. The best way to conserve
beaches is to allow them the space to move in a seaward direction when sand is building up (accretion)
and in a landward direction during erosion phases. The prudent use of coastal development setbacks or
establishing a safe distance between buildings and the active beach zone can ensure that space is
provided for a beach to move naturally, both during normal events and infrequent hurricanes, thereby
ensuring the beach is conserved for all to enjoy and that coastal infrastructure remains intact."


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Beach armoring, such as this seawall (left), can worsen localized erosion and reduce sea turtle nesting habitat, while jetties (right)
disrupt longshore sand transport and starve down-current beach segments, also reducing sea turtle nesting habitat
(photos: Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, http://research.myfwc.com/aallery/).

Coastal armoring structures impede sea turtle reproduction by limiting access to suitable nest sites; e.g.,
egg-laden females cannot reach favorable habitat above the high-tide mark due to barricades and sea
walls. On some beaches, stabilizing structures have inhibited all sea turtle nesting activity (Steinitz et al.
1998). The disruption of the sand distribution cycle also impacts other sea-life; for example, armoring
alters coastal currents, influencing algae density and distribution (e.g., Fletcher et al. 1997).

The better solution to beach maintenance is an enforced construction setback adequate to reduce or
eliminate the risk of losing coastal buildings to routine erosion or violent storms. We recommend, from
a policy standpoint, that national planning legislation adopt a strong stance regarding setbacks for beach-
front development and require mixed-species vegetated buffer zones between built facilities and sandy
beach platforms. Setbacks not only help to protect coastal properties from storm damage, but lessen the
likelihood that local residents will be excluded from the beach and enhance the probability that artificial
lighting will not shine directly on the beach (see "Beachfront Lighting").


Beach Stabilization: Internet Resources

UNESCO-CSI, Coastal Erosion (including publications on coastal development and setback
guidelines for Caribbean nations, as well as strategies and "wise practices" for coping with
beach erosion): http://www.unesco.orq/csi/theme/them2.htm

UNESCO-CSI, Coping with Beach Erosion (determine your "Vulnerability Index", see Chapter
2 and Appendix I): http://www.unesco.orq/csi/pub/source/erol.htm

NOAA, Shoreline Management (Alternatives to Hardening the Shore):
http://coastalmanaqement.noaa.cqov/shoreline.html

Western Carolina University, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (including
reports and documents on coastal hazards, beach nourishment, beach preservation, and
beach stabilization): http://psds.wcu.edu

Surfrider Foundation, Shoreline Structures (including an overview of the issue,
environmental impacts and policy responses):
httD://www.surfrider.ora/structures/index.aso


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Beach Restoration2

The linkages between development and the persistence of sandy beaches are complex, and should be
considered with care before construction near sandy beaches is permitted or undertaken. If dunes are
leveled, vegetation removed, and/or solid jetties or seawalls constructed, the likelihood of committing the
owners to repetitive and increasingly expensive beach renourishment is heightened. Rebuilding a natural
beach is costly, and often ineffective. The forces precipitating the erosion generally cannot be allayed by
the act of restoration, and in many cases the cycle inexorably begins anew.

According to Cambers (1999), beach restoration (or renourishment) is a technique little used on Carib-
bean islands, in part because the cost of dredged sand ranges from US$5 to $16 per cubic meter; in
addition, mobilization costs for the dredge may range from $100,000 to $300,000, depending on the
location of a suitable dredge. She describes beach restoration as the addition of large volumes of sand
(obtained from an inland or offshore source) to the beach and notes that, since land sources of sand are
limited in the Caribbean, the sand is usually obtained from the offshore zone, mixed with water, and
pumped via a floating pipeline onto the shore.

In a recent assessment in southeast Florida, Wanless and Maier (2007) attributed widespread failure of
renourishment projects to, among other things, a lack of appropriate and affordable material nearby.
Replacement sediments generally displayed unsuitable grain size, durability, and hydrodynamic behavior
for a beach setting. Specifically, sands derived from dredging on the adjacent shelf contained excessive
amounts of fine sand and silt too small to remain on the beach; as a result, coral and hardbottom habitat
on the adjacent narrow shelf were stressed by increased sediment turbidity, siltation, and smothering.


















Beach renourishment project in Ocean City (photo: Rutgers University, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences,
http://marine.rutqers.edu/qeomorph/oceancityfill.1pq).

Renourished beach sand also tends to become compacted, reducing the quality of the nesting habitat.
Compaction alters sand temperature and moisture levels, preventing adult females from successfully con-
structing their nests and/or affecting the development process of the incubating eggs. If restoration is

2 Beach restoration involves the placement of sand on an eroded beach for the purposes of restoring it as a recrea-
tional beach and providing storm protection for upland properties. Beach nourishment (or renourishment) generally
refers to the maintenance of a restored beach by the replacement of sand. Restoration is generally accomplished by
bringing sand to the beach from inland sites or adjoining beach segments, or by hydraulically pumping sand onshore
from an offshore site.


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unavoidable, replacement sand should be similar (grain size, organic content) to that which was eroded,
thereby maintaining the suitability of the beach for the incubation of sea turtle eggs. Restoration should
never occur during nesting and hatching seasons when heavy equipment and activity can deter nesting,
crush eggs, and/or prevent hatchlings from successfully digging out of the nest.

Experts continue to debate whether beach renourishment affects sea turtle nesting behavior (Davis et al.
1999). Steinitz et al. (1998), Rumbold et al. (2001) and others have published data demonstrating that
the number of nests decreases and the number of false crawls (unsuccessful nesting attempts) increases
immediately following the renourishment of a beach. Crain et al. (1995) concluded that while beach res-
toration projects may enhance some nesting areas, in general the effects (for sea turtles) are negative.

It is worth noting that there is an imbalance in the system somewhere when sand is lost from an other-
wise predictable beach habitat and is not replaced by natural accretion processes. The underlying cause
can be as direct as an up-current solid jetty or pier that is literally "starving" the down-current beaches by
interrupting the longshore transport of sand and sediments (see "Beach Stabilization Structures"). Or the
impetus may be more subtle, as occurs with the removal of beach vegetation or when nearshore
pollution retards the productivity of calcareous (coralline) algae and other sand sources.

The best and least expensive in the long term way to reduce the need for beach restoration is to de-
fine and enforce construction setbacks adequate to ensure that the development itself does not exacer-
bate natural cycles of erosion and accretion. Setbacks can also help to ensure that natural beaches will
replenish themselves over time, following a serious erosion episode (see "Construction Setbacks").

Protecting coastal vegetation is also important. Damage assessments following the December 2004
Indian Ocean Tsunami clearly showed that coastal vegetation (e.g., mangroves, beach forests) helped to
provide protection and reduce effects on adjacent communities. When this vegetation is cleared, the
shoreline is more vulnerable to storm damage; conversely, establishing or strengthening greenbelts of
mangroves and other coastal forests "may play a key role in reducing the effect of future extreme events"
(Danielsen et al. 2005), reduce the need for beach restoration, and reduce economic losses.


Beach Restoration and Nourishment: Internet Resources

UNESCO-CSI, Coastal Erosion: http://www.unesco.orc/csi/theme/them2.htm

UNESCO-CSI, Coping with shoreline erosion in the Caribbean:
http://www.unesco.orc/csi/act/cosalc/shore-ero.htm

UNESCO-CSI, Wise Practices for Coping with Beach Erosion:
http://www.unesco.orc/csi/wise2b.htm

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center, Beach
Nourishment Guide for Local Government Officials:
http://www.csc.noaa.ciov/beachnourishment/

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Overview of State, Territory, and
Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs:
http://coastal ma nagement. noaa.ciov/resou rces/docs/fi na I beach.pdf

Western Carolina University, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (including
reports and documents on coastal hazards, beach nourishment, beach preservation, and
beach stabilization): http://psds.wcu.edu


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Vehicle Use

In many areas, beach driving has become a popular activity. However, driving on beaches can seriously
degrade the coastal environment by damaging beach vegetation, compacting sand, crushing incubating
eggs, creating deep ruts and tire tracks that can trap hatchlings trying to reach the sea (Hosier et al.
1981), and accelerating erosion (potentially resulting in the loss of nests to the sea). Vehicles can also
strike and kill hatchlings crawling to the sea, or frighten females away from nesting. Hatchlings huddled
just below the surface of the sand (waiting to emerge later in the evening, when the sun sets and the
beach surface cools) are particularly vulnerable to being crushed by passing vehicles.


Driving on nesting beaches can be detrimental to sea turtles by compacting the sand (which can crush buried eggs),
killing hatchlings, and promoting erosion. Photos: Turtugaruba Foundation, Aruba.


We recommend that, with the exception of authorized patrol or emergency vehicles (which should be
required to drive below the high tide line), motorized vehicles not be allowed to drive on sandy beaches
except at authorized boat haul-out sites.


A bumper sticker encourages awareness of beach driving. Here we see eggs and hatchlings, buried unseen below the sand at
Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge in St. Croix, crushed by a passing vehicle (left, photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST).


Beach Driving: Internet Resources

Surfrider Foundation, Beach Driving: http://www.surfrider.orcl/a-z/beach drivincl.php


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Protecting Coastal Habitats

Beach Vegetation

The hawksbill sea turtle often selects a nest site within the shelter of woody vegetation. The loss of veg-
etation can mean that a female must crawl further onshore in search of suitably vegetated areas. Other
species prefer to nest on the open beach platform in front of vegetated areas, using the dark vegetation
backdrop as an important ambient cue. After egg-laying is complete, vegetation can be important in
safeguarding sea turtle nests by helping to maintain the natural beach structure, reducing compaction of
sand grains, moderating diurnal temperature changes, and reducing erosion.

Vegetation can also provide an aesthetically pleasing tool to reduce or block beachfront lighting that
would otherwise discourage sea turtles from nesting or misdirect hatchlings away from the sea (see
"Beachfront Lighting"). One study has shown that this is especially true on urban beaches where
problems with artificial lights exist; female sea turtles preferentially nested in front of vegetated areas or
dunes in these areas (Salmon et al. 1995).

Coastal tourism development has placed extreme pressures on once pristine sandy beaches. Among
other stresses, property owners often remove native vegetation and natural debris (e.g., St. Omer and
Barclay 2002) and replace (or displace) native species with non-native ornamentals. Non-native species
can disrupt vegetative communities, pollination cycles, water use, nutrient transfer, and patterns of
erosion. For example, Australian pines often crowd-out native trees and palm trees can exacerbate wind
erosion. These human-induced actions and reactions cause an overall reduction in available nesting
habitat for sea turtles, and can significantly diminish the quality of the nesting habitat that remains.

What Can Be Done?

Hoteliers and resorts can adopt, within the context of EMS, certain standards and practices in regards to
vegetation. Strive to protect beachfront forest, and to restore native vegetation and natural
habitat which has been lost. Become familiar with and utilize native trees and shrubs including sea
grape (Coccoloba uvifera), almond (Terminalia catappa) and portia (Thespesia populnea) trees, coco
plum (Chysobalanus icaco), and so on for landscaping purposes.

In general, native plants require less maintenance and save energy planted properly, they require little
or no extra water, fertilizer, or pesticides (which ultimately pollute local waterways). In addition, they
display resistance to insects and disease and often attract desirable wildlife including birds, butterflies,
and pollinators. Identify source-books on locally occurring species (e.g., Honeychurch 1986, Bannochie
et al. 1993, Roegiers and McCuen 2007), explore online resources such as the Cayman Wildlife Con-
nection's inventory of Native Trees and Seaside Plants (http://www.caymanwildlife.orc/plants.html), and
establish partnerships with experts, including botanical gardens and nurseries.

Non-native plants, especially coconut palms (Cocos nucifera), should not be planted on or near
beaches where sea turtles are likely to nest. Our experience confirms that palms provide insufficient
cover for nesting, and their roots act as a hardened structure which solidifies habitat and may accelerate
erosion (especially wind erosion) of the beach. Other non-native plants may create too much shade on
the sand, which can alter nest temperature and affect the development (and sex ratio) of sea turtle
embryos, or they may out-compete or displace important native species.

Remember to share your conservation efforts! Post signs that communicate to guests, clients and
visitors the importance of coastal plantings and habitats, and describe any restrictions or conditionalities.
Raised walkways can be very effective in guiding beachgoers to the shore while protecting fragile coastal
areas. Visitors are likely to enjoy learning about historical uses (e.g., cultural, nutritional, medicinal) of
native species create a "nature walk" simply by posting botanical notes!


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Natural vegetation acts as a buffer between the beach and buildings, and raised walkways protect fragile habitat at Disney's Vero
Beach Resort, Florida (left, photo: Ga-Young Choi). A "Welcome" sign, posted at Juno Beach, Florida, encourages
Sustainable beach visitation practices (right, photo: Chris Johnson, MarineLife Center).


Beach Gardens

An idea that may be favorable to both developers and sea turtles is the creation of a "beach garden."
On Pasture Bay Beach (Jumby Bay) in Antigua, homeowners have initiated an innovative approach to
develop their beach in a way that supports nesting hawksbill sea turtles while maintaining an aesthetically
beautiful landscape for the island owners and their resort guests. Native coastal plant species including
ink berry (Scaevola plumeria), sea-grape (Coccoloba uvifera), bay cedar (Suriana maritime), beach
morning glory (Ipomoea pes-caprae), and sea bean (Canavalia maritime) were planted in groupings on
a nesting beach that had seen its beach forest diminished by development. After five years with no
disturbance from hurricanes, there was positive evidence that the beach gardens were providing addition-
al nesting habitat suitable for endangered hawksbill tur-
tles (Muenz and Andrews 2005).

While the results suggest that beach gardens are work-
ing, the highest density of nesting still occurs in areas
of the beach with remnants of intact native maritime
forest. Therefore, while restoration with beach gardens
can be viewed as a support technique where habitat
loss has already occurred, architects and property man-
agers should make every effort to preserve native
maritime forest.

Restoring nesting habitat with beach gardens demands
a thorough investigation to compare habitat quality to
native maritime forest. With that in mind, the "gardens"
appear to provide a useful management tool to help in
reconciling the needs of sea turtles with those of beach
development.





Natural vegetation (maritime forest) buffer zones have been
integrated into the Jumby Bay development (Antigua), in addition to
the innovative use of planted "beach gardens" seen here in the lower
right corner. Photo courtesy of Jumby Bay Island Company.


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Seagrass and Coral Reefs

















Native marine vegetation such as seagrass, Thalassia testudium (left, photo: S. I. Apteker), is just as important to the vitality of a
coastal ecosystem as a maritime forest species, such as seagrape, Coccoloba uvifera (right, photo: Ga-Young Choi).

Much has been made, and appropriately so, of the importance of coral reefs in dissipating wave energy,
stabilizing the shore, and safeguarding life and property in the face of storm events (e.g., Mimura et al.
2007, Burke et al. 2008). Marine vegetation also reduces erosion pressure. Plants create drag in the
water current, which slows the current and deposits suspended particles in the seagrass bed the result
of this process is that seagrass promotes sediment-building that acts to protect the shoreline.

Like rainforests and wetlands, coral reefs have a high "recycling" rate for nutrients. This allows biodiver-
sity to thrive, even though the surrounding ecosystem is relatively low in nutrients. Producers (plants that
photosynthesize, including algae and seaweed) form the base for any food web and are found in abun-
dance in coral reefs. The producers provide food for small fish and marine life, which in turn provide food
for larger animals. Coral reefs are important indicators of ocean health, and their decline has serious
economic as well as environmental consequences, especially in fisheries and tourism sectors.

Seagrass is also important, both ecologically and economically. Seagrass thrives in protected shallow
waters (depths less than 2 m), where it flourishes in the presence of sunlight. Many species (including
many commercially valuable fishery species) depend on seagrass, which provides nursery and foraging
habitat for a large variety of juvenile fish and crustaceans (Zieman and Zieman 1989). In the Caribbean,
the degradation or loss of mangrove and seagrass habitats has been shown to have a significant negative
impact on commercial reef fisheries (e.g., Nagelkerken et al. 2002)

Marine vegetation is critical to the survival of sea turtles. Green sea turtles feed primarily on seagrass in
the Caribbean Sea, and studies indicate that the turtles have a major effect on nutrient cycling and com-
munity structure in their foraging habitats (Thayer et al. 1984, Bjorndal 1997). Moreover, seagrass
communities are intricately tied to coral reef systems. Sea turtles often feed on organisms that live with-
in, or depend upon, both seagrass and coral reefs. Sea turtles also use the reef for sleep and shelter.

Shallow marine ecosystems, including both coral reefs and seagrass meadows, can be greatly affected by
coastal development and ocean-based recreation. Dredging, chains, anchors, propellers, even swimmers
can cause damage by uprooting seagrass, scarring the seabed, reducing water quality and destabilizing
sediments which, in turn, inhibits seagrass growth, reduces fish and wildlife habitat, and can threaten
entire coastlines. Orth et al. (2006) characterize the decline of seagrass as a "global crisis", while Texas
Parks and Wildlife (1999) describe the declining quantity and quality of seagrass as the most serious
threat to wildlife, recreation, and economy along the Gulf Coast of the U.S.


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Both of these photographs show boat damage to seagrass beds, which can take more than a decade to overcome. On the left,
propeller scarring is evident; on the right, boats cut into the seabed when they try to "power off" (photos:
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/imaqes/habitats/seaarasses/Blowunder.ipq). Scars that channel water
currents can erode deeper and wider with time, and may never recover.


Physical damage to coral reefs due to anchoring (left, photo: E. Kintzing) and collision (right, photo: Caroline Rogers, USGS).


Green and hawksbill sea turtles in healthy hardbottom and coral reef habitat (left, photo: STENAPA Sint Eustatius;
middle, photo: Arun Madisetti; right, photo: Caroline Rogers, USGS).


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Fast Fact- A seagrass meadow one hectare in size can produce about 20 tonnes of organic matter per
year! These remarkably important and productive habitats are damaged by a wide range of human
actions, including dredging and anchoring, coastal development, pollution, sedimentation and eutro-
phication, hypersalinization (resulting from reduction in freshwater inflows), habitat conversion, and
climate change (e.g., Lapointe et al. 2004, McField et al. 2007). Major losses of seagrass habitat have
been reported in the Mediterranean, Florida Bay, and Australia, and current losses are expected to
accelerate, especially in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005a).

Fast Fact Despite covering only 0.2% of the sea-floor, coral reefs contain 25% of global marine
species. These highly productive ecosystems also provide inland protection from storm surges and are
integral to both coastal fisheries and tourism, supporting the livelihoods of about 100 million people
around the world. Yet, according to the recent Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005b), 20% of coral
reefs have been destroyed in the last few decades and an additional 20% or more are severely degraded,
particularly in the Caribbean Sea and parts of Southeast Asia, and revenue from tourism associated with
coral reefs has been estimated to be US$30 billion annually.

What Can Be Done?

Do not scar or remove seagrass meadows or coral reefs in nearshore waters. Manage waste-
water to reduce effluent to the sea; for example, recycling graywater (wastewater that emanates for
sinks and showers) and using it to water hotel grounds and other landscaping helps defray freshwater
use and can lower operating costs (http://www.cravwater.net/). Maintain high standards for sewage
treatment, and emphasize low doses of landscape chemicals. Promote limits or bans on watercraft that
may damage the seagrass beds (see "Boats and Personal Watercraft").

Boaters can minimize seagrass destruction by lifting their motors and drifting, poling, or trolling through
shallow areas. When possible, avoid running a boat through shallow areas, consider wind speed and
direction, check tide charts and forecasts and create a float plan accordingly, use deeper water or exist-
ing marked channels as preferred access, and know the boat's limitations for running and takeoff depths.

Divers and snorkelers (http://www.coral.orci/resources/ciuides best practices/for tourists) should be
aware of appropriate behavior. Demarcating a no-wake Swim Zone offshore the nesting beach can be a
win-win, offering both swimmers and sensitive ecosystems a reprieve from water-sports and anchoring.
All vessels should be moored. Anchoring, as needed, should be strictly relegated to non-sensitive areas.


Seagrass and Coral Reefs: Internet Resources

REEF CHECK: http://www.reefcheck.orq/

World Resources Institute, Economic Valuation of Coral Reefs in the Caribbean:
http://www.wri.orq/proiect/valuation-caribbean-reefs

Texas Parks and Wildlife, Seagrasses:
htt p://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/habitats/seaqcrass/index. phtml

Millennium Assessment Reports: http://www.millenniumassessment.orq/en/index.aspx

NOAA, 25 Things You Can Do To Save Coral Reefs:
http://www. publicaffairs.noaa.ciov/251ist.html


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Boats and Personal Water Craft (PWC)

Marine vessels operating in coastal waters can kill or seriously injure sea turtles. Turtles can be struck by
the hull and/or suffer propeller wounds, as evidenced by body lacerations and shell damage. These
injuries can affect vision, movement and buoyancy, and may increase the chance that the turtle, now
debilitated, will be struck again or attacked by a predator. The recreational use of personal watercraft
(PWC), popularly known as "jetskis", may also pose a threat, though data are scarce.

Some of the best documentation of propeller injury is from southeast Florida (Martin County through
Miami-Dade County) where, from 1980 through 2007, about 35% of sea turtle strandings had distinct
propeller wounds, with the highest annual percentage occurrence of propeller wounds being 46% in 2004
(Allen Foley, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in litt. 17 February 2009). The exact
number of sea turtles killed or injured by boats and PWCs is unknown; many, if not most, injured animals
are never encountered or tallied by management agencies.


Propellers slice into sea turtles surfacing to breathe; the interaction can be fatal (photos: Johan Chevalier, DIREN, Guadeloupe).

With the rising popularity of coastal tourism, the number of boats and PWCs has escalated. PWCs can
travel at high speeds in shallow areas, including areas close to shore, where wildlife, including sea turtles,
are found. Numerous studies present evidence that PWCs disturb waterfowl and nesting coastal birds
(e.g., Burger and Leonard 2000, Rodgers and Schwikert 2002, Burger 2003).


PWCs can travel at high speeds in nearshore areas (photo: http://www.pahrumpvallevtimes.com/2004/07/28/photos/2ietski.ipga).
Leatherback sea turtle killed by the lacerations of a boat propeller (right, photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST).

Boats and PWCs can compromise the general health of the coastal environment by lowering air and water
quality. The engines that power boats and PWCs run on gasoline, contributing to noise and air pollution


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(hydrocarbons and nitrogen emissions). Two-stroke engines dump 25% 30% of their fuel unburned into
the water, creating the familiar "rainbow sheen" on the surface of the water in marinas and other high
use areas, and scientific studies confirm that petrochemical effluents negatively affect estuarine flora and
fauna (e.g., Wake 2005, McLusky and Martins 1998).


















Seagrass beds provide food and shelter to numerous marine species, including green sea turtles (left, photo: Caroline Rogers,
USGS), and can be negatively affected by boat traffic, including propellers and wakes (right, photo: http://www.moccasinlandincl.
homestead.com/files/Vpoint/FWCWake.iip9). Without proper caution, sea creatures can be disturbed, displaced, or killed.

What Can Be Done?

Various restrictions can be implemented to reduce the harmful effects of pleasure craft on wildlife, on
sensitive marine ecosystems (seagrass, coral reefs, mangroves), and on the shoreline. Safety is also an
issue: according to US Coast Guard statistics, jetskis represent roughly 10% of all boats, yet are involved
in approximately 30% of all boating accidents (http://www.bluewaternetwork.orc/).

One way that some areas have protected their natural resources is by employing slow speed or 'no
wake'zones (Apsund 2000, Hazel et al. 2007). Florida, for example, has incorporated two types of
slow speed zones idle speed and slow speed. In idle speed areas, all watercraft must move at the
slowest speed possible to keep steerage of the boat or PWC and generate no wake. Slow speed areas
require all vessels to produce only minimal wakes and keep the hull fully in the water. The state of
Florida uses these restrictions to help protect manatees, which are struck frequently by boats (Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2003 Florida Statutes).

Enforced slow speed zones can reduce the number of PWCs that use an area (Blair Witherington, Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, personal communication). Jet skiers enjoy riding PWCs for
the thrill of moving at high speeds; if speed is heavily restricted in an ecologically sensitive area, the
result is that the use of these watercraft is reduced (as drivers move to unregulated zones).

Boats and PWCs can also be restricted or banned from certain areas. Many national parks in the
US, such as Biscayne National Park and Olympic National park, have banned PWCs for several reasons,
which include the safety of other people recreating in highly visited areas; reducing noise, air, and water
pollution; and protecting wildlife and beach vegetation. Area bans could be appropriate for shallow
waters bordering hotels and resorts, with such a ban serving to reduce noise pollution and prevent dan-
gerous accidents (between jet skiers and swimmers, kayakers, etc.), as well as safeguarding sea turtle
habitat and the important ecological functions of nearshore marine habitats.


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Together, slow speed zones (left, Biscayne National Park, Florida: http://www.nps.qov/bisc/visit/speed.htm) and propeller guards
can reduce the number human and wildlife injuries due to propeller strikes (middle: https://www.adventuremarine.net/, right:
http://www.floridaconservation.org/psm/images/prop/stealth.Qif).

Another tactic that can be applied is to limit the number of PWCs in one area at any given time.
Studies of sea turtle/propeller interaction data in Florida suggest that limiting the number of boats/PWCs
in a given area might allow sea turtles to dodge these vessels (April Norem, University of Florida, unpubl.
data). This type of restriction may be the most effective when sea turtles are the most active near the
surface of the water, such as during peak feeding times.

The use of propeller guards on boats may help reduce propeller strikes on wildlife. Many styles are
available (http://www.uscqboatinc.orc/articles/pdf/April08 08 prop.pdf). However, blunt trauma from a
hull strike occurs just as frequently and potentially causes more harm (Nancy Mettee DVM, MarineLife
Center of Juno Beach, personal communication). Thus, an integrated approach is necessary: propeller
guards are unlikely to achieve conservation results without restrictions that enforce no-wake zones off
nesting beaches and in sensitive nearshore habitats such as seagrass meadows. The slower the rate of
travel, the more likely a sea turtle, manatee or human swimmer will move out of harm's way.

In summary, hoteliers can do their part in reducing the boat-strike injury and mortality of sea turtles by
promoting the restricted usage of personal watercraft near nesting beaches, in inter-nesting habitats, and
on foraging grounds. Public awareness and consistent enforcement of restrictions are necessary
for success. Local sea turtle experts are good partners in any education campaign. To identify a sea tur-
tle program in your area, visit http://www.widecast.orc/Who/Contact.html.

Finally, advocate for similar policies throughout the hospitality sector. Sea turtles are very mobile, and
while taking unilateral action is an essential first step, encouraging unified policies among coastal opera-
tions in general is the best way to meaningfully promote the survival of endangered sea turtles in your
area. Encourage discussion of these issues within industry organizations (e.g., hotel and tourism repre-
sentatives) and participate in alliances with solution-oriented conservation partners in order to advocate
for changes sector-wide.


Boats and Personal Watercraft (PWC): Internet Resources

Surfrider Foundation, Personal Water Craft: http://www.surfrider.orcl/a-z/pwc.php

Bluewater Network, Personal Watercraft: Creating Havoc in their Wake:
http://www.bluewaternetwork.orcl/campaicin pl pwc.shtml

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gasoline Boats and Personal Watercraft:
htt p://www.epa.qcov/otaq/marinesi.htm


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Final Considerations: Think Global, Think Climate Change

Sea turtles are highly migratory during all life stages, so conservation actions taken in any one place can
have profound and positive implications for their survival throughout the Caribbean Sea and beyond.











tf T' ITobago ...k.


Sea turtles have international ranges, and they rely on conservation actions taken in dozens of countries to ensure their survival.
For example, leatherbacks protected at their nesting grounds in Trinidad return to highseas foraging grounds in the northern and
eastern Atlantic. Photos: (left) Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST; (right) post-nesting dispersal of adult females (from Eckert 2006).

Ecologically conscious management of coastal areas accrues benefits far beyond sea turtles. Coral reefs,
for example, provide a wide range of commercial and non-commercial benefits to human society, includ-
ing ecosystem goods and services of high value to local and national economies. In addition to reducing
the impact of waves on the shore (slowing erosion and beach loss, and lessening storm damage), Carib-
bean coral reefs are critical for nutrition and food security and draw millions of visitors to the region each
year and tourism is the single largest economic sector for the region, accounting for more than 15% of
total employment and 13% of GDP (CARSEA Assessment 2007 in Burke et al. 2008). Despite their impor-
tance and the many benefits they provide, most Caribbean coral reefs are threatened: an estimated 70%
are threatened by human activities including overfishing, coastal development, and runoff from land
(Burke and Maidens 2004).

Protection of coral reefs and maritime forest, and adherence to setbacks, becomes even more important
in the face of future sea level rise driven by climate change. Over the next century, sea level is expected
to rise 18-59 cm above present (IPCC 2007), greatly increasing the likelihood and frequency of coastal
flooding events, severity of hurricane impacts, and beach erosion, all contributing to a net loss of coastal
land. Sea turtle nesting beaches may be lost if buildings, roads, or other infrastructure hinder their shift-
ing inland, as sea level rises. Local topography and conditions will influence the extent of vulnerability to
these threats but a logical relationship between beach slope, sea level rise, and setback regulations is
clear: the greater the slope of the beach and the greater the setback from the shoreline, the more likely
the beach is to prevail and a beachfront property to survive under sea level rise scenarios. Fish et al.
(2005, 2008) estimated beach loss due to sea level rise for Bonaire and Barbados and found that set-
backs of at least 90 m would be required to safeguard coastal investments from climate change impacts.

Another reason for concern from climate change is the rise in temperature, which in the US is causing
loggerhead sea turtles to nest earlier in the year (Weishampel et al. 2004, Pike et al. 2006, Hawkes et al.
2007) and also affects incubation conditions for sea turtle eggs in the sand. As temperature increases,
the sex ratio of developing sea turtles shifts, sometimes producing only females and in extreme cases
killing all embryos from over-heating (Ackerman 1997, Davenport 1997, Glen and Mrosovsky 2004).
Native coastal vegetation provides shade in some areas of the beach, hence mitigating partly the effects
of increasing temperatures. In areas where the native vegetation is removed, hotels on beachfront


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property may contribute to sea turtle conservation by restoring the original vegetation fringe above the
high tide line. Turtles and other wildlife benefits from such intervention, which in turn provides tourists
with shady spots for the enjoyment of beaches in tropical latitudes.

Consider the many benefits that your business enjoys from a clean and ecologically intact coastline, then
weigh those benefits seriously in decisions regarding everything from water and pesticide use to beach-
front lighting and mooring policies. Sea turtles are widely acknowledged as useful "ambassadors" for
sustainable coastal zone management (e.g., Frazier 2005), use them to communicate to your guests and
clients the importance of decisions and policies that may otherwise seem burdensome or unimportant.

Meaningful progress is measured one step at a time educate yourself, set an example, ad-
vocate for ecologically sound policies, and stay involved at local, national and even interna-
tional levels. Your success (or failure) is and will continue to be integrally linked to the success of
others. We hope that this Manual will inspire your management team to progress beyond old habits, and
become an advocate for globally relevant environmental policies worthy of the hospitality and tourism
sector in the 21st century.



V. GUEST EDUCATION AND PARTICIPATION

An informed public can be a powerful force in promoting the protection of sea turtles, and in endorsing
and seeking to support sustainable choices made by the hospitality sector in general.

Public involvement ranges from influencing legislation and policy to volunteering (monitor and protect
nests, report sightings or infractions, etc.) and donating to conservation causes. Raising public awareness
of the plight of sea turtles is crucial to sea turtle survival. Perhaps the most important aspect of guest/
client education and outreach is that informed guests/clients are likely to be more responsive to and
accepting of the various conservation actions taken by the resort, including modified lighting regimes,
enforcing "no-wake" zones, moving sunbeds off the beach at night, restricting bonfires and vehicle traffic
in nesting zones, etc.

Hotels and resorts can (and many do) offer a variety of informative programs on sea turtles and the local
environment for the enjoyment and intellectual stimulation of guests. Resorts can tailor these programs
to meet the needs and desires of their guests, including family- and child-friendly activities. Guests can
even experience direct encounters with sea turtles on "Turtle Walks". Turtle Walks should not be ad hoc,
they should always be offered in partnership with trained local experts (conservation groups, government
wildlife officers) or trained and certified hotel staff. Turtle Walks can focus on nesting adults or emerging
hatchlings. In the case of hatchlings, guests may be asked to participate directly in hatching survival by
forming a line that shields the tiny turtles from shoreline lighting remember to enforce a "no touch"
rule! See "Sea Turtle Encounters and Turtle Watches".

Remember that local sea turtle conservation groups operate on very small budgets, so offering compen-
sation for their services is appropriate. Such compensation might include contributing to transportation
and fuel costs, providing housing during the low tourism season (which typically corresponds to peak
nesting season) for beach patrollers and other sea turtle conservation volunteers, offering fair pay for
services like Sea Turtle Summer Camp (Marin, in press) and evening slide shows, and exhibiting informa-
tion explaining the importance of the group's conservation efforts (e.g. through in-room materials and/or
features on hotel television stations, industry magazines, and other corporate outreach venues).

Remember that interactions with endangered and protected species (including Turtle Watching and
"rescuing" hatchlings) require proper training and often require a Government permit.


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Environmental Programs

Environmental programs can focus on biodiversity (e.g., bird walks, botanical displays, coral reef diving),
cultural or historical aspects, or "green" community partnerships such as touring an organic farm or fair-
trade agricultural area that supplies food to the hotel. Hands-on experiences are the most memorable
and might include such things as guided scenic tours, Sea Turtle Summer Camp for young guests, special
evening presentations or films, Story Hour with local authors or cultural historians, star-gazing with an
entertaining story-teller, and interactive expos or craft fairs.

Invite local conservation organizations and other experts to develop and deliver scheduled presentations.
Visit http://www.widecast.orc/Educators/Resources.html for education and outreach materials focused on
sea turtles, including multi-lingual narrated slide shows, Summer Camp activities and crafts for children,
puppet shows, and lesson plans for both indoor and outdoor enrichment activities. These materials are
designed to "bring sea turtle biology to life", and all accommodate efforts by the educator to insert added
information on locally occurring species, conservation efforts, program successes, and specific ways in
which tourists can become involved in conservation issues.

Local conservation groups may be willing to assist with other guest programs, including unexpectedly
popular activities, ... like beach clean-ups! To identify a sea turtle conservation partner in your country,
visit http://www.widecast.orq/Who/Contact.html. For information on how to organize a beach clean-up,
visit http://www.oceanconservancy.orq/site/PaceServer?pacename=icc home.

















Photographs showing the wide range of sea turtle conservation activities taking place in the Caribbean Sea can capture the
attention of guests and provide a context for on-site conservation measures. Here a leatherback nests at dawn in
Querepare, Venezuela (left, photo: Mariana Malaver, CICTMAR) and fishermen tag and release a young
Hawksbill in Bonaire, Dutch West Indies (right, photo: Robert van Dam, STCB).


Whether on- or off-site, environment-focused programs can raise awareness about endangered species,
including sea turtles; sustainable choices, such as organic farming and fair-trade practices; and sensitive
ecosystems like coral reefs, wetlands and rainforests.

Unique and memorable programming not only enriches the experience of guests (a reality that may,
more often than not, increase the chance of a return visit!), but can increase support for hotel-sponsored
conservation activities, such as nest monitoring, hatchling rescue and release, landscaping with native
species, efforts to reduce beachfront lighting, restrictions on anchoring, efforts to conserve electricity and
water, and slow-speed zones offshore.


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Getting the Message Across

Signage can help in directing foot traffic away from sensitive areas and alert tourists to regulations pro-
tecting sea turtles and their nesting grounds. Signage alone, however, is not sufficient. Care should be
taken to reinforce this information on the hotel's in-house TV channel, in guest orientation/welcome
packages, materials placed in hotel rooms (see Appendix IV), and during regularly scheduled outreach
activities (see "Environmental Programs"). Equally important is conservation signage and outreach at
ports of entry, including airports and cruiseports.

Tourists are generally unaware of local environmental issues; consequently, they inadvertently engage in
activities that can have negative effects on both wildlife and sensitive habitats, potentially as in the
case of driving on the beach, littering, contributing to light pollution, or ignoring conservation policies
while diving or boating reducing the aesthetic values of surrounding landscapes, compromising the
quality of the environment for themselves and others, and lowering the survival prospects of endangered
species.

Hotels can employ several tactics to inform guests of the importance of respecting the local environment.
Signs strategically placed on hotel property can enlighten guests concerning endangered species, such as
sea turtles. Information should be simple, concise and clear, such as alerting guests to the seasonal
presence of nesting sea turtles and emphasizing appropriate behaviors.


These signs alert Caribbean visitors to rules that have been established to protect nesting sea turtles.


In addition to emphasizing appropriate behavior, such as restrictions on beach fires, pets, or the use of
flashlights, signs near nesting beaches can provide updates on the number of nests incubating on the
beach, ask visitors to maintain a safe distance, and explain how to report infractions. Signs and bill-
boards should be updated periodically and maintained in an attractive condition. As appropriate, the
message should be multi-lingual.

If your business distributes a regular newsletter or guest/client information package, include tips on how
to assist in local conservation efforts. For example, reminding guests to close their curtains at night to
prevent light leakage (see "Beachfront Lighting") and explaining what to do if a sea turtle is encountered
(see Appendix V, VI), will help to ensure that the industry's impact on nesting activity is progressively
reduced. Remember to lead by example! If the maid turns down the sheets at night, then (during sea
turtle nesting season) closing beach-facing curtains should also be part of her routine.


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


I I


Turtuganan di laman ta poniendo
webu no Klein Bonalrel


Sea turtles are nesting on Klein Bonairel


Turtuga Karet I Kawama ta Hawksbill and loggerhead sea turtles
usa e playa aki pa pone nan are using this beach foi nesting
webu. Kada turtuga ta pone .. Each turtle lays from 120 to 160 eggs
120 pa 160 webu pa kada nbshi. per nest. Baby turtles hatch after about
E webunan ta habri despues di mas two months and emerge on their own before
o menos 2 luna I e Junan ta sail for bou di running towards (he sea These hatchlings face
santu I kana bal laman. E junan aki ta wordu many predators on land and in the sea,
konfronta ku hopi bestia enernlgu riba tera I as 8iav such as ghost crabs, fish and birds
den laman, manera kangreu, piskA i para., 01 0 -r,
P ClnLJrrH3a trWIlir., .r ,I


- ---' -. :- ; .- ,- .; -


TM INV7741- 7
.. -"
-- ml _


Beach sign on Klein Bonaire, a protected nesting beach in the Netherlands Antilles, provides nesting updates and asks beachgoers
to keep a safe distance from the nests. Photo: Robert van Dam, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire.


Interested guests may request more information regarding environmental issues and conservation oppor-
tunities. Local sea turtle groups, as well as regional entities WIDECAST (http://www.widecast.orcq), the
Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (http://www.cha-cast.com), and the UNEP Caribbean Environ-
ment Programme (http://www.cep.unep.orcq/) will have updated information to share and can direct
you to natural resource experts.


The hospitality industry can help spread the conservation message by sponsoring off-site signage, as in roadside billboards (French
Guiana; photo: B. deThoisy), murals (Venezuela; photo: CICTMAR), airport light-boxes (Costa Rica; photo: B. Pinto)
and signs associated with bus and taxi stops (Dominica; photo: WIDECAST).


I


--U


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


Finally, encourage the purchase of souvenirs that support sea turtle conservation. Commercial items such
as books, DVDs, and plush animals can reinforce a conservation message or remind visitors of a special
experience. Seek partnerships with local crafters or guilds able to provide an inventory of unique products
that provide income to local communities and support conservation causes. These might include hand-
bags woven from plastic bags, wood carvings (from sustainable sources!), pottery, photography, soaps,
spices, candles, and/or crafts from locally abundant materials such as grasses, seeds, coconut, calabash,
and recycled glass ... but not seashells, coral, or products derived from rare or protected species.

| Sea Turtle Encounters and Turtle Watches

Nesting is both the most accessible and the most vulnerable stage of sea turtle life history. If
there is a possibility of encountering egg-bearing females or newborn hatchlings on the beach, then
certain rules of behavior must apply. If these rules are not enforced, the encounters) may result in sea
turtle harassment, changing patterns of nest site selection, lowered reproductive success, and environ-
mental degradation (e.g., shoreline erosion, litter, beach fires, trampling of vegetation).

Without a trained guide or other expert in attendance, onlookers can easily frighten the turtle or alter her
natural behavior, collect or restrain hatchlings, or damage the nest cavity. Property managers should
notify guests of the seasonal presence of sea turtles and their young, request that guests keep a
respectful distance, and ask that they inform the front desk if they observe any evidence of nesting (see
Appendix III). To encourage an appropriately respectful viewing experience, a guide to appropriate
behavior (e.g., see Appendix V), should be posted prominently and included in guest welcome packages.
Be aware of any special regulations, guidelines or restrictions in your area and remember that not all
sea turtle species lend themselves well to Turtle Watches. Similarly, some beaches are too narrow,
steep, or debris-strewn to accommodate visitors safely at night.
















Turtle Watches can be exploitative and abusive (left, photo: Ancom Marketing Services) or respectful and positive (right, photo:
Turtugaruba Foundation). To ensure best practices, guests should be accompanied by a trained guide and follow strict guidelines.
In the photo on the right, an alert onlooker called the national Sea Turtle Hotline, a public service line maintained in Aruba
by the Turtugaruba Foundation, to report a rare daylight nesting. A member of the Foundation arrived to provide
guests and visitors with guidelines on watching the animal, including keeping a respectful distance.

A guided Turtle Watch allows residents and visitors alike to enjoy an unforgettable experience. For
countries that still have ample and predictable nesting, turtle watching can also offer financial incentives
for communities to protect, rather than to harvest, sea turtles (e.g., Fournillier 1994, Wilson and Tisdell
2001, Campbell 2003, Troeng and Drews 2004, UNEP-CMS 2006, Sammy et al. 2008).

We strongly recommend that any formalized Turtle Watch offerings be developed in close partnership
with a local sea turtle conservation group. Another option is to collaborate with a community-based group


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


already active in general tour guiding whose members can be trained to conduct Turtle Watches. Such a
partnership benefits hotel guests, strengthens community ties with the hospitality industry, contributes to
local employment, and helps to protect sea turtles. If you cannot identify a suitable partner, visit
http://www.widecast.orc/Who/Contact.html and ask your WIDECAST Country Coordinator for advice or
for information on training.

A Turtle Watch typically consists of an information session presented by a trained guide, followed by the
opportunity to witness a nesting event first-hand. During the information session, the guide or local sea
turtle specialist talks about the various species of sea turtles, their life stages, what foods they eat,
threats affecting their survival, and other relevant information. The guide or specialist also explains that
certain behaviors are appropriate and certain behaviors are inappropriate, providing a clear explanation
of the rules for the Turtle Watch experience (Baptiste and Sammy 2007, Sammy and Baptiste 2008).

Caution: Consider the risks carefully. Sea turtles can be negatively affected by noise, activity, flashlights
and other distractions, and experience has shown that a poorly-run Turtle Watch can do more harm than
good both to the sea turtle and with regard to visitor satisfaction. Remember that interactions with
endangered and protected species (including Turtle Watching) may require a Government permit.

Hatchlings are often viewed as especially "touchable", and the following guidelines should prevail:

> Hatchlings must be allowed to crawl to the sea without being disturbed.
> Curious onlookers should stand behind the nest and away from the hatchlings' path. The public
must be managed and organized so that the chance of a person inadvertently trampling on and/
or killing a hatchling is removed.
If lighting is misdirecting the hatchlings landward, the hotel should turn off the lights or, if this is
not possible, onlookers should position themselves so as to shield the small turtles from the light,
giving them a chance to locate the sea. Remember that hatchlings orient to the subtle bright-
ness of the open ocean horizon. It is important that this orientation be allowed to take place as
naturally as possible because it is the first in a series of orientation exercises that the hatchlings
will need to accomplish in order to reach the distant highseas where they spend the first several
years of their lives.
> If hatchlings, misdirected and confused by lights, are found on hotel property during the day,
they should be kept in a dark, cool place (in a covered cooler or bucket) for release (with the
lights off!) that evening. Hatchlings are less mobile during the heat of the day; moreover, a day-
light release may attract predators.
> Nests may only be dug after the hatchlings have completed their emergence (the emergence
may occur over the course of several nights). Nest excavation is generally done for the purpose
of evaluating hatch success and releasing any residual hatchlings that may have been left behind.
Excavation should only be undertaken by someone trained and permitted to do so, standardized
data should be collected, and nest contents disposed of properly so as not to attract predators.

Sea turtles may also be encountered at sea while diving or snorkeling. Care should be taken not
to chase or harass the turtles. Natural rhythms of feeding and resting can be disrupted by divers intent
on getting too close, by pursuing the animal, or by preventing it from coming to the surface to breathe.
Standards of appropriate behavior are not well developed for at-sea encounters, but general guidelines
are included in Appendix V and Appendix VI, the latter courtesy of the Barbados Sea Turtle Project.
Meadows (2004) recommends safe-approach distances (for snorkellers) "on the order of 2 to 5 m".

Encourage guests to report evidence of nesting and hatching. Compile the information, and share it with
conservation partners and Government (request and use standardized data reporting forms). Staff should
know whom to contact in the event that a sick or wounded sea turtle is reported. Guidelines are available
(Phelan and Eckert 2006). The assistance of a veterinarian or animal care professional might be needed,
especially if recuperative care is called for (Bluvias 2009).


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An experienced tour guide from Nature Seekers explains the nesting process while keeping his guests positioned behind a
leatherback sea turtle at Matura Beach. With the exception of headlamps worn by the guide and a trained
data recorder, no lighting is used (Trinidad; photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST).


Sea Turtle Watching: Internet Resources

WIDECAST, Sea Turtle Ecotourism: http://www.widecast.orc/TurtleWatch/Why.html

Ocean Revolution, SEE TURTLES: http://www.seeturtles.orq/41/about-see-turtles.html

Florida Marine Turtle Program, Where to View Sea Turtles:
http://www.mvfwc.com/WILDLIFEHABITATS/Seaturtle Facilities Walks.htm

Turtle Safe Products, Turtle Safe Flashlight Filters: http://www.turtlesafeproducts.com


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Baptiste, S.L. and D. Sammy. 2007. Final Report: Basic Course on Community-Based Sea Turtle Ecotour-
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and Conservation. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-SEFSC-503. U.S. Department of Commerce, Miami.

Nagelkerken, I., C.M. Roberts, G. van der Velde, M. Dorenbosch, M. C. van Riel, E. Cocheret de la
Moriniere and P. H. Nienhuis. 2002. How important are mangroves and seagrass beds for coral-reef fish?
The nursery hypothesis tested on an island scale. Marine Ecology Progress Series 244:299-305.


WIDECAST Technical Report 9






Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


Orth, R.J., T.J.B. Carruthers, W.C. Dennison et al. 2006. A global crisis for seagrass ecosystems. Bio
Science 56(12):987-996.

Phelan, S.M. and K.L. Eckert. 2006. Marine Turtle Trauma Response Procedures: Field Guide. WIDECAST
Technical Report No. 4. Beaufort, NC. 71 pp. http://www.widecast.orc/What/ReQional/Medicine.html

Pike, D.A., R.L. Antworth and J.C. Stiner. 2006. Earlier nesting contributes to shorter nesting seasons for
the loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta. Journal of Herpetology 40:91-94.

Reina, R.D., P.A. Mayor, J.R. Spotila, R. Piedra and F.V. Paladino. 2002. Nesting ecology of the leather-
back turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, at Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas, Costa Rica: 1988-1989 to 1999-
2000. Copeia 2002:653-664.

Rodgers, J.A. and S.T. Schwikert. 2002. Buffer-zone distances to protect foraging and loafing waterbirds
from disturbance by personal watercraft and outboard-powered boats. Conserv. Biology 16(1):216-224.

Roegiers, M. and J.K. McCuen. 2007. A Guide to Tropical Plants of Costa Rica. Cornell University Press,
New York. 529 pp.

Ross, J.P., S. Beavers, D. Mundell and M. Airth-Kindree. 1989. The Status of Kemp's Ridley. A Report to
the Center for Marine Conservation from the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. Center for Marine Con-
servation. Washington, D.C. 51 pp.

Rumbold, D.G. et al. 2001. Estimating the effects of beach nourishment on Caretta caretta (Loggerhead)
nesting. Restoration Ecology 9(3):304-310.

Salmon, M. et al. 1995. Behavior of loggerhead sea turtles on an urban beach: Correlates of nest place-
ment. Journal of Herpetology 29(4): 560-567.

Sammy, D. and S.L. Baptiste. 2008. Community Tourism Handbook: A Resource Guide for Community
Groups Participating in Sea Turtle Ecotourism in the Commonwealth of Dominica (K.L. Eckert, Editor).
Prepared by Nature Seekers and WIDECAST, in partnership with the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation
Organization (DomSeTCO), with funding from USAID. Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica. 41 pp.
http://www.widecast.orc/Resources/Pubs.html

Sammy, D., K. Eckert and E. Harris. 2008. Action Plan for a Sea Turtle Conservation and Tourism Initia-
tive in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Prepared by WIDECAST, in partnership with Nature Seekers and
the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Organization (DomSeTCO), with funding from USAID. Roseau,
Commonwealth of Dominica. 59 pp. http://www.widecast.orc/Resources/Pubs.html

Sheavly, S.B. 2007. National Marine Debris Monitoring Program: Final Program Report, Data Analysis and
Summary. Prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by The Ocean Conservancy, Grant
Number X83053401-02. 76 pp. http://www.oceanconservancy.orc/site/DocServer/nmdmp report Ocean
Conservancy 2 .pdf?docID=3181

St. Omer, L. and G. Barclay. 2002. Threatened halophytic communities on sandy coasts of three Carib-
bean islands. Annales Botanici Fennici 39:301-308. http://www.seki.orc/PDF/anbf39/anbf39-301.pdf

Stapleton, S.P. and K.L. Eckert. 2008. Community-Based Sea Turtle Research and Conservation in Domin-
ica: A Manual of Recommended Practices. Prepared by the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Net-
work (WIDECAST) and the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Organization (DomSeTCO), with funding
from USAID. WIDECAST Technical Report No. 8. Beaufort, North Carolina. 47 pp.
http://www.widecast.orc/Resources/Pubs.html


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9


Steinitz, M.J. et al. 1998. Beach renourishment and loggerhead turtle reproduction: a seven year study at
Jupiter Island, Florida. Journal of Coastal Research 14(3):1000-1013.

Texas Parks and Wildlife. 1999. Seagrass Conservation Plan for Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife. Austin,
Texas. 82 pp.

Thayer, G.W., K.A. Bjorndal, J.C. Orgen, S.L. Williams and J.C. Zieman. 1984. Role of larger herbivores in
seagrass communities. Estuaries 7(4A):351-376.

Troeng, S. and C. Drews. 2004. Money Talks: Economic Aspects of Marine Turtle Use and Conservation.
WWF-International. Gland, Switzerland. 62 pp.

UNEP-CMS. 2006. Wildlife watching and tourism: A study on the benefits and risks of a fast growing
tourism activity and its impacts on species. UNEP / CMS Secretariat. Bonn, Germany. 68 pp.

Wake, H. 2005. Oil refineries: a review of their ecological impacts on the aquatic environment. Estuarine
Coastal and Shelf Science 62(1-2):131-140.

Wanless, H.R. and K.L. Maier. 2007. An evaluation of beach renourishment sands adjacent to reefal set-
tings, Southeast Florida. Southeastern Geology 45(1):25-42.

Wason, A. and L. Nurse. 1994. Planning and Infrastructure Standards. UNCHS and UNDP. 173 pp.

Weishampel, J.F., D.A. Bagley and L.M. Ehrhart. 2004. Earlier nesting by loggerhead sea turtles following
sea surface warming. Global Change Biology 10:1424-1427.

White, N. 2001. Boaters face bans from areas to protect Manatees. Miami Herald. January 25, 2001.
http://www. boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/updates. htm

Wilson, C. and C. Tisdell. 2001. Sea turtles as a non-consumptive tourism resource especially in Australia.
Tourism Management 22:279-288.

Witherington, B.E. 1992. Behavioral responses of nesting sea turtles to artificial lighting. Herpetologica
48:31-39.

Witherington, B.E. and K.A. Bjorndal. 1991a. Influences of wavelength and intensity on hatchling sea tur-
tle phototaxis: implications for sea-finding behavior. Copeia 1991(4):1060-1069.

Witherington, B.E. and K.A. Bjorndal. 1991b. Influences of artificial lighting on the seaward orientation of
hatchling loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta. Biological Conservation 55(2):139-149.

Witherington, B.E. and R.E. Martin. 2000. Understanding, Assessing, and Resolving Light-Pollution Pro-
blems on Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches (Revised Edition) Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commis-
sion, FMRI Technical Report TR-2. Tallahassee, Florida. 73 pp.

Witzell, W. 1983. Synopsis of Biological Data on the Hawksbill Turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus,
1766). FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 137. Rome. 78 pp.

Wood, L.D. 2004. A Field Guide for Sea Turtle Nesting Surveys: Southeast U.S. Region. MarineLife Ctr at
Juno Beach, FL. http://www.dnr.sc.qov/marine/turtles/volres/Wood%20Nestinc%20Field%20Guide.pdf

Zieman, J.C. and R.T. Zieman. 1989. The Ecology of the Seagrass Meadows of the West Coast of Florida:
A Community Profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 85(7.25). Washington, D.C. 155 pp.






Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


APPENDIX I

SEA TURTLE POLICY STATEMENT


WIDECAST Technical Report 9






Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


SEA TURTLE POLICY STATEMENT

A. Aware that sea turtles contribute in significant ways to the ecology, culture, and
economy of the Wider Caribbean Region;

.A Concerned that sea turtles are severely depleted from their historical abundance; and

A Acknowledging that while the large majority of Caribbean nations protect sea turtles,
population recovery will not be possible without greater attention to the conservation
of essential nesting and feeding habitats,

We Pledge To:

Encourage a commitment to environmental responsibility among employees and guests;
View sea turtle protection as an opportunity for civic engagement in biodiversity issues;
Be vigilant and aware of any risks to the environment which may occur within or outside
our development area as a result of our activities;
Assess environmental impacts of all activities, planned and ongoing, as they relate to
the conservation of sea turtles and their habitats;
Provide employees and contractors with information and instruction to enhance their
awareness of relevant environmental issues, and to ensure effective management of
environmental impacts, including impacts on sea turtles and their habitats;
Identify and collaborate with local experts in designing, implementing and evaluating
our sea turtle program to ensure that it fits within national sea turtle conservation
priorities, policies, and ongoing initiatives;
Make continual improvements in operations and management oversight to increase the
effectiveness and reliability of our sea turtle conservation program;
Comply with environmental legislation and local best practice policies related to turtles
and their habitats (sandy beaches, seagrass, coral reefs) and encourage others to do so;
Promote setbacks, and maintain vegetated buffer zones between sandy beaches and all
buildings, patios, and other built structures;
Implement measures to minimize waste, including applying monitoring procedures to
ensure that the nesting beach and nearshore waters remain free of debris and pollution;
Conduct regular (at least annual) lighting assessments to identify sources of light pollu-
tion, and strive to eliminate artificial light visible from the beach during nesting season;
Implement a system that removes potential obstacles to sea turtle nesting, including
sun beds and recreational equipment, from the beach each night during nesting season;
Discourage vehicles on the nesting beach, require hand-raking of debris and seaweed;
Support local sea turtle conservation and research, including offering financial or in-kind
support, as practicable; and
Report all incidents of sea turtle harassment or harm to the proper authorities.



1WIDECAST CAST
Wider Caribbean Sea Turrie Conservation Neiwork /


WIDECAST Technical Report 9






Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


APPENDIX II


SEA TURTLE SPECIES IDENTIFICATION LEAFLET *



Other language versions are available at
http://www.widecast.orc/Biolocqyv/Pictorial/PictorialKeyv.html


WIDECAST Technical Report 9









Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


WIDECAST Technical Report 9


- . t f


*
- J


8


J.







Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


Wider Caribbean Sea Turtles





Flexible carapace with Bony carapace (shell) with
5 distinct ridges no continuous ridges
no scutes large scutes (shell plates)
1 I


4 pair lateral scutes
(shown shaded)


\' /2


Carapace strongly tapered
Carapace leathery, flexible
Color dark gray or black with
white or pale spots
Jaw deeply notched
To 500 kg 9, "shell" to 180 cm

Leatherback turtle, Trunk turtle
(Dermochelys coriacea)









Prefrontal e
scales + t



2 pair prefrontal scales
Over-lapping shell scutes
Pointed face, distinct over-bite
Juvenile color and pattern variable
Adult color orange, brown, yellow
To 85 kg, shell to 95 cm

Hawksbill turtle
(Eretmochelys imbricata)


5 (rarely 6) pair lateral scutes
i^ ^^^ ^ _


I








Carapace longerthan wide
3 bridge scutes
No pores in bridge scutes
Head broad (to 25 cm)
Color red-brown to brown
To 200 kg, shell to 120 cm

Loggerhead turtle
(Caretta caretta)


Carapace very round
4 bridge scutes with pores
Very rarely south of 16 N
Juvenile color charcoal gray
Adult color dark gray-green
To 45 kg, shell to 70 cm

Kemp's Ridley turtle
(Lepidochelys kempii)


Prefrontal
scales




1 pair prefrontal scales
No over-lapping shell scutes
Round face, serrated jaw
Juvenile color and pattern variable
Adult color dark gray green
To 230 kg, shell to 125 cm
Green turtle
(Chelonia mydas)


6 or more pair lateral scutes
(sometimes asymmetrical)




I


Carapace nearly circular
4 bridge scutes with pores
Very rarely north of 13 N
Juvenile color charcoal gray
Adult color dark gray-green
To 45 kg, shell to 70 cm

Olive Ridley turtle
(Lepidochelys olivacea)


Underside







Bridge Pores
scutes Fares




Photos: Scott A. Eckert (loggerhead, olive ridley)
and others by Peter C. H. Pritchard.


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


APPENDIX III


HOW TO IDENTIFY SIGNS OF SEA TURTLE NESTING


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


SEA TURTLE NESTING AND CRAWL SIGNS

During the nesting season a period of several months each year sea turtles leave the ocean at regular
intervals (typically every 9-14 days, depending on the species) to lay their eggs in cavities they excavate
in the sand. Although they mostly emerge at night, they leave tracks, mounds and pits on the beach as
evidence of the visit. On accessible beaches throughout the tropical world, sea turtle experts and conser-
vation groups collect nesting information on a daily basis. This information is used to evaluate population
status, identify threats, and decipher local nesting trends.

This section is designed to help you identify the nesting tracks found on your beach and to use this
information to determine the sea turtle species that made them. The ability to "read" field signs,
including the width and symmetry of the nesting crawl (track) is important to population monitoring
activities. By carefully examining these clues, you can often determine the sea turtle species that came
ashore, if nesting (egg-laying) took place, and the approximate location of the nest. If the turtle did not
nest, but "false crawled" instead, experts can often decipher why she was unsuccessful in her attempt;
for example, were there obstacles that may have prevented her from excavating a nest cavity?

Remember, a sea turtle nesting crawl will lead from and return to the ocean. A one-way track may
indicate that the turtle was killed before she had a chance to return to the sea. Approach one-way crawls
carefully (the turtle may still be present!) and notify authorities if there is evidence of poaching.
















Sea turtles crawl onto Caribbean beaches to lay their eggs. The nesting crawl includes an approach and departure track, and often
features evidence of body-pitting, nest excavation, and covering/camouflage (left, photo: Turtugaruba Foundation). The field signs
left by a nesting leatherback turtle can include a beach disturbance 5-10 m across (right, photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST).


Nesting occurs on sandy beaches throughout the Wider Caribbean region. Some species nest virtually
year around, but most have a defined peak season. Many lines of evidence suggest that the female will
return to lay her eggs on or near the beach where she was born. Scientists believe that the homing
mechanism may rely on a combination of cues, including the earth's magnetism, the position of the sun
and stars, prevailing ocean temperatures or currents, and geologic features, among others. (For the
most accessible assemblage of information on migration and orientation, visit the research laboratory of
Dr. Kenneth Lohmann and associates at http://www.unc.edu/depts/ceomac/.) Each nesting ground
supports a unique assemblage of sea turtles.

Females most often nest at night. Males do not come ashore. Most species nest individually; however,
Kemp's and olive ridleys display another kind of nesting strategy, called an arribada, which is character-
ized by females emerging from the sea in large numbers to nest simultaneously. Arribada nesting can be


WIDECAST Technical Report 9






Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


observed in the Pacific and Indian oceans, but this unique phenomenon no longer occurs in the Carib-
bean Sea where ridley sea turtles are highly endangered.

Occasionally a female will emerge from the sea and "false crawl" (meaning that she was unsuccessful in
the laying of her eggs) for a variety of reasons including physical obstructions, bright lights, vehicle traffic
or aggressive dogs, the presence of people, etc. If the female does find a suitable nesting site she will
begin the construction of a nest by making a "body pit".


Caribbean green (left) and leatherback (right) turtles are shown "bodypitting", a process by which the dry surface sand is swept
away to reveal the slightly damp underlayer into which the nest chamber will be carved. Photos: Scott A. Eckert (WIDECAST).


Carefully using her rear flippers, the egg-laden female digs a nest chamber by scooping deeply with one
flipper and then the other. When this is completed, she positions her body at an angle over the nest
chamber and deposits her eggs. Different species of sea turtles lay varying numbers of eggs in one nest.
Eighty to 200 or more eggs are deposited in the nest chamber, but typically the average number of eggs
(referred to as the "clutch size") is closer to 100.


A green sea turtle carefully covers her clutch of eggs (left, photo: Rowan Byrne) and returns to the sea, leaving a distinctive
symmetrical track (right, photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST).


After egg-laying, the female sweeps sand over the eggs and compacts the nest with her rear flippers.
She will repeat this process several times throughout the nesting season. Typically anywhere from 2 to 6
clutches of eggs are laid per year (see "Basic Biology of Sea Turtles"), but leatherbacks have been


WIDECAST Technical Report 9






Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


observed to deposit as many as 13 clutches of eggs per year (Reina et al. 2002). When all stages of the
nesting sequence have been completed, the turtle returns to the ocean, leaving the eggs behind to
incubate unattended in the warm sand.

Asymmetrical tracks

Four species of sea turtle leave asymmetrical tracks, sometimes referred to as "zipper crawls". These
turtles the loggerhead (see illustration below), hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, and olive ridley alternate the
movement of their front flippers so that the front and rear flippers on opposite sides move together. A
faint tail drag running through the middle of the tracks may or may not be present. If the track is fresh
and the sand crisp, an exact measurement of maximum track width can provide yet another clue as to
species:


Species
Loggerhead
Hawksbill
Kemp's Ridley
Olive Ridley


Track Width (widest point)
80-90+ cm
70-85 cm
70-80 cm
70-80 cm


Loggerhead Turtle Track




*






-/'
40


Source: Sea Turtle Conservation Guidelines (FFWCC 2007).


For all practical purposes, a ridley track is physically indistinguishable from that of a hawksbill. However,
because the nesting range of the ridleys is relatively narrow (Kemp's ridley: Gulf of Mexico; olive ridley:
extreme southern Caribbean and South America), the track is more likely to have been made by a female
hawksbill than by either of the ridleys at most Caribbean sites.

Kemp's and olive ridley tracks are also indistinguishable from each other, but their nesting ranges are
non-overlapping. In the Western Atlantic region, Kemps ridleys are generally confined to latitudes north
of 150N, while olive ridleys are generally confined to latitudes south of 150N. The ridleys are the smallest
of the sea turtles and despite the fact that they once nested in our region by the tens of thousands of
turtles perday(e.g., in Mexico: Ross et al. 1989, M6rquez 1994), they are now the rarest of all Caribbean
and Atlantic sea turtles.


- 2ft.-


WIDECAST Technical Report 9







Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


Examples of asymmetrical nesting tracks: a loggerhead nesting in Florida (left, photo: Kate Mansfield) and a hawksbill nesting in
Antigua (right, photo: Johan Chevalier, DIREN). Note the alternating flipper pattern and intermittent tail drag.


Symmetrical tracks

The tracks of the remaining two species are symmetrical in design, meaning that green and leatherback
sea turtles move their front flippers unison, literally dragging themselves above the high-tide line. Hind
flippers create matching parallel mounds in the middle of the track. Both species tend to drag their tails,
leaving behind either solid or broken lines with accentuated points. The track sizes of these turtles differ
noticeably, potentially confused only in the case of a very large green turtle or a very small leatherback:


Species
Leatherback
Green


Track Width (widest point)
150-230+ cm
70-130 cm


Green Turtle Track


Leatherback Track


- 3ft. -


Source: Sea Turtle Conservation Guidelines (FFWCC 2007).


-4*~


^- f ^
*Ji Xb ^


WIDECAST Technical Report 9







Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


- --~-~~ -


Example of a symmetrical nesting track: a leatherback returns to the sea in Aruba (left, photo: Turtugaruba Foundation),
and a leatherback hatchling makes a similar journey in Sint Eustatius (right, photo: STENAPA).


Because both leatherbacks and green turtles leave a symmetrical track in the sand, other field signs can
be useful in distinguishing between them. For example, the beach disturbance left by a leatherback is
broad and disorganized. An expanse of hummocks and thrown sand may extend 5-10 meters across the
beach platform, with a track some 2 meters wide leading to and from the sea. In contrast, a green sea
turtle leaves a characteristic pit, approximately 1 meter deep and 1.5 meters across, associated with each
attempt to dig a nest chamber. The green turtle's nesting pit, unique among sea turtles, is deep and
broad enough to nearly completely conceal the nesting female during her egg-laying.


Green turtles typically leave a crater on the high beach platform (left, photo: Aruba, Turtugaruba Foundation), whereas a hawksbill
nests discretely in maritime forest and the site can be difficult to locate (right, photo: Antigua, C.G. Stapleton and S. Stapleton).
See page 64 for a photo of a typical leatherback nesting site.


Want to know more? An excellent resource is Wood (2004), "A Field Guide for Sea Turtle Nesting
Surveys, Southeast U.S. Region". Photos and field signs are well presented in this guide, which is avail-
able online at http://www.dnr.sc.qov/marine/turtles/volres/Wood%20Nestinc%20Field%20Guide.pdf.


WIDECAST Technical Report 9






Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


APPENDIX IV


SAMPLE MATERIALS FOR PLACEMENT IN HOTEL ROOMS *



Used with permission


WIDECAST Technical Report 9








Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


*- '

We hope you enjoy our beautiful
beaches during your stay.
In addition to being a great place
to enjoy the sun and surf, our
beaches are important nesting
areas for sea turtles and our dunes
are home to many plants and
animals. During your stay, we
hope you will help us protect our
coastal wildlife & habitats.
Funded by a grant awarded from t~e
Sea Turte Grants Program. Learn
more at www.helpngseatte5.1es.g _


Sea turtle season is March 1 to October 31
(Atlantic coast) or May 1 to October 31 (Gulf
coast), please remember a few simple things
to help protect sea turtles & their habitats:
It is against the law to touch or disturb
nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or their
nests. Sea turtles are protected by Federal
and State Laws.
L Avoid using flashlights, lanterns or flash
ph..,I.. tr ipl A hale i-c.i Ibc beach at night.
Turn off or shield lights. close drapes/blinds
to prevent lights from shining onto the beach.
Lights disturb nesting turtles and hatchlings.
L Avoid disturbing marked nests and please
take your trash when you leave the beach.
SPlease make sure to remove all items, such as
beach chairs, from Ihe beach al night.


( tIIIIAr. AT N


Produced by the Caribbean
Conservation Corporation.
Sw.rcclaurtfe. org


Ps a mem Wfinr nC -


HELPING OUR SEA TURTLE FRIENDS





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wildhti around

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ioiutr fiman olith r 1):0 |^ m t iniirngl thm Wxritm! 4 H t[l
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HELP PRESERVE
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rand I nlthuil co sta environment Ilit pro\ tlds i us ith
.I Ix.Ltitirl i n1)l.: I ttini;l W r t i ia nnrtl roilni t)
f)'miai ninl Till Won1t1 l liu nvtrilronrDint iatil prv'(tIn ltlr
the brathitiakmi-g >rry o+ natural wildllie thi( nak-cs lths
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(i tht it% it rolinIent I I ity orin t n natural .i r I'M tII
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dumls, to lih sl(w ht it poxvcrfil tfx0e id Ol I 1 A and
windI I-tr t hin rl sn, 'I r ,. on thi' lun or plkl oitg
,ca oars is proilbb i l, IThank you for your cottXilrattlon
lni prst,:ring olir l Iautitul lwadws


WIDECAST Technical Report 9


9 *q*H~@>^^

llb" Natnie







Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


We hope you enjoy our beautiful beaches
and waters during your stay. In addition to
being a great place to enjoy the sun and
surf, our beaches are important nesting
areas for sea turtles and our dunes are
home to many unique plants and animals.
during your stay, we hope you will help us
protect our coastal habitats and wildlife.
Sea turtle season is from March through
October, so please remember a few simple
things to help protect these magnificent
creatures and their habitat:
It is against the law to touch or disturb nesting sea
turtles, hatchlings, or their nests. Sea turtes axe
protected by the Feder l Enldangeed specLi Acr imd
the Florida Marime Turtle Protecion Act.
Avoid .ULt filahbL brs or flash photograph. while
on the beach at night.
Turn off outside patio lights or shield indoor lights
from shimnig diiecLl. ama the beadh at night. Lights
disturb nesting tunes and hatchlings.
Whulie -laj Do.IL th= beamutifuil beaches duinig the day,
avoid distubing marked sea title nests.
'blen :roV.mL a duae, please use designated cross
ovie and walk ways. Do not climb aver the dunes or
disturb the dime vegemtion.

St Lacit Conty Evir.wamenstael Resourcs Dqepartmt
77?462-2~2d I m '.itcc o.gu ,-dt:2la,.tin
Cjribbean CDoservati.a. 800-78-7353 I -a w ccczt1d.arg



FLrndng '.r Ir pnrrng pwr.- Pne. a grart 1Mrr
VI- Nalorial FIBn !L VlllrfE FourdaDcr.
Phob ly DM rt EvmaCC


WIDECAST Technical Report 9





Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


+ot


0


You can help protect nesting
sea turtles by following these
simple precautions at night.


N'a huiks like it dark. Please no flashlights or
flash rpholonraphy
It's a Ioii. arduous journey to get to the water.
Please don't disturb sea turtles.
Don't tread on me. Sea turtles lay cggs near the
foot of the beach dunes. Lease stay clear of the
dunes and walk along the water's edge.
Remove beach ftuniitune, toys uaid litter that may
trap or disorient sea turtles


Columbus ZOO
and Aquarium


a a ,fl,1, tNh/~



O i cc't'
fqtgtin3 &A 1
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(M.y -CclCnber)

Tfue beaches are North
Amisa's mfint important
.ai't sitM fvr smE turtles.

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WIDECAST Technical Report 9











Three species of sea turtles
can be seen around Barbados.
The Hawksbill, and more
rarely the Leatherback, nest on
our beaches. Green turtles
feed in our waters, but nest
elsewhere.


DID YOU KNOW?

a Sea turtles return to their
natal beach to nest.
It is ug .I1 that the beach a
turtle chooses to nest on is the
same one which she herself
was hatched on many years
previously.

The sex of a turtle is
largely determined by the
temperature at which the
eggs develop in the beach.
Warmer temperatures result in
females, cooler temperatures
result in males.


Sea turtles can take 20 -30
years to become sexually
mature.
It is estimated that only about
one out of one thousand eggs
survives to reproduce.


Elegant Hotels Group is
promoting the conservation
of, n .ii 1 sea turtles
through its support of the
Barbados Sea Turtle Project.
Our participation in the
conservation of this critically
endangered species is our
first step towards promoting
environnicital awareness in
conjunction with the
Barbados Sea Turtle Project.





ELEGANT HOTELS
(' RO 0 0

I or further information contact:
Barbados Sea Iurtlh Project
Ihillairs Rewearch Institute
St. Jam]s, Bar bado
Tehl 422. 2034, 230-0142
Vax: 422-0692


ADOPT

YOUR BACH...


SEA TURTLES!


You use your beach for
recreational activities sea
turtles use it for serious
business! What you do on
your beach can have a
'iWhiiint impact on the
success of turtle I .ltii.-'.
Here are a few tips on how
you can share your beach
with these > n dl.m.,'r 1
species and help preserve
Barbados' natural rit.,ia,













HOW YOU CAN HELP MAKE YOUR BEACH TURTLE FRIENDLY


A Leave native beach vegetation
in place.

Don't remove vegetation when
ining up your beach. Vegetation
helps to prevent beach erosion.
Also, hawksbill turtles prefer to
nest on vegetated beaches. Get
guidance from the Coastal Zone
Management Unit before
attempting any revegetation efforts.




Don't burn or bury garbage
and leaves on the beach

Take garbage away. Garbage
contaminates beach sand, increasing
bacterial and fungal infections in
turtle eggs. It also obstructs the
emergence of hatchlings from their
nests.


Discourage driving on your
beach

Vehicles compact the sand and
make it difficult for turtles to dig
into or out of the sand. They also
destroy beach i ,oatia in
Mechanised beach cleaners do the
same Thing (plus th. often miss
plastic straws and cigarette butts!)





SMinimise the amount of beach
space used up at night.

High tides can wash away turtle
nests or drown l.,l.ipi i;
embryos. Sea turtles need to nest
in the dry sand above the high
water mark. Beach chairs can be
stacked in tall piles to free ,.ip more
beach space lti nesting turtles.


3*


Minimise beachfront lighting


Beachfront lighting is a major
problem for turtles in Barbados.
Every year thousands of hatchlings
are attracted inland by li;htv,
instead of swimming out to sea.
Shade 1I'ht'. hide them behind
vegetation or use low pressure
sodium bulbs.




A Discourage the use of pointed
drink stands.

When stuck into the sand, these
stands can pierce turtle eggs. (The
same applies to sun umbrellas and
shades!)







Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


In-Room Reference Guide

Managing Light

Protecting Sea Turtles, Saving Energy


ARTIFICIAL LIGHIT that shines on the to sea turtles. This can be accomplished
beach disrupts critical nighttime behavior without a great deal of effort, expense or
of adult and hatchling sea turtles. Fortu- compromise to personal safely, security
nately, light from homes. condominiums, and convenience. In many instances, good
businesses. signs, street lights and other light management not only improves the
structures near the beach can be managed aesthetic appearance of the property but it
effectively so that it does not cause harm also reduces energy costs.
Keep Light Off the Beach
The most important aspect of light management is to confine light to
your property and not let it stray out onto the beach.
* Position fixtures so they cannot be seen from the beach
* Aim lights down and away from the beach
* Apply shields to light fixtures
* Replace fixtures that allow light to shine in many directions with
fixtures that direct light only onto the area where it is needed
* Recess porch lights into roof soffits
* Lower the mounting height of pole lights
* Position walkway fixtures close to the ground
* Plant native vegetation to block lights from shining on the beach

Minimize Your Property's Illumination
THE GREATER THE AMOUNT of light near the beach, the greater
the potential for harm to sea turtles. Determine what is the lowest accept-
able level of illumination on your property for personal safely and
security. i
* Turn off non-essential lights during the sea turtle nesting season
* Eliminate accent lights and decorative fixtures
* Reduce the total number of fixtures used to illuminate the grounds
* Reduce the wattage of bulbs used in exterior fixtures
* Place lights on timers so they are on when needed
* Place security lights on motion detectors so they come on only
when someone is on the
property If you should see an injured or
Install 45% transmittance dead stranded turtle or hatchlings on
window tint the beach during daylight hours or a
(saves energy costs, too!) daytime nesting tuftI6, please report
* Position interior lights away this information immediately to the
nearest Lifeguard or Beach Patrol
from windows, if possible office. If beach personnel are not


Failure to protect sea turtles from harmful
lighting can result in hearings before the
Citizen Code Enforcement Board. This
Board has the power to fine violators up to
$250 per day for an initial violation and up
to $500 per day for a repeat violation. The
Board also may choose to invoke a one-
time $5,000 fine for irreparable, irrevers-
ible damage-


present, please call the Beach Patrol
at 424-2345 (New Smyrna Beach) or
239-6484 (Daytona Beach). To
report disoriented hatchlings at
night, please call the Volusia County
Sheriff's office at 423-3888 (New
Smyrna Beach) or 248-1777 (Day-
tona Beach), then press 0 after the
recorded prompt.


Use Light Sources
That Are Minimally
Disruptive to Sea
Turtles
SEA TURTLES are affected by
most types of light when it shines
directly onto the beach. I however,
some types of light are less dis-
ruptive than others.
* Use low wattage yellow
bug lights instead of while
lights
* Replace high pressure
sodium vapor parking lot
and security lights with
shielded low pressure
sodium vapor lights
Be a Considerate
Beachfront
Resident/Visitor
-lease Draw your curtains and
window shades at night so
interior lighting does not
shine on the beach
please Don't use flashlights and
lanterns on [lhe beach at
night during the turtle
nesting season. Also during
nesting season, bonfires are
prohibited.


This inlbrmation guide is printed as a
special edition of EnviroNet, a
monlhly newslcller published by the
Volusia County Environmental
Management Department. Requests
for additional information and
questions may be directed to:
Daytona Beach: 254-4612
DeLand 736-5927
New Smyrna Beaclh: 423-3303
FAX: 822-5727
www.volusia.ora/environet


WIDECAST Technical Report 9






Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


APPENDIX V


"WHAT SHOULD I Do IF I SEE A SEA TURTLE ON THE BEACH?" *



* Staff should always report sightings to management, who, in turn, should provide this information to
local conservation partners and the appropriate authorities. The following brief guidelines will help in
establishing basic rules of behavior when sea turtles are encountered.


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


APPENDIX VI

"WHAT SHOULD I Do IF I SEE A TURTLE WHILE
DIVING OR SNORKELING?"


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


APPENIDX VII

"WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?"

GREEN GLOBE AND BLUE FLAG CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS


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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


INDUSTRY CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS

Green Globe

Green Globe (http://www.creenclobeint.com/) is a global benchmarking and certification program that
promotes sustainable tourism throughout the world by providing a framework for environmental and
social performance improvement. Based on Agenda 21 and the principles endorsed at the United Nations
Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992, Green Globe Standards are performance-oriented, providing partici-
pants with a framework to measure their environmental impact and then develop and implement strat-
egies to reduce those impacts.

Participants of the Green Globe benefit in a variety of ways, including demonstrating the high level of
standards that they hold for themselves in their operation to their customers and shareholders, as well as
the government and local community. They also gain market share and credibility among consumers
seeking companies within the tourism industry that have adopted high environmental standards and
sustainable management practices. As importantly, by implementing a more systematic and integrated
approach in its operations, a company can significantly reduce energy costs while decreasing water use
and waste production.

The Green Globe journey involves three steps: Benchmarked Bronze, Certified Silver, and Certified Gold.
In order to qualify as a Green Globe operation and display the trademarked Green Globe logo, businesses
and communities must be certified by one or more Green Globe licensee. Green Globe Standards, which
underpin the Benchmarking and Certification program for the travel and tourism industry, are available in
five categories: Company (Enterprise), Community/Destination, Design and Construct, Precinct, and
EcoTourism.

There are several Focus Areas in achieving the Community Standard, including inter alia a sustainability
policy, environmental investment, and a commitment to biodiversity conservation. Adopting and imple-
menting a Sea Turtle Policy Statement contributes meaningfully to each of these areas. "Enhanced local
socio-economic benefits" must also be demonstrated, a criterion which can be met through the kinds of
partnerships with local communities and conservation organizations discussed in this Manual.

The Caribbean has the largest number of Green Globe certified properties: according to the Caribbean
Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) (http://www.cha-cast.com/), an allied partner of Green Globe,
there are 57 Certified Properties in the region and the "Top 10 Benefits" of Certification are:

> Reduced water consumption
> Reduced energy consumption
> Lower operational costs
> Improved staff morale and productivity
> Increased staff creativity
> Increased customer satisfaction
> Reduced employee conflict
> Increased employee retention
> Improved community relationships and benefits
> Improved business and shareholder value

To those who incorporate the recommendations embodied in this Manual, we can add a further benefit:
that of sea turtle conservation and the satisfaction of assisting a unique group of animals that once flour-
ished in the Caribbean Sea and, according to archeological evidence, have contributed substantially to the
nutrition and economy of humankind in the region for more than 1,000 years. This is your opportunity to
give something back and to reap corporate benefits at the same time.


WIDECAST Technical Report 9






Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


Case Study: Bucuti Beach Resort
















Bucuti Beach Resort (www.bucuti.com) is located on Eagle Beach on the western coast of Aruba. Firmly
committed to conserving the environment, the resort's management team has implemented conservation
programs ranging from waste recycling to preserving wildlife to "green" construction. The progressive
nature of the operation and its positive results have been recognized numerous times, for example:

> 2007: ISLANDS Magazine BLUE LIST Global Tourism Sustainable Awards
> 2007: Green Globe 21, ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 Certified
> 2006: Green Globe 21 Re-Certified
> 2004: International Hotel & Restaurant Association "Green Hotel Award", Independent Hotel
category
> 2003: "Green Hotel of the Year" by the Caribbean Hotel Association
> 2003: ISO 14001 Environmental Certification (the first hotel in the Americas and the Caribbean to
achieve this certification)
> 2002: Green Globe 21 Certified

Sea turtle conservation is a strong component of the resort's environmental and social commitment. At
the start of each nesting season, the local WIDECAST affiliate (Turtugaruba Foundation) trains Bucuti
Associates to recognize nesting signs on the beach and to respond appropriately. Training always
includes an interactive slide presentation, providing an opportunity for management, staff and guests to
learn about sea turtle biology and the resort's role in safeguarding some of the most important nesting
habitat in Aruba. Informed and empowered, staff routinely participate in resort-sponsored beach clean-
ups, report sea turtle nesting and hatching events, and support and interact with Turtugaruba volunteers
(e.g., http://bucuti.com/en/about us/news.php?release=20060531).

Bucuti Beach Resort fulfills their Certification Performance Criteria in a number of ways, including:

Environmental and Social Policy the resort has focused on reducing energy and water use, limiting solid
and liquid waste, promoting guest participation in environmental efforts of the resort, and raising envi-
ronmental awareness in the community

Energy The resort has limited energy use by installing energy-efficient light bulbs, solar panels, and
motion sensors for lights and air conditioning; air condition energy consumption has declined by 30%

Water Numerous water-saving techniques have been implemented on the property including flow
reducers on shower heads and water faucets, reduced capacity toilet tanks, drip and timed irrigation
systems, a gray water reuse system, and a linen and towel reuse program


WIDECAST Technical Report 9






Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


Solid and liquid waste The resort uses a variety of management schemes to minimize solid and liquid
waste, including eliminating the use of disposable dishes and cups and placing bulk soap and shampoo
dispensers in all the rooms

Resource conservation The resort has reduced the use of paper in their offices, communicating mostly
through the internet and placing brochures and sales kits on CDs; they also promote wildlife conservation
by placing informative signs throughout their property, and support and collaborate with local conser-
vation organizations to protect wildlife found on their property, including sea turtles

Each of these commitments from social policy to solid waste benefits the natural environment and
contributes in important ways to biodiversity conservation. In return, the resort's relationship with the
local sea turtle population is embraced by resort guests and contributes to a positive vacation experience.
Combined with the fact that sea turtles are protected in Aruba (Brautigam and Eckert 2006), it is not sur-
prising that sea turtle nesting is increasing on Eagle Beach.

Blue Flag

The Blue Flag Campaign (http://www.blueflaq.orc/) is an international voluntary certification scheme for
beaches and marinas. The Blue Flag is an exclusive eco-label that was awarded to 3,200 beaches and
marinas in 35 countries across Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and the Caribbean in 2005.

The Blue Flag label requires beaches and marinas to meet high standards in environmental management,
education and information, water quality, safety, and other services. The standards of environmental
management include the proper disposal and recycling of waste, beach cleanliness, and the maintenance
of buildings and equipment, among other things.

Blue Flag beaches also must meet the criteria of environmental education and information, which high-
lights the need for informing the public by providing necessary information regarding water quality and
environmental resources; additionally, educational activities need to be provided. Water quality require-
ments address compliance with treaties, discharge of pollutants and runoff, as well as monitoring the
health of nearby coral reefs. The Blue Flag program also checks to see if proper measures are taken to
ensure visitor safety by providing lifeguards, preventing conflicts or accidents, and other public services.

While Blue Flag does not specifically require the conservation of wildlife, innovative partnerships, such as
with REEF CHECK, are focusing attention on the importance of protecting coastal and marine biodiversity.
Similarly, WIDECAST is exploring the possibility of a Blue Flag partnership that recognizes sea turtle
conservation measures implemented by beachfront properties. Such measures might include providing
quality nesting habitat by adopting and implementing a Sea Turtle Policy Statementto include setbacks,
proper lighting, unobstructed nesting areas, partnerships with local experts to monitor nesting activity,
promoting awareness among beach users of the presence of incubating eggs on the beach, etc.

By adopting and implementing a Sea Turtle Policy Statement, many of Blue Flag mandates are met,
including: compliance with all coastal zone planning regulations and environmental legislation, the beach
must be clean (e.g., no industrial or sewage related discharges may affect the beach; waste disposal bins
/receptacles must be available on the beach in adequate numbers, regularly maintained and emptied;
requirements for sewage treatment and effluent quality must be met), no unauthorized camping or driving
on the beach and no dumping, regulations concerning dogs and other domestic animals on the beach
must be strictly enforced, etc.

In the Caribbean Sea, protecting sea turtles is good business! For more information concerning
the Caribbean Blue Flag program, contact the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) at
cast(ahcha-cast.com.


WIDECAST Technical Report 9





Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches


WIDECAST Technical Report 9


I NOTES I





















the Wider Car^wi^bbean Region, uman and seaturtle alike

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Full Text

PAGE 1

Manual of Best Practices for Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches Ga Young Choi and Karen L. Eckert WIDECAS T Technical Report No. 9 2009

PAGE 2

For bibliographic purposes, this document may be cited as: Choi, GaYoung and Karen L. Eckert. 2009 Manual of Best Practices for Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches. Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) Technical Report No. 9. Ballwin, Missouri. 8 6 pp. ISSN: 1930 3025 Cover Photo taken by Ga Young Choi in Aruba Copies of this publication may be obtained from: Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) 1348 Rusticview Drive Ballwin, Missouri 63011 USA Phone: + (314) 954 8571 Email: keckert@ widecast.org Online at www.widecast.org

PAGE 3

Manual of Best Practices for Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nest ing Beaches Ga Young Choi Karen L. Eckert 2009

PAGE 5

Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 1 PREFACE AND INTENT For nearly t hree decades the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), with Country Coordinators in more than 40 Caribbean States and territories, has linked scientists, conserva tionists, natural resource users and ma nagers policy makers, industry groups, educators and other stakeholders together in a collective effort to develop a unified management framework, and to promote a region wide capacity to design and implement scien ce based sea turtle conservation programs As a Partner Organization of the UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme and its Regional Programme for Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW), WIDECAST is designed to address research and man agement priorities at national and international levels, both for sea turtles and for the habitats upon which they depend. We focus on bringing the best available science to bear on contemporary manage ment and conservation issues, empowering stakeholders to make effective use of that science in the policy mak ing process, and providing an operational mechanism and a framework for cooperation at all levels, both within and among nations. Network participants are committed to working collaboratively to develop their individual and collective capacit ies to manage shared sea turtle populations. By bringing people together and encouraging inclusive management planning, WIDECAST is helping to ensure that utilization practices, whether con sumptive or non consumptive, do not undermine sea turtle survival over the long term. Among these capacity building initiatives is a regional program, implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), to provide the hospitality sector with information on how property owners and managers can help protect sea turtle nesting beaches on or near their properties This Manual responds to recommendation s made by industry representatives attending a workshop sponsored by the Tourism Development Corporation in Barbados and co hosted by WIDECAST and the B arbados Sea Turtle Project. By unanimous Resolution1 workshop participants requested guidance in constructing a Sea Turtle Policy Statement to be adopted by the hotel and villa rental community, and help in designing standard guidelines and criteria for implementing the Sea Turtle Policy Statement. The intent is to assist beachfront property owners and managers in identifying actions that can be taken to protect sea turtles and their nesting beaches. We provide a model Sea Turtle Policy Statement an d a check list for its implementation, follow ed by a primer on sea turtle biology. The body of the Manual is devoted to recommendations for the pre construction phase, building setbacks, coastal lighting, beach cleaning and restoration erosion control, vegetation and landscaping, and the operation of marine vessels n ear nesting beaches, explaining in each case t he linkages between actions taken from a facilities management standpoint and the benefits of those actions to endangered sea turtl e s. Finally, we discuss Guest Education and Participation and offer insight into the implications of investing in conservation pro grams as they relate to Green Globe and other industry certifications. Please v isit http :// www.widecast.org for more information, including updates on conservation technolo gy, descriptions of successful programs, and inspiration on how to become more involved Dr. Karen L. Eckert Executive Director, WIDECAST October 2008 1 Eckert, K.L. and J.A. Horrocks (Ed itor s). 2002. Sea Turtles and Beachfront Lighting: An Interactive Workshop for Industry Professionals and Policy Makers in Barbados. Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network. WIDECAST Technical Report No. 1. Bridgetown, Barbados. 44 pp.

PAGE 6

Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 2 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS T he senior author wishes to thank Dr. Karen Eckert my academic advisor and co author for intro ducing me to the world of sea turtles and for her invaluable support and expertise without which this manual could not have been p ossible. I would also like to thank Deirdre Shurland, (former) Executive Director and Jennifer Dorhmann Alpert, Program Manager (Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism, CAST); and the staff of the Caribbean Hotel Association for providing me with the opportunity to intern with their organizations and for teaching me so much about the Caribbean region and the hotel industry. We are indebted to Ewald Biemans (Managing Director) and his staff at Bucuti Beach Resort for sponsor ing Ga Youngs travel to Aruba and providing wonderf ul hospitality and t o Denise Leeming (Labor Manager) and her fellow managerial staff at Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida for sharing t he ir successful sea turtle c onservation efforts. We also thank Cindy Clearwater (Cormorant Beach Club) Erin Hawkin s (Buccaneer Hotel ) and Beverly Nicholson (Hotel and Tourism Association) in the U.S. Virgin Islands; Jurgen van Schaijk (Managing Director, Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort) Jan van Nes (General Manager, Playa Linda Beach Resort), Mark Purcell (Director of Facilities, Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino) and Edgar Roelofs (Director of Operations, Manchebo Beach Resort ) in Aruba ; and Richard May and Christine Wilkinson of Sandals Resorts for sharing information about their properties For their inval uable expertise, access to literature, and other contributions, we express our gratitude to Dr. Scott Eckert (Director of Science, WIDECAST); Dr. Anne Savage, Senior Conservation Biologist and Jerry Brown, Curator of Conservation Station (Disney's Animal K ingdom); Dr. Richard and Edith van der Wal (Turtugaruba Foundation, Aruba); Marelisa Riviera (Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Puerto Rico); Michael Evans (Manager, Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge) Kimberly Wood ( Biologist Buck Island Reef National Monument ) and Dr. Amy Mackay in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands ; Becky King ( Director Ocean Spirits, Grenada); Nancy Mettee, DVM (Juno Beach Marine Life Center, Florida) ; and David Gulko ( Aquatic Biologist Coral Reefs, Division of Aquatic Resourc es, Hawaii). At Duke University t he Kuzmier Lee Nikitine Internship Fund, Whitney Lawson Chamberlin Memorial Endowment Fund, Student International Discussion Group, and the Lazar Foundation, as well as H&J Industries Inc. in Arizona, provid ed financial support for Ga Youngs internship and travel in the Carib bean during the summer of 2004. Dr. Karen Eckerts time was partially supported by the Mary Derrickson McCurdy Visiting Scholar Fellowship at Duke University. In addition, the project could not h ave been com pleted without financial support from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (USA) Bucuti Beach Resort (Aruba ) and T urtle S afe P roducts ( www.turtlesafeproducts.com ) We are very grateful to the follo wing reviewers for their comments : Ewald Biemans (Bucuti Beach Resort, Aruba), Janice Blumenthal (Dept Environment, Cayman Islands), Rafe Boulon (Virgin Islands National Park, St. John), Mykl Clovis (Environmental Awareness Group, Antigua), Alex Dawes (Hilton Barbados), Jennifer Dorhmann Alpert and Deirdre Shurland (CAST, Puerto Rico), Dr. Carlos Drews (WWF), Loreto Duffy Mayers (Casuarina Hotel, Barbados), Dr. Scott Eckert (WIDECAST), Dr. Marina Fastigi and Dario Sandrini (KIDO Foundation, Carriacou, Gren ada), Janet Gibson (Wildlife Conservation Society, Belize), Peter Goren (Florida Green Lodging, Florida Dep t. E nvironmental Protection), Jennifer Gray (Bermuda National Trust), Hedelvy Guada (CICTMAR, Venezuela), James Gumbs and Stuart Wynne (Dep t. Fisheri es and Marine Resources, Anguilla), Ray Hobbs (Kelco Management and Development), Dr. Julia Horrocks (Barbados Sea Turtle Project, Univ West Indies), Michelle Kalamandeen (Guyana Marine Turtle Conserva tion Society), Denis e Leeming (Disneys Vero Beach Resort Florida ), Carl Lloyd (Ocean Spirits, Grenada), Adolfo Lopez (CAST, Dominican Republic), Daisy Mottram and Kate Orchard (Saint Christopher Heritage Society, St. Kitts), Trudy Nixon (Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association), Emile Pemberton (Dep t. Fish eries, Nevis), Georgita Ruiz, DVM (Mexico), Dr. Richard and Edith van der Wal (Turtugaruba Foundation, Aruba) Jean Weiner ( FoProBiM Haiti) and Jem Winston ( Rosalie F orest EcoLodge, Dominica).

PAGE 7

Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS PREFACE AND INTENT 1 ACKNOWLEDG M ENTS 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 I. WHY IS THIS MANUAL NEEDED? 4 Executive Summary : Best Management Practices for Sea Turtle Nesting Areas 5 II. SEA TURTLE POLICY STATEMENT 8 Getting Started 8 Sea Turtle Policy State ment 9 Check List for Implemen ting Your Sea Turtle Policy Statement 10 III. SEA TURTLE PRIMER 11 Basic Biology of Sea Turtles 11 Threats to Sea Turtle Survival 13 IV. SEA TURTLE MANAG EMENT ISSUES 17 Pre Construction Pha se 17 Construction Setbacks 19 Beachfront Lighting 21 Responding to Disoriented Turtles 25 Beach Sand Mining 27 Beach Maintenance 28 Ob stacles to N esting 29 Litter and Debris 30 Beach S tab ilization 32 Beach R estoration 34 Vehicle U se 36 Protecting Coastal Habitats 37 Beach vegetation 37 Seagrass and Coral Reefs 39 Boat s and Personal Water C raft (PWC) 42 Final Considerations: Think Global Think Climate Change 45 V. GUEST EDUCATION AND PARTICIPATION 46 Environment al Programs 47 Getting the Message Across 48 Sea Turtle Encounters and Turtle Watches 50 LITERATURE CITED 53 APPENDICES I: Sea Turtle Policy Statement 59 II: Sea Turtle Species Identification 61 III: Sea Turtle Nesting and Crawl Signs 64 IV: Sample Materials for Placement in Hotel/Villa Rooms 70 V: Turtle Watching: Beach Etiquette 7 7 VI: Turtle Watching: In Water Etiquette 80 VII: Green Globe and Blue Flag Certifications 82

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 4 I. WHY IS THIS MANUAL NEEDED? For more than a decade, dozens of progressive hotels and beachfront property owners throughout the Caribbean region have been working closely with the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) to invest in conservation technologies (such as energy efficient turtle friendly lighting), train staff, educate guests, design innovative landscaping, and support local sea turtle research and conservation programs all to enhance the survival prospects of endangered sea turtles nesting on or near their properties, engaging their guests in unique experiences (such as Turtle Watch ing), and gener ally committing themselves to a more sustainable future. These partnerships generally start with a request for help: What can we do to ensure the survival of sea turtles and their young on our beach? The poaching of nesting females is still a challenge for local authorities, and we know that dogs dig up several of the turtle nests each year. As for hatchlings that survive the incubation period, many of them end up trapped in our gardens or dead on the road. Weve heard that the only so lution to the disorientation of these hatchlings is to turn off all of our security lights at night! Is this really necessary? How do we take the sea turtles into account while protecting our guests, grounds and staff ? Any information that you can prov ide would be greatly appreciated. Other enquires focus on developments still in the planning stages; for example: We are very concerned about a development proposed for [Beach X] which, as you know, is an important nesting ground for marine turtles. An EIA is currently being prepared for the development and [Regulatory Agency Y] has asked our organization to review the document to ensure that the development will not compromise the sea turtles. We will be meeting with the developer and the architec t next week to bring to their attention the requirements under [ Regulation Z] for developments on this beach, and also our national commitments to various international agreements aimed at safeguarding depleted sea turtle populations throughout the region. Could you please provide us with advice and any relevant material you may have on best practices for coastal developments? The developer proposes to use the fact that it is a turtle nesting beach as a marketing tool, so we may be able to turn this into a n opportunity for sus tained collaboration. Thank you in advance! Perhaps youve asked (or thought about asking) just such a question to a local biologist, fisheries officer, or sea turtle conservationist. Perhaps youve done a little reading on your o wn and already invested in some conservation alternatives, but youre not really sure that you did the right thing. Perhaps youve scheduled some renovation with the aim of saving money (e.g. landscaping with native or salt tolerant plants, eliminating r edundant lighting) and figure that this is the time to take a fresh look at the larger issues of beach management. For these reasons and many more, this Manual was designed for you! Th is Manual emphasizes the positive role that the hospitality and touris m sector can play in biodiversity conservation by demonstrating ways in which the industry can help protect endangered sea turtles and their nesting habitats. Some recommendations, such as construction setbacks, require considerable fore sight; others, su ch as moving s unbeds and other potential obstacles to nesting, directing lights away from the beach or rescuing disoriented hatchlings can be adopted at any time. Our hope is that the Manual will i nspire you to adopt and i mplement a Sea Turtle Policy St atement collaborate with local experts, communicate relevant information to guests, staff and contractors a nd start taking steps, however small, to promote the survival of Caribbean sea turtles

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 5 Executive Summary : Best Management Practices for Sea Turtle Ne sting Areas Sea turtles are ancient creatures, living mostly unseen in the worlds oceans A t certain times of the year, egg bearing females must come ashore to lay eggs deep in the warm sand of tropical beaches. The nesting process can be threatened by various aspects (e.g., deforestation, light s, sand mining, roads and construction, noise activity recreation ) associated with b eachfront development. Fortunately, a n informed property manager can help ensure the survival of endangered sea turtles an d their young by implementing the following check list. Following a brief overview (see Sea Turtle Primer), recommen dations associated with each of these a ctivit ies are explained in greater detail in the chapters that follow. Activity Sea Turtle Prot ection BMPs Chapter Pre Construction Phase Know whether (and when) sea turtles nest on beaches near your property Be aware of laws and policies protecting sea turtles and th eir eggs Support the development and implementation of an independent Environment Impact Assessment E valuat e and commit to minimizing impact s to the nesting beach f rom access roads, vegeta tion removal/burning, excavation, erosion, l ights and activity associated with work crews etc. Schedule construction during non nesting periods Identify and collaborate with local sea turtle experts to monitor the effects of construction Support formation of a local Advisory Board for transparency, information exchange, oversight Adopt a Sea Turtle Policy Statement Chapter IV. Management Issues: Pre Construction Phase Construction Setbacks Do not construct permanent building s, snack bars, pools, etc. on the sandy beach platform To protect both the nesting beach and coastal infrastructure, establish reasonable setbacks between the ocean and any p ermanent buildings Inform contractors and partners of the importance of the se setback s, and of preserving native vegetation with in a buffe r zone Chapter IV. Management Issues: Construction Setbacks E xterior Lighting Commit to reducing light pollution t hat can be fatal to nesting females and their young Conduct lighting inspections, at least annually, and re spond promptly to recommended corrective measures All exterior fixtures anywhere on the property t hat produce light visible from the nesting beac h sho uld be shielded, directed only where light is needed, generally placed as low as practicable, and u se long wavelength lamps (e.g. red/ amber LEDs, low pressure sodium ) and black baffles Avoid bright white light, such as metal halide, halogen, fluorescent, mercury vapor and incan descent lamps and never use where such light could be visible from the beach Chapter IV. Management Issues: Beachfront Lighting 20 09

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 6 Activity Sea Turtle Prot ection BMPs Chapter Turn off b alcony lights when not in use Use ornamental vegetation to block and reduc e light leakage to the nesting beach Emphasize timers and motio n sensitive lights to reduce beachfront lighting and operational costs Prohibit bonfires or fire pits on the beach or in line of sight of the beach during nesting season Glass Windo ws and Doors Visible from the Beach Commit to reducing the amount of light that reaches the nesting beach from hotel rooms, restaurants, and other interior spaces When possible, u se blackout curtains or shade screens if glass tinting is an option, a pply film with a visible light transmittance value of 45 % or less to all windows and doors within line of sight of the beach Turn off lights when not in use Chapter IV. Management Issues: Beachfront Lighting Beach Sand Mining Know the law with regard to sour cing construction aggregate Avoid using sand mined from coastal beaches Report violations of sand mining laws Chapter IV. Management Issues: Beach Sand Mining Obstacles on the Nesting Beach Remove furniture and recreational equipment ( kayaks, small sailb oats) from the beach nightly Stack and arrange furniture off beach Use a permanent umbrella holder or sleeve never thrust an umbrella ( or other penetrating object ) into a nesting beach Consider signage (if egg poaching is not a problem) alerting visitors to nest locations and asking that they stay 2m (6ft) from the nest site Chapter IV. Management Issues: Obstacles to Nesting Litter and Debris Implement policies to keep grounds and adjoining beach areas clean Hand rake beach debris (vs. using a tractor) to avoid harming eggs incubating below the surface Partner with local youth or conservation groups to conduct Beach Clean U ps, especially just prior to the nesting season Chapter IV. Management Issues: Litter and Debris Beach Stabilization and Restorati on Seek alternatives to coastal armoring / seawalls Protect beachfront propert y through enforced construction setbacks mixed species (preferably native) vegetation buffers and dune protection If b each restoration/rebuilding is unavoidable, replacement sand should be similar (grain size, organic content) to the original beach sand t hereby maintaining the suitability of the beach for egg incubation Beach r estoration should never take place during the nesting/hatching season Chapter IV. Management Issues: Beach Stabilization Beach Restoration 20 09

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 7 Activity Sea Turtle Prot ection BMPs Chapter Vehicles on the Beach With the exception of authorized patrol or emergency vehicles (which should drive below the high tide line), motorized vehicles should be prohibited from driving on sandy beaches Sm ooth out tire tracks r uts trap emerging hatchlings, prevent them from reaching the sea Chapter IV. Management Issues: Vehicle Use Protecting Beach Vegetation Know the law regarding removal and restoration of coastal vegetation and maritime forest Incor porate established vegetation into archi tec tural plans minimize re mov al of beachfront vegetation, restore what has been lost Emphasize the use of native plant/tree species Construct raised walkways over sensitive areas Consider planting beach gardens to help restore nesting habitat for hawksbill sea turtles Chapter IV. Management Issues: Protecting Coastal Habitats Protecting Seagrass and Coral Prohibit action s that damage seagrass or c oral Require a ll marine vessels be moor ed or docked R estrict an choring to non sensitive marine areas Demarcate a no wake Swim Zone offshore the nesting beach Eliminate sedimentation and pollution e.g., manage wastewater effluent, recycle graywater, maintain high standards for sewage treatment, emphasize low doses o f landscape chemicals Educate divers and snorkelers about appropriate behavior underwater Chapter IV. Management Issues: Protecting Coastal Habitats Boats, Personal Watercraft Commit to reducing the impact of recreational boating on sensitive marine ecosystems Enforce a slow speed or no wake zone offshore the nesting beach Encourage the use of propeller guards to reduce injury to marine life, including sea turtles Ensure that staff and guests know and understand all relevant rules and restrictions Chapte r IV. Management Issues: Boats and Personal Watercraft Educat ing Staff and Guests Regularly train / evaluate staff in environmental management systems and sea turtle protocols Involve guests in sea turtle protocols; e.g., close curtains at night when interi or lights are lit Make conservation fun! Host a Sea Turtle Sum mer Camp or Story Hour, sponsor a Beach Clean Up, invite a local expert to give a Sea Turtle Talk, organize Nature Tours, recognize staff efforts Partner with a local conservation group to off er professionally guided Turtle Watches if sea t urtle species and habitat s are conducive to viewing Use signage/in room materials to inform guests of sea turtle (and other conservation) issues Always report nesting and hatching events Chapter V. Guest Education and Participation 20 09

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 8 II. SEA TURTLE POLICY STATEMENT Sustainable development requires commitment to a broad range of social and environmental issues T he intent of this Manual is to promote sustainable development within the hospitality sector, and specifically to assist beachfront property owners and managers in identifying actions that can be taken to protect sea turtles and their nesting beaches. We recommend that a Sea Turtle Policy Statement (STPS) be adopted to guide conservation efforts, that it support existing environmental management systems, and that it conform to industry standards ( http://www.iso.or g/iso/iso_14000_essentials ). To this end we beg in with a model STPS and a check list for its implementation, followed by a p rimer on sea turtle biology The body of the Manual is devoted to r e commendations, explaining in each case t he linkages between actions taken from a facilities management standpoint and the benefits of those actions to endangered sea turtl e s. Finally, we discuss Guest Education and Participation and offer insight into the implications of investing in conservation programs as they relate to Green Globe and other industry certifications. Getting Started As stewards of some the most valuable and most vulnerable of Caribbean landscapes coastal sandy beaches and nearshore marine environments the tourism sector has the capacity to play a vital role in preventing the extinction of Caribbean sea turtles. Beachfront hotels in sea turtle nesting areas should have a Sea Turtle Policy Statement supported by e nvironmental m anagement systems (Eckert and Horrocks 2002). G uests staff and c ontractors should be encouraged to take measures that protect nesting sea turtles, their eggs and their young. Staff in departments responsible for the actualization of the Policy should be trained annually. These departments may include Sports and Activi ties, Security, Grounds, and Maintenance. Hotels should maintain important information, including emergency numbers (such as for local sea turtle experts, veterinarians, fisheries and wildlife officers, and police) and a calendar of nes ting and hatching m onths. Relevant i nformation should also be communicated with guests, including how (and to whom) to report a sea turtle sighting and how to behave if a sea turtle is encountered ( e.g., see Ap pendix V VI ) G uests should be alerted to the fact that it is illegal to carry sea turtle parts and products, including jewelry, through Customs Hotels should take all necessary steps to ensure that no items made from sea turtle shell are sold in gift shops on site and that guests are aware of national laws protec ting turtles In addition, c onsider making information about local sea turtle conservation projects available to guests. Guests and clients can be an important source of support for conservation projects, providing volunteer labor, donated skills and s ervices, equipment networking, and funding. Informed and active guests are more likely to pay attention to hotel rules concerning sea turtle conservation, and more likely to leave their vacation experience with treasured memories of their stay. Making your property inviting to charismatic wildlife species and investing in their conservation can pay important dividends in public awareness and sustainable development, while providing an enchanting experience for guests and clients In the sections that follow you will find useful information concerning a variety of considerations that, if properly addressed, can help to ensure harmonious co existence with endangered sea turtles We hope that by learning more about sea turtles and the issues that affect them, yo u will be inspir ed to implement the Manuals recommendations and to encourage others to do so Sea turtles return to their birthplace to lay their eggs, meaning that your area supports a unique assemblage of reproductively active adults. If th e population is extinguished, it cannot be replaced in any relevant time frame and, w ith its demise will go the special value of your coastal property We invite you to invest in your eco nomic and ecological future by participating in sea turtle conserv ation we can show you how

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 9 Sea Turtle Policy Statement The International Organization for Standardization ( ISO ) develops standards for business, government and society, including requirements and guidelines for environmental management system s (EMS) An EMS meeting the requirements of ISO 14001:2004 is a management tool enabling an organization to identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products or services; improve its environ mental performance continually ; and implement a syst ematic approach to setting (and achieving) environmental objectives and targets. The intention is to provide a framework for a holistic, strategic approach to environmental policy, plans and actions ( see http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_14000_essentials ). WIDECASTs objective in developing this Manual of Best Practices for Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches is to provide the hospitality sector with a greater awareness of what can be done within an EMS context to control the environmental impact of its activities as far as sea turtle s and their n esting beaches are concerned, and to provide a framework for a holistic, strategic approach to sea turtle conservation As a first step, we recomm end adoption of a Sea Turtle Policy Statement (see also Appendix I) not only for the benefit of sea turtles but also in support of the larger goals of su stainable develop ment and good corporate citizenship It should be the managements responsibility t o ensure that th e P olicy Statement is available and accessible to all employees and published externally for the public. Sea Turtle Policy Statement Recognizing that sea turtles contribute in significant ways to the ecology, culture, and economy of the Wider Caribbean Region; that sea turtles are severely depleted from their historical a bundance; and that while the large majority of Caribbean nations protect sea turtles population recovery will not be possible without greater attention to the conservation of essential nesting and feeding habitats, We Pl edge T o : Encourage a commitment t o environmental responsibility among employees and guests; View sea turtle protection as an opportunity for civic engagement in biodiversity issues; Be vigilant and aware of any risks to the environment which may occur within or outside our development area as a result of our activities; Assess environmental impacts of all activities, planned and ongoing, as they relate to the conservation of sea turtles and their habitats; Provide employees and contractors with information and instruction to enhance their awareness of relevant environmental issues, and to ensure effective management of environmental impacts, including impacts on sea turtles and their habitats; Identify an d collaborate with local experts in designing implementing and evaluating our sea turtle p rogram to ensure that it fits within national sea turtle conservation priorities and ongoing initiatives ; Make continual improvements in operations and management ov ersight to increase the effectiveness and reliability of our sea turtle conservation program; Comply with environmental legislation and local best practice policies related to turtles and their habitats ( sandy beaches, seagrass, coral reefs ) and encourage others to do so ; Promote setbacks maintain vegetated buffer zones between buildings and sandy beaches ; Implement measures to minimize waste including apply ing monitoring procedures to ensure that the nesting beach and nearshore waters remain free of debr is and pollut ion ; Conduct regular (at least annual) lighting assessments to identify sources of light pollution, and strive to eliminate artificial light visible from the beach during nesting season; Implement a system that removes potential obstacles to sea turtle nesting, including sunbeds and recreational equipment from the beach each night during the nesting season ; Discourage vehicle s on t he nesting beach and requir e hand raking of debris and seaweed ; Support sea turtle research including o ffering fi nancial or in kind support as practicable ; Report all incidents of sea turtle harassment or harm to the proper authorities

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 10 Check L ist for Implement ing Your Sea Turtle Policy Statement Identify sea turtle nesting habitat on or near my property know when nesting occurs Request assistance from (and compensate) local experts for staff t raining and e valuati on Pre serve native maritime forest; restore vegetative cover near nesting a reas to help stabiliz e the sand as well as further inland to reduce sediment r un off to reefs and seagrass. Stop the mining of sand, gravel and stones from beaches and adjacent areas ; utiliz e alterna tive and more sustainable sources of construction ma terial, and a dvocate for others to do the same Co nduct beachfront lighting assessments at least annually; remove, extinguish, redirect and/or lower light sources to guarantee a dark nesting beach and a dvocate for others to do the same. Share the bea ch! During nesting season r emove obstacles (e.g. sunbeds ) from the beach each night hand rak e beach debris, and restrict or prohibit vehicle use pets and bonfires in nesting areas Provide for ongoing beach cleaning through government and private in itiatives, public aware ness efforts ; provide garbage collection, proper sewage disposal and effluent control Control the numb er of visitors to sensitive areas; implement policies and enforce restrictions. Think outside the beach : implement polic ies to protect inter nesting habitat and feeding grounds, including no wake zones and mooring requirements and enforce restrictions. Provide for dedicated public access lanes to all beaches and, where appropriate, provide facilities for beach users (e. g. parking, safety measures, sanitary facilities, garbage disposal) Plan for existing and future coastline change by positioning all new development large and small, a safe distance landward of the line of permanent vegetation C onsult the Departm ent of Physical Planning and/or relevant studies for information on appropriate setback distances Review and carefully consider all options ( planning, ecological engineering ) when considering ways to slow the rate of coast line change ; monitor chang es and share findings with stakeholders. When considering new construction: co nduct, review and commit to implementation of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Identify and collaborate with sea turtle experts at all stages of planning, construction and operational phases, including for monitoring of impacts. Involve all stakeholders ( G overnment, coastal residents and communities, NGOs beach users SCUBA dive operators ) in the review and permitting process for coastal developments and always ta ke the needs of sea turtles into account! Planning processes should be equitable transparent Involve our guests, clients, staff and contractors in conservation measures through visible personal and c orporate commitment to conservation issues, educati on, and invitations to participat e

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 11 III. SEA TURTLE PRIMER There are seven species of sea turtle in the world and six of these species are found in the Wider Caribbean Region ( see Appendix II and Appendix III). These are, from largest to smallest, the leather back (Dermochelys coriacea), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), and Kemps ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) ranging in size from nearly 1,000 kg in the case of an adult male Leatherback to about 40 kg for an adult ridley Most sea turtles inhabit tropical and subtropical waters. The leatherback has the broadest distribution o f any living reptile, including swimming into subarctic waters. Sandy Caribbean beaches are uniquely valuable in providing nesting habitat for endangered sea turtles, such as these loggerhe ad turtles shown during egg laying (left) and, in hatchling form, scurrying for the sea (right). Photos: Scott A. Eckert ( WIDECAST ). Basic Biology of Sea Turtles Sea turtles are gentle, ancient reptiles adapted to life in the ocean. L ike all reptiles, sea turtles have lungs and must come to the surface regularly to breathe air. With few exceptions, the only time a sea turtle leaves the ocean is to lay eggs. During breeding years, adult sea turtles leave their feeding grounds and migrate hundreds sometimes thousands of kilometers to mating grounds and nesting beaches. No one knows for sure how long sea turtles live, but research shows clearly that sea turtles are slow growing, late maturing, and long lived. Remarkably, s ea turtles are 1 2 to 40 years old depending on the species, before they breed for the fir st time Once mature, a female may nest for two decades or mor e. Nesting behavior is stereotypic ( meaning that basic behaviors do not differ appreciably among species) and generally occurs at night. Having located a suitable site above the tide line, a nest cavity is dug with the rear flippers and 80 200 or more eggs are laid and covered with sand Females typically nest 2 6 times per year at 9 15 day intervals, depending on the species and this cycle is repeated at 2 5 year intervals ( only the smallest of sea turtles, the r idley s, tend to nest every year ).

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 12 A s ea turtle may produce thousands of eggs in her lifetime, but not all of them will hatch. Some will be infertile, some will be lost to erosion or eaten by predators, and others will be collected for human con sumption, often illegally. Hatchlings are eaten in large numbers by predators ; juveniles, too, face many dangers. Scientists estimate that only 1 in every 1, 000 eggs will result in an adult sea turtle Once free from the egg, hatchlings work cooperatively to reach the beach surface. Generally they wait just beneath the surface of the sand for the temperature to cool, and most commonly become visible to beachgoers during the late afternoon or early evening hours. There is no parental car e, and hatchings must find the sea using subtle light cues (orienting to the lowest, brightest horizon). When they reach the water they take advantage of an instinctive wave compass which compels t hem to swim directly into incoming waves. The tiny tur tles then engage in a swim frenzy well known to science, that ultimately leads them into oceanic convergence zones that offer food and shelter during their early years. With the exception of the leatherback (for which almost nothing is known about th e juvenile life stage), y oung s ea turtles return to coastal waters when they are about the size of a small dinner plate after having spent several years on the high seas. Once they return to the coastal zone they assume their adult diets and spend the nex t one to several decades travel ing throughout the Caribbean Sea, slowly growing to maturity. At maturity, adult females return to the area where they were born, sometimes undertaking trans oceanic journeys, to engage in egg laying. Because adults tend to migrate long distances to preferred nesting beaches, nesting populations are often un related ( genetically ) to resident juvenile and adult foraging populations encountered year around in coastal waters Sea Turtle Biology : I nternet Resources WIDECAS T, Caribbean Sea Turtles (including taxonomic keys, terminology and links for further reading ) : http://www.widecast.org/Biology/BasicBiology.html FFWCC Florida Marine Turtle Program (incl uding biology, research, and conservation issues): http://myfwc.com/seaturtle/ WWF, Marine Turtle Programme for Latin American and the Caribbean : http://www.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/marine_turtles/lac_marine_turtle_ programme/ WIDECAST, Caribbean National Sea Turtle Recovery Plans : http://www.widecast.org/Resources/STRAPs.html NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources, US National Sea Turtle Recovery Plans : http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/recovery/plan s.htm#turtles NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources Marine Turtles : http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/ US Fish and Wildlife Service North Florida Field Office, Sea Turtle Information : http://www.fws.gov/northflorida/SeaTurtles/seaturtle info.htm Orientation and Navigation of Sea Turtles (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) http://www.unc.edu/depts/oceanweb/turtles/

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 13 During non breeding seasons, leatherback turtles travel extensively on the high seas in search of jellyfish and related prey. Other species are more likely to be co astal in their habits. Loggerhead and ridley tur tles are omnivores, consuming mollusks, crabs, jellyfish and other invertebrates; fishes and plants are also eaten. The green turtle is an herbivore, preferring to graze in calm shallow seagrass meadows. Hawksbills specialize on coral reef sponges. Because most sea turtles will eat jellyfish, plastic bags pose a serious threat and can be fatal if ingested. Sea turtles play important keystone roles in the marine environment, such as helping to maintain sp ecies diversity in coral reefs. S ea turtles are more easily studied on the nesting beach than at sea however, so comparatively little is known of their non nesting distribution, abundance, and behavior. Research conducted in the Caribbean Sea including capture recapture studies, tissue sampling, tagging and telemetry h as taught us important new facts about patterns of residency, local and international move ments, diet and growth, habitat use, genetic origin, and population status and trend. For m ore detail, please explore http:// www.widecast.org Threats to Sea Turtle Survival In general, and notwithstanding laudable conservation successes, sea turtle populations in the Caribbean Sea and throughout the wo rld are severely reduced from historical levels. According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species ( http://www.iucnredlist.org/ ), persistent over exploitation, especially of adult females on nesting beaches, and the widespread collection of eggs are largely responsible for the Endangered or Critically Endangered status of all six Caribbean species. Some of the largest sea turtle populations the world has ever known once flourished in the Caribbean Sea (for example, the green turtles of the Cayman Islands) and the se have all but vanished. Sea turtles face a variety of dangers, both natural and man made that threaten their existence and result in localized extinctions. Threats acc umulate over long periods of time and can occur anywhere in a populations range Because sea turtles are highly migratory, declines often result from a combin a tion of factors, both domestic and foreign. In addition to a largely un managed harvest that h as spanned centuries, turtles are accidentally captured in active or abandoned fishing gear resulting in death to tens if not hundreds of thousands of turtles each year. Coral reef and seagrass degradation, chemical pollution and marine debris, high de nsity coastal development, and an increase in ocean based tourism are among the many factors that have damaged or eliminated important nesting beaches and feeding areas throughout the Caribbean Sea. International trade in turtle products has also contribu ted to the demise of some species. Sea turtles must return to the land to lay their eggs, and m any contemporary threats are associated with physical development on or near nesting beaches. Perhaps the most pervasive problem is artific ial lighting Sea t urtles orient themselves for the return trip to the ocean by heading toward the lowest, brightest horizon which, under natural circumstances, is the open horizon over the ocean. Artificial lights and their glow confuse both adult females and hatchlings, d isorienting them and luring them away from sea making them more vulnerable to predators, dehydration, exhaustion and an untimely death In addition to lighting, d evelopment often creates unnatural cycles of erosion reducing potential nesting habitat. Many mechanisms influence beach erosion, including the armouring of the shoreline place ment of permanent structures on the beach, and the removal of native vegetation. B each restoration and nourishment are sometimes executed to combat erosion In bring ing foreign sediments to the shore however, beach nourishment can compact the surface of the sand, disturb or bury incubating eggs, and alter sand composition and temperature, potentially skewing the sex ratio of the hatchlings. Ha tchling gender is larg ely determined by the temperature at which eggs incubate: warmer temperatures favour females, while cooler temperatures favour males.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 14 The chronic removal of beach sand scars the terrain, accelerates erosion, and degrades or destroys stabilizing beach veget ation by extraction or saltwater inundation. Sand m ining may also cause the formation of saline ponds in unsightly pits, the loss of trees to the sea, and the elimination of entire beach habitats. The loss of sandy beaches not only reduces the reproducti ve success of sea turtles, but endangers beachfront property and has serious economic implications for locally vital industries such as fishing and coast based tourism. The Caribbean is replete with examples of sand mining operations that have reduced pre viously sandy beach es to rocky shoreline s or foul smelling saline pit s, and eliminat ed once active nesting assemblages of sea turtles Beach erosion exposes sea turtle eggs in Trinidad (photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST) beach sand is mined in M ontserrat ( photo: Corinne Martin Marine Turtle Research Group ) and a local group protests beach sand removal in Bonaire (photo: STCB). Obstructions such as p hysical objects left on the beach at night (e.g. beach chairs umbrellas, sail boats) can prev ent sea turtles from finding suitable nesting habitat and, later, fatally hinder hatchlings from finding their way to the sea Beach driving and the mechanical cleaning of beaches can crush incubating eggs and tire ruts trap hatchlings as they crawl acros s the beach to the sea Improper disposal of waste products also pose a threat L itter can entangle or trap emerging hatchlings, preventing them from reaching the sea. T he smell of garbage draws non native predators such as dogs, raccoons, rats and mo ngoose that eat eggs and hatchlings. Natural predators including ants, vultures, crabs and so on also take a toll. Once at sea, predatory birds and fish prey on hatchlings and larger predatory fish and mammals (such as orca or killer whales) prey on juveniles and adults. Native (vulture ) and introduced ( dog ) predators consume eggs and hatchlings on the nesting beach (p hotos: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST ) and a wide variety of carnivorous fishes (catfish) prey on h atchlings at sea (photo: Jacques Fretey) In addition to predatory birds, fishes and sea mammals turtles also face man induced threats far from shore Large quantities of marine debris a re found in the ocean : p lastic can block the stomach and hinder buoyancy and respiration an d sea turtles can die from eating plastic bags mistaken for jellyfish. Active or abandoned monofilament fishing lines entangle or hook sea turtles, often injuring or slowly killing them, and commercial fishing practices drown a tragically high number of se a turtles every year.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 15 Potentially fatal encounters with fishing line (loggerhead turtle), an abandoned net (olive ridley turtle), and a buoy rope (leatherback turtle). Photos: T. Dellinger, R. L. Pitman, and J. DeSalvo, respectively. Dredging, in discriminate anchoring, blasting and chemical fishing also contribute to sea turtle mortality. Other consequences of general coastal development, such as industrial, residential and agricultural operations, include the runoff of pollutants (e.g. materia ls used in agricultural and industrial processes) and the dumping of untreated or under treated sewage directly into the sea. The addition of organic pollution, nutrients, and sediments encourages algal growth while negatively affecting seagrass beds and coral reefs, both critical habitat s for endangered sea turtles. An oil contaminated environment can be lethal to sea turtles and their eggs. Behavioral experiments indicate that sea turtles possess limited ability to avoid oil slicks. Crude oil signi ficantly affects the skin, some aspects of blood chemistry and composition, respiration, and salt gland function in juvenile sea tur tles, as evidenced by physiological experim ents. Oil and tar fouling can be both internal and external; cleaning is not di fficult but does require expertise. A y oung hawksbill turtle, drenched in tar, is cleaned and later released from Th e Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida (p hoto: The Turtle Hospital ); a giant leatherback turtle fatally injured, is not so fortuna te (photo: P. Miller) ; a g reen turtle is heavily afflicted with fibropapilloma tosis tumors (photo: MarineLife Center of Juno Beach Florida ). Various diseases and parasites affect the health of sea turtles. Fibropapillomatosis, certain species of encrus ting barnacles, blood flukes and roundworms can all cause harm to sea turtles. F ungi and bac teria sometimes invade nests, lowering the probability that the eggs will hatch. Invading plant roots, especially from creeping beach vines, can also engulf and d estroy incubating nests. While the focus of this Manual is on habitat management, with a special emphasis on encouraging beach front properties to adopt and implement a Sea Turtle Policy Statement to minimize development related factors that threaten the survival of sea turtles, it is noteworthy t hat the direct take o f turtles and eggs remains a significant source of mortality in many areas. P artnerships between coastal developers local communities conservation groups, and natural resource management ag encies can lessen or eliminate this threa t for example, n ightly beach patrols and/or guided Turtle Watch es can help protect sea turtles, eggs and hatchlings while at the same time collecting valuable management data, offering

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 16 seasonal employment to comm unity partners and providing an opportunity for guests to interact with local biologists, historians, and other experts while potentially witnessing the nesting process In addition to the consumption of meat and eggs, other products including oil, sk in (leather) and shell may h ave cultural significance, medicinal value, or other utility. Hawksbill shell, in particular, has traditionally been crafted into jewelry and other ornamentation. I nternational trade in hawksbill shell illegal under the te rms of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is widely implicated in th is species decline. Such commerce is significantly reduced today, but tu rtle shell items can still be found for sale in some cou ntries. Vendors should be vigilant about ensuring that turtle shell is not offered for sale to tourists, as depart ing the country with endan gered species products in possession directly violate s internatio nal law. A clock face affixed to a gree n turtle carapace (left photo: courtesy of the CITES Scientific Authority in Aruba) and accessories mad e from hawksbill shell in Mexico ( middle ) and Costa Rica (right) (photos courtesy of WIDECAST) Vendor placard s, available from WIDECAST assur e customers that products derived from endangered sea turtles are not sold. In the chapter that follows priority sea t urtle m anagement issues are presented in greater detail. R ecommendations are given t o assist and encourage the hospitality sector, and managers of beachfront property in particular, in their efforts to reduce mortal threat s posed to sea turtles by construc t ion and vehicles, beach front lighting, beach stabilization and re storation the removal of native vegetation, and other common consequ ences of shoreline development Discussion is also aimed at pre construction phase s. In each case, r ecommendation s are followed by suggestions for further reading and links to online reference materials.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 17 IV. SEA TURTLE MANAGEMENT ISSUES In support of an internally adopted Sea Turtle Policy Statement ( see Section II), beachfront property owners and managers can take practical steps to enhance the survival prospects of endangered sea turtles nesting on or adjacent to their properties. In addition to the positive effect on sea turtles, benefits range from c ost savings including greater energy efficiency and/or lower water use to stronger partnerships with local communities (including native plant ven dors, artisans, historians, suppliers, tour guides, youth and conservation groups law enforcement ) great er staff involvement in conservation and com munity issues, unique guest experiences, and progress toward certain industry certifications. We hope th at the rec ommendations presented herein will inspire additional steps, large and small, that can be accomplished within an EMS context and with an aim to meaningfully and measurably improve sea turtle survival for the benefit of generations present and fut ure. PreConstruction Phase The pre construction phase is the most important phase for environmental planning and for establish ing a clear commitment to best practices ; this is the phase where the placement of roads and buildings and patterns of access are established by design In addition, it is in the pre construction phase that work ers typically bulldoze access roads, cut bush, fell native trees, dig trenches, burn debris and may in general be subject to less supervision than the more skilled worke rs that follow them. Strict guidelines and the will and the capacity to enforce them are needed during th e pre construction phase, both on the part of Government and, equally important, at the h ighest levels of property owner ship and management We recommend that developers and other stakeholders identify and approach local sea turtle experts (visit http://www.widecast.org/Who/Contact.html for contact information) early in the planning sta ges to discuss relevant issues, and to facilitate awareness and knowledge of practical solutions to potential threats to sea turtles resulting from the d evelopment scheme. From a beach protection standpoint, adequate setbacks are the most important aspect of any development, followed by proper attention to access roads and drainage, minimizing vegetation losses, and emphasizing the importance of keeping sandy beach es and associated dunes unlit and in their natural state. Without a serious evaluation of th e environment and terrain of access roads leading to key parts of the resort ( including sandy beaches ) gullies, dams and barriers may be inadvertently created or deviated and, as an unwanted consequence, the beach may be badly damaged by heavy rains. R esu lting sediment plumes can affect nesting sites and adjoining marine habitats, including seagrass and coral reefs, and these can be severely degraded by new drainage patterns that carve through the beach, wash away vegetation erode enormous volumes of sand and undermin e the root s ystems of even the l arge st trees. These issues should be addressed in an independent Environmental Impact Assessment, transparently re viewed and adhered to. There is no single source for information on best practices for Caribbe an coastal construction, and relevant laws and policies differ from one country to another. But o ne thing is always true: it is cheaper to do it right the first time. Early planning to meet conservation goals pays its own dividends in eliminating the ne ed to revise, retrofit and re engineer. Pre construction measures that should be accomplished to facilitate achieving e nvironmental goals and prevent excess impacts include p lanning ( project design can reduce impacts ), s cheduling ( determining most appr opriate/inappropriate times for project activities; e.g. avoiding sea turtle nesting and hatching seasons), o perational details ( considering the manner in which project activities are carried out ; e.g., with minimal land clearing hand clearing vs. bulldo zing, etc.), and technological considerations (e.g. using

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 18 control devices to prevent or restrict the release of deleterious substances; for example, use of filters and scrubbers, etc.) Security personnel during this phase should be trained to view the d estruction of sea turtles and their habitats as an undesirable and unacceptable outcome, if not a criminal act. Safeguarding environmental assets, including an uncontaminated water table, clean sandy beaches and erosion control, sediment filtration and s hade provided by native vegetation, may not be intuitive (or even a high priority ) for a develop er. Moreover, n ational expertise may not be available to properly evaluate the scheme proposed. Therefore, establishing partnerships with experts and advocate s is important. A sk colleagues for recommend ations. Expertise can also be sourced from the UNEP Caribbean Environ ment Programme ( http://www.cep.unep.org/issues/czm.html ), OECS Environment and Sust ainable Development Unit ( http://www.oecs.org/esdu/index.html ), Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism ( http://www.cha cast.com/ ), Caribbean Development Bank ( http://www.caribank.org ) and its Register of Consultants, UNDP in Latin America / Caribbean ( http://www.undp.org/regions/latinamerica/ ), Caribbean Environmen tal Health Institute ( http://www.cehi.org.lc/ ), eLAW: Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide ( http://www.elaw.org/ ), experienced faculty of the regions many universities, and so on. Experience has shown that it can be very useful to bring stakeholders and experts together through the formation of a local A dvisory G roup able to contribute in a positive way to ensuring a desired degree of procedural transparency, identifying soluti ons to a broader range of environmental challenges than can be addressed in this Manual, and then serving as or overseeing an independent monitoring body. The A dvisory G roup should be able to invite additional expertise, facilitate greater public awareness of key issues, and communicate effectively within and among affected sectors. We hope that in reading through the sections that follow, developers and their advisors and contractors will be moved to take early action to forge partnerships with conservat ion experts, consider carefully the environmental consequences of access roads, drainage designs and deforestation, take into account the various recommendations of this Manual and take pride in their role as sea turtle stewards. Getting Started: Inter net Resources NOAA Ocean and Costal Resource Management, Planning, Policy and Regulatory Approaches to Shoreline Management : http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/initi atives/shoreline_ppr_overview.html UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme, Coastal Zone Management : http://www.cep.unep.org/issues/czm.html Island Resources Foundation, E nvironmental Planning, Susta inable Development and Impact Assessment in the insular Caribbean : http://www.irf.org/mission/planning/pubs.php A Note about Internet Resources : Each topic is followed by links to more detaile d information avail able on the Internet As an example, see Getting Started: Internet Resources above. The name of the host organization, as well as the title of the page or article, is presented. S pecific Internet address es may become inactive over time, but t he information you seek is most likely still available A ccess the host organization (e.g. WIDECAST, UNESCO CSI, NOAA, Surfrider Foundation), then search for the subject of interest. To minimize the probability that Internet information will disappear we have confined our links to w ellestablished programs; for example, UNESCOs Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small I slands program NOAAs Ocean and Coastal Resource Management program etc The Manual is concise by design and intent, but the issues are complex Stakeholders should always identify local experts, create partnerships, and actively seek information on current (and sometimes evolving) best practices.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 19 Construction Setbacks Hawksbill sea turtle s (left: Jumby Bay, Antigua) often seek the shelter of vegetation, while green sea turtle s (right: Mona Island, Puerto Rico) tend to prefer the open beach platform. Photos: Scott A. Eckert (WIDECAST). Many sea turtle species preferentially select wide, obstacle free beaches for nesting. Losses to erosion and salt water inundation are less likely to occur in nests located on the higher areas of the beach. Coastal development, especially beachfront development, can reduce the quantity and quality of available n esting habitat. Physical development, including construction, equipment storage and landscaping, ap propriately set back from the sandy beach is the best way to promote continued nesting by sea turtles. Most shorelines continuously change due to the n ature of wave action, making s etbacks desirable to protect both beachfront property and sea turtle nesting habitat, as well as to protect pristine vistas that enhance the tourist experience. Specific characteristics of the beach and backshore environments must be considered in determining an appropriate setback. Setback limits should reflect any potential damage that a major storm can cause to the beach and its surrounding areas. Areas of vegetation sand dunes and lawns located between buildings and th e beach also need to be considered in establishing the setback. According to Cambers (1998a,b), coastal setback provisions ensure that development is prohibited in a protected zone adjacent to the water's edge Setbacks are often defined as a prescri bed distance to a coastal feature (such as the line of permanent vegetation see Wason and Nurse 1994 ), within which all or certain types of development are prohibited. Coastal development setback guidelines differ depending on shoreline characteristics a nd typically range from 15 m to 100 m from the line of permanent vegeta tion. The shortest setback distances are typically associated with cliffed coasts or low rocky shores, while longer distances are typically associated with less predictable sandy shore s. Setbacks serve several widely recognized functions: Setbacks provide buffer zones between the ocean and coastal infrastructure, within which the beach zone may expand or contract naturally without the need for seawalls and other structures that may i mperil an entire beach system Setbacks reduce damage to beachfront property during hi gh wave events, such as hurricanes Setbacks provide improved vi stas and access along the beach

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 20 Setbacks provide privacy for the occupiers of coastal property and also for persons enjoying the b each for recreation The grassy lawn landward of the maritime forest serves as a buffer zone on Disneys Vero Beach Resor t in Florida ( left p hoto: Ga Young Choi) as opposed to the more traditiona l style of Caribbean beachfront development sited directly on the beach ( middle photo: Barbados Sea Turtle Project ) P rivate homes in Antigua effectively utilize native shrubbery to shield the nesting beach from light and activity ( r ight photo: Jumby Bay Island Company) Ideally native vegetation and especially woody vegetation (which stab ilizes the beach zone) should remain in place, as opposed to being cleared for beautification purposes or to make room for shoreside developmen t. S ome sea turtles prefer to nest in the vegetation, and others tend to nest in front of the vegetation t he farther the vegetation is cleared from the water, the f u rther an egg bearing female ha s to crawl to reach a favorable nesting site. The setba ck area can be t hought of as a buffer zone an area that can be utilized for activities that have minimal effects on sea turtles. Within this zone, salt tolerant native species and ornamental land scaping can help minimize the potentially negative effec ts (e.g., lighting) of the primary development. A lawn style buffer zone is an option better suited for large properties, but with the caveat that d ense ornamental grasses can prevent sea turtles from successfully digging a nest and therefore such plant ings should not extend to the beach boundary Non native g rasses often require excessive water and fertilizer, as well. Landscaping with native shrubby can block or reduce light pollution while at the same time demarcating a property boundary without fu rther reducing nesting habitat. As a bonus, native shrubbery can actually provide important nesting habitat, as in the case of hawksbill sea turtles which tend to select sites within beach vegetation to deposit their eggs ( Witzelll 1983, Meylan and Redlow 2006) Cambers (1998a,b) suggests that one possible development option for the buffer zone might be a small individual building made of wood and with no concrete foundations, to be used exclusively as a restau rant and/or bar on the grounds that their economic viability depends on their proximity to the beach, with a setback for these structures established at 8 m landward of the vegetation line. The challenge s in this case would be to limit artificial lighting on the beach (see Beachfront Lighting) and to ensure that the structure d id not hinder access to suitable nesting habitat. R emember t he more dynamic the beach is, the more area of setback is necessary In the absence of a setback, sea turtle conservation goals are more difficult to achieve. Benefits of Implementation In addition to protecting sea turtle nesting habitat, construction setbacks have been shown to significant ly reduce the risk of property damage due to shoreline erosion ( e.g. Cambers 1997, Clark 1996, 1998, McKenna et al. 20 00, Cambers et al. 2008).

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 21 In the absence of construction setbacks, beachfront property is highly vulnerable to damage from natural erosion and storm cycles, as illustrated by this Four Seasons Hotel in Nevis pictured before and after Hurricane Luis. Photos: Gillian Cambers ( UNDP ) Coastal Setbacks: Internet Resources Coastal Ecology of T he Bahamas, Best Management Practices for Site Design and Construction : http://henge.bio.miami.edu/coastalecology/sustainable%20development/Best%20Practices. htm UNESCO CSI, Coastal Setback Provisions : http://www.unesco.org/csi/pub/info/info49.htm Government of Barbados (Coastal Zone Management Unit), Coastal Setbacks : http://www.coastal.gov.bb/info.cfm?category=2&catinfo=9 NOAA Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, Construct ion Setbacks : http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/initiatives/shoreline_ppr_setbacks.html Beachfront Lighting A pervasive challenge throughout the Caribbean r e gion is light pollution, which can be defined as t he introduction of artificially produced light into areas where it is neither needed nor desired A t nesting beaches light pollution is known to modify sea turtle behavior For example, a rtificial lighting onshore can dis courage egg bearing females from coming ashore to nest ( Witherington 1992 ) Beachfront lighting strongly affects sea turtle hatchlings misdirecting them inland and away from the sea. Therefore, b y depositing her eggs in lighted areas, the female may also endanger the lives of her hatchlings ( for example, see studies by Witherington and Bjorndal 1991a,b) Ha tchlings immediately orient themselves towards the ocean under natural (unlit) conditions, because the brightest direction is the o pen horizon of the sea. When artificial light becomes the brightest horizon hatchlings can become either misdirected (move in the wrong direction) or disorientat ed ( unable to orient in one constant direc tion), causing the hatchlings to suffer high levels of mortality due to predation and dehydration. Bonf ire s are also a concern, as hatchlings can be attracted to and burned by the flames (Mortimer 1979).

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 22 Beachfront hotel lighting can confuse and disorient nesting sea turtles and their young, and is a common threat to sea turtle survival in the Caribbean region (photos: John Knowles The Nature Conservancy ) Fortunately, reducing light pollution is among the most manageable of conservation practi ces Artificial light does not need to be eliminated if proper light management techniques are adopted Artificial light only becomes a problem if the light or glow from the source can be seen from the beach during nesting and hatching seasons. Probl em light sources directly or indirectly produce a glow on the beach that can negatively influence sea turtle behavior. Direct lighting is a source that is visible from the beach, while indirect light ing illumi nate s buildings and landscaping which can be seen on the beach. The cumulative effect of lights from an area creates a sky glow that can also affect sea turtles. Sky g low can emanate from lights located inside and outside of buildings, as well as from street lights and recreational facilities (e.g. tennis courts base ball fields) several miles away. Hotel and resort projects in their initial stages of development should be encouraged to incorporate good lighting techniques into their building plans. The best practice is to prohibit lights near the nesting beach area. While it may not be practical in many cases to eliminate all lights near the beach d evelopers are often receptive to new ideas when informed about beach lighting and its potential consequences. With this in mind, h oteliers and d evelopers, along with their architects, should discuss t heir lighting plans with local and regional experts. Developers should also be aware that Caribbean governments are increasingly requiring sea turtle friendly lighting for all new beachfront develop ment. The following discussion of Inspections and Corrective Measures i s taken from the authoritative source on this subject : Witherington and Martin (2000). Inspections Existing hotels and resorts can take several steps to manage light pollution. Conducting an inspection is the first of these steps. First, demarcate the area to be inspected (e.g. the boundary lines of the hotel property ) so that a census o f the types, locations and number s of light sources observable from the beach can be condu cted The surveyor should conduct a preliminary daytime inspection to determine the exact locations of light sources that may be harder to verify in the dark. Along with placement, the sur veyor should include detailed descriptions so that each light sou rce can be located during follow up inspections in the future This process entails sketches, descriptions of the light sources (type of light, mounting), and photographs. The surveyor may also remark about how specific problems can be cor rected (e. g. that the light can be turned off, shielded, or redirected).

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 23 Because the effects of some light sources, particularly indirect sources, are difficult to evaluate during the day a night time inspection (preferably on a moonless night) follows the daytime inspection, u sing notes taken during the day as a guide. Night time inspections involve searching for visible light while walking the length of the nesting beach. Each source of light is categorized as either direct or indirect de pending on how it a ppears on the beach. If the observer notices a bulb or glow from a light source, then this source qualifies as a direct source. If an illuminated building or landscaping is visible from the beach, the illumination is described as an indirect source. Th e surveyor should also note the location of the light source, mounting (porch, pole), style of fixture, lamp type and color, and the number of lights. Photographing these sources at night is very useful. For indirect sources, the surveyor should take no te of lit buildings and the angle of illumination. In a follow up daytime inspection, a potential source for the indirect illumination should be determined, and property owners alerted to options to rectify the problem. A comprehensive lighting inspectio n should occur at least annually, just prior to the nesting season. A follow up nigh t t ime inspection should always occur two weeks after the initial inspection in order to identify lights that may have been missed previously. Two supplementary inspectio ns during peak nesting and hatching periods will alert managers in a timely way to new and/or unexpected lighting problems on their own or adjoining properties Potentially p roblematic lights should be remedied quickly, before they affect sea turtle behav ior. The Bucuti Beach Resort ( Aruba ) has incorporated many ecologically sound management schemes in addition to providing support to local sea turtle conservation organizations Th e resort is continually looking to better its property, including assessing the costs and benefits of replacing existing outdoor lights with more sea turtle friendly low pressure sodium lights. Photo: Ga Young Choi. Corrective M easures All artificial lights can affect sea turtle behavior, but through certain manage ment techniques, hotels and resorts can effectively reduce or eliminate potential harm. The following are recommendations for out door or external lights on hotel property. After the property makes alterations to the lighting scheme, a night time inspect ion and regular follow up inspections (see above) should take place to verify the effectiveness of the new lighting.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 24 Priority Recommendations Invest in Alterative Light Sources Sea turtles are less sensitive to certain types (and color s) of lights. All metal hyalites can have adverse effects on sea turtles and should be replaced as a priority. High pressure sodium vapor lights also strongly affect sea turtles and should only be used in areas not visible on the beach. Incandescent lights have mo derate effects on sea turtle behavior, except for bug lights which are t inted yellow. Low pressure sodium vapor lights (LPS) are the least detrimental to sea turtles. Monochromatic yellow in color, LPS lights have the longest wavelengths, which sea tur tles do not detect as readily. The best choice, if light is necessary, is often LPS lighting. Lower Lights The most visible lights (from a beach standpoint) are lights mounted high on b uildings or poles. In many cases, simply lowering the height of th e light may solve the problem. Lowering and directing light to precisely where it is needed can also be more a esthetically pleasing, more functional, and more cost efficient from an energy usage standpoint. Use Directional Fixtures Some lights, such a s carriage lights or globe lights, disperse light in every direction. Be thoughtful about your lighting! Do you really need to illuminate (and pay for!) the entire night sky? Directional fixtures applied to broadcast lights can focus the light downwards and away from areas visible from the beach. Shield Lights Shielding an open light source may reduce the amount of light directed onto the beach. Simple screens (such as the use of aluminum flashing) or planting vegetation (such as an ornamental hedge) can effectively shield lights. Be creative! Soften lights with locally made basket shades, make greater use of wall sconces, and/ or recess lighting in architectural ele ments. If shielding is impractical, then these light s may need to be substituted with lower, directional lighting. Install Motion Sensitive Lights When night time lighting is indispensable, particularly from a security standpoint, installing lights with motion detectors reduces their detrimental effect on sea turtles because of the relatively brief duration of their illumination. Moreover, motion sensitive lighting carries the element of surprise convey ing a distinct advantage to posted guards who remain in the shadows. Motion lighting provides light only when necessary, and is idea l for low traffic areas. Remove Unnecessary Lights Lighting inspections may determine that some lights are unneces sary or redundant and can be removed or turned off, saving money and benefiting b oth ambiance and sea turtles. Try to avoid the use of pur ely decorative lighting, such as lights that highlight vegetation, in places that can be seen from the beach. General Options and Recommendations Time Restrictions Restrict usage or extinguish lights during peak sea turtle nesting and h atching season s, and especially during peak hatching hours (typically 711 PM) when hatchlings are most likely to emerge from their nests. Area Restrictions Limit beach lighting to areas of the beach that are not used by se a turtles, keeping in mind that even dista nt light sources can influence hatchling orientation. Window Treatments Interior lights, especially from high rise buildings, can strongly affect hatchling behavior. H oteliers can remedy this problem in various ways, including the use of black out dra peries (or heavy, opaque curtains), shade screens, and/or tinting or using shading film on windows. Guests need to be reminded to close the drapes during sensitive hours. If window -

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 25 tinting is an option, tint the windows to meet the 45% light transmittanc e from inside to outside standards th is will reduce light leakage, as well as decrease energy loss and cooling co sts. Vegetation Plant a decor ative vegetation buffer between the beach and any buildings, with the specific aim of blocking light emanating from built structures. Use native plant species whenever possible (see also Construction Setbacks). Worst Best Lighting Techniques Always consider where light is actually needed, and install lighting to meet th at need (s ource : Witherington and Ma rti n, 2000) Benefits of Implementation Reduce electrical demand by eliminating unnecessary lights utilizing motion sensitive lights, replacing incandescent lights with low pressure sodium (LPS) lights etc Initial costs may be high, but the invest ment is repaid by reducing the frequency with which light bulbs need to be replaced and reducing energy costs. If supplies for alternative lighting schemes are locally unavailable, consider network ing with other hotels and develop ing a bulk supply order. N egotiate with the hotel association, tourism development agency, or other industry group to import the supplies at discounted rates. Responding to Disoriented Turtles During sea turtle nesting and hatching season s the grounds should be inspected daily, b oth during the night and in the early morning to rescue any adults or hatchlings that may have crawled inland. This task can be delegated to security officers, grounds staff, or any person routinely on hotel premises early

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 26 in the morning. Contribute to the national database by reporting sightings as well as incidents of d is rientation to the appropriate management agency or conservation organization. Adult Turtles The following are helpful in ensuring the safety of a disoriented turtle: T urn off the offending lights to help the animal regain her bearings ; quietly position yourself landward of the turtle to block her path away from the sea; clear any obstacles in her path; direct her movements with a dim flashlight (take care not to shine it directly in her face); allow her to crawl unassisted; and monitor her progress until she re enters the sea Hatchling Turtles Hatchlings rescued during the night or early morning hours should be allowed to crawl unassisted to the sea. Hatchlings r escued later in the day (when the sun and sand are hot) should be placed in a shaded bucket or cooler with slightly damp beach sand; at nightfall, they can be released at the site of hatching (with the offending lights turned off ) or at a nearby locale with natural dark ambi a nce. In either case, hatchlings should be allowed to crawl unassisted across the beach to the sea. The beach crawl helps them to get their bearings. During the release, fo llow the same recommendations as above for adult turtles. Turn off lights f lashlights, and flash cameras. D o not place hatchlings directly in the surf Under no circumstances should hatchlings be retained as pets, for display or for profiteering. Hatch lings benefit from residual yolk that is internalized at hatching and is su fficient under natural conditions to nourish them during their offshore swim (see Basic Biology of Sea Turtles). If held captive during their earliest days, hatchlings may fall short of their swimming goal and meet an untimely death. More questions? Model studies, including lighting inspection methodology for Caribbean properties and easy to follow, fixture specific recommendations for problematic lights, are provided in Knowles (200 7 ) and Lake and Eckert (2009) both of which are downloadable at ht tp:// www.widecast.org Disneys Vero Beach Resort (Florida) has implemented low pressure sodium (LPS) vapor lights low a nd close to the ground to illuminate all walkways (left p hoto: Ga Young Choi) T he US Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with Sea Grant and WIDECAST has created switchplate stickers to remind hotel guests to turn their lights off during peak nesting and hatching periods

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 27 Beachfront Lighting : Internet Resources Witherington and Martin (2000) Understanding, Assessing and Resolving Light Pollution Problems on Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches : http://research.myfwc.com/publications/publication_info.asp?i d=39080 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Florida Marine Turtle Program (including Marine Turtles & Lights ) : http://myfwc.com/seaturtle/ FFWCC/USFWS, Wildlife Lighting Certification Program: http://www.myfwc.com/conservation/Conservation_LivingWith_WildlifeLighting_index.htm WIDECAST, Conservation Threats and Solutions : http://www.widecast.org/Conservation/Threats.html International Dark Sky Association (including approved fixtures): http://www.darksky.org/ Starry Night Lights (inclu ding approved fixtures): http://www.starrynightlights.com/ Beach Sand Mining We recommend that beach sand mining be prohibited by law. Because m ining removes sand from the coastal system as a whole and may ultimately affect beach properties distant from the mining lobbying for holistic regulations and enforcement is important Sp ecific sites, preferably inland deposits, should be designated for sand mining e x traction fees should be implemented and p ermit conditions e nforced N atural beach sand deposits are important for recreation by residents and tourists and serve as a barrier against storm waves, thus protecting coastal residences and commercial investment. Sand is important as a raw material for cement but chronic removal of sand for construction and othe r purpos es can accelerate beach erosion and degrade or destroy coastal vegetation by uprooting it or flooding the ground with seawater. In severe cases, saline ponds are formed in unsightly pits left by mining oper ations, shoreline trees and other stabiliz ing vegetation are lost to the sea, and entire beach habitats are eliminated. Beach sand mining degrades sea turtle nesting habitat in Nevis (photo: Alicia Marin) and Sint Eustatius (photo: STENAPA).

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 28 Beach sand removal has reached crisis proportions in many area of the Caribbean ( e.g. Cambers 1997). Islands, in particular, are replete with examples of sand mining operations that have reduced previously sandy beaches to rocky shoreli nes or foul smelling saline pits and eliminated once active nesting assem blages of sea turtles. Loss of sandy beaches not only reduces the reproductive success of sea turtles and endangers beachfront property but it has ser ious economic implications for vital sectors such as fishing and coast based tourism. Benefits of Implementation The use of beach sand in construction provides inferior results, including corrosion of steel support ele ments and electrical components. By using high quality, legal ag gregate developers achieve better con struction with less impact on fragile coastal resources and help to protect sea turtle nesting habitat. Beach Sand Mining: Internet Resources UNESCO CSI, Coping with Erosion (Case 6: Where Sand has been Mined from the Beach ): http://www.unesco.org/csi/pub/source/ero1.htm UNESCO CSI Managing Beach Resources in the Smaller Caribbean Islands : http://www.unesco.org/csi/pub/papers/papers13.htm Beach Maintenance S ea turtles return predictably to sandy beaches to lay their eggs. At the same time restaurants h otels, resorts, and other service providing businesses take advantage of and re ly on these same beaches to appeal to beachgoers and tourists. With a little effort and t o the benefit of both, businesses and sea turtles can share the beach. Emphasiz ing b est practices with regard to beach maintenance not only enhance s the beauty of these areas and safeguards their utility for sea turtle reproduction but can also improve the health and safety of beaches for residents and tourists a like. A leatherback turtle crawls ashore to nest: i f she encounters a major obstacle, such as a storage building, a fence or stone wall, a sailboat or swimming pool she may be unable to locate a suitable nest site. Similarly, small h atchlings ca n become trapped and disoriented by obstacles. Photos : Benoit deThoisy French Guiana (left) and Jenny Freestone Antigua (right)

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 29 The following are recommendations for safeguarding nesting habitat including beach cleaning evalua ting the need for beach restoration and stabilization structures, managing traffic patterns, and more. In each case, suggesti ons on overcoming the most common challenges are provided. O bstacles to N esting Hotels and resorts often provide guests with beach chairs and umbrellas. If these remain on the beach at night, t hey may block egg laden females from suitable nesting sites or confuse hatchlings attemp ting to find the sea. B each furniture, recreational equipment (e.g. sailboats) and other large objects should be removed from the beach before nightfall. To the extent practicable, furniture and equipment should be removed ma nually because vehicles can compact surface sand and crush incubating eggs. If beach furniture cannot be removed from the beach entirely, consider stacking it. Furniture left on the beach can deter females from reaching nesting areas above the high wa ter line (Figure 1), whereas stacked furniture (Figure 2) is less likely to have the same effect. F urniture should be arranged so that the shortest side faces the water. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: http://myfwc.com/seaturtle/beach%20activities/beach_furniture.htm Umbrella sleeves o r permanent holders can offer additional protection against nest damage by ensuring that umbrellas will not be thrust into a nest area. Umbrellas that fasten onto other furniture present another practical alternative. Ideally, a sea turtle expert should b e recruited (or trained in house) to monitor the beach, make note of the position of new nests, obscure (rub out) the nesting crawl if poaching is a threat, and clearly block off these nests every morning before guests or staff begin to re establish the be ach furniture. With the help of local conservation groups, beachfront hotels and resorts can promote nest protection using any one of several techniques that prevent beachgoers from accidentally damaging the incubating eggs. These techniques can includ e m arkings and signs that caution beachgoers to sensitive habitat, and can be informative in terms of letting the public know that sea turtle eggs are incubating. Signage can also inform tourists that chairs and umbrellas should be established at least 2 m (6 feet) from marked sea turtle nests in order to prevent the accidental puncture of eggs or compaction (crushing) of the nest.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 30 Cautionary not es: if egg poaching is a threat, nest locatio ns should not be marked Eggs should never be handled (such as w ith the intent of relocating them to hatchery enclosures) without appropriate permits from Government and without explicit training and oversight by local sea turtle experts. Internationally accepted protocols should be adopted (e.g., Eckert et al. 1999, Wood 2004, Stapleton and Eckert 2008). The hotels on Eagle Beach (Aruba) support the efforts of local conservation groups to protect turtle nests from beach traffic The barricades (left) prevent people from accidentally trampling on the nest. Signs affixed to each barricade ( middle ) describe appropriate behavior around nesting turtles and hatchlings. The barricaded nests generate curiosity amongst tourists, who eagerly await the emergence of hatchlings (right) Photos: Ga Young Choi. In the a bsence of any mitigative action, experience shows that sea turtles can be mortally harmed on beaches strewn with recreational equipment and other potential obstacles to nesting. Beach chairs, umbrellas, boats and kayaks act as obstacles to nesting an d hatching sea turtles (left photo: Ga Young Choi) and C an be fatal as in this case (right) where a n egg laden female was impaled in a beach chair while attempting to nest in Florida (photo: Zo Bass, Coastal Wildlife Club, Inc.). L itter and Debris The ubiquitous presence of marine debris, coupled with its physical, ecological and socio economic complexities, poses a severe threat to the sustainability of the worlds natural resources Marine debris man made object s that enter the marine environment t hrough careless handling or disposal, intentional or unintentional release or as a result of natural disasters and storms is one of the oceans most pervasive, yet potentially solvable, pollution problem s ( e.g ., Coe and Rogers 1997, Sheavly 2007). Litt er and debris along the coast, including on sea turtle nesting beaches, soon makes its way to the sea where tu rtles and other marine creatures may consume it and be injured or killed as a result Since b oth sea turtles and the tourism industry not to me ntion the broader ocean benefit from clean sandy beaches it is important to remove (and dispose of) litter and debris in an environmentally sound way

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 31 Beach cleaning should be accomplished by n on mechanized raking and litter removal. EMS protocols sh ould emphasize the importance of b each cleaners r eport ing any evidence of sea turtle crawl ing nest ing egg poaching, or hatching before the evidence is d isturbed by raking Cleaning equipment s hould only be used outside of the sea turtle nesting season: t ractors compact sand and can crush incubating eggs making it more difficult for females to nest and for hatchlings to e merge successfully (p hoto: Frankston City Council, Australia ) Hand raking is a n environmentally friendly alternative ( p hoto: Turtugaruba Found a tion, Aruba). Heavy machinery can compact sand, destroy nests, a nd leave deep grooves that trap hatchlings as they crawl to the sea. If the use of mechanical equipment cannot be avoided during the nesting season: Cleaning should only take place at or below the high tide line and only during the day Cleaning equipment should not penetrate more than 2 inches int o the sa nd Collected debris and trash should be disposed o f properly, away from the beach C leaning equipment should be kept at least 3 m ( 10 feet ) from salt tolerant beach plants Hoteliers can take preventative measures to reduce the amount of garbage dis carded on or near nesting beaches by the convenient placement of waste receptacles. Receptacles must be emptied often so as not to become unsightly and/or attract unwanted predators ( including dogs, mongoose, rats, foxes vultures and seagulls) of sea tur tle eggs and hatchlings. Equally important are efforts to reduce waste generation in accordance with EMS, in all aspects of facility operations For example, reducing the amount of plastic used by the hotel will reduce potential plastic waste on the b each. To the end, Disneys Vero Beach Resort (located on an important nesting beach in Florida ) has eliminated the use of plastic lids and straws, offering reusable cups and glasses instead (Denise Leeming, Disneys Vero Beach Resort, personal communicati on) Organizing a beach clean up offers a way for staff, members of the local community, conservation part ners, and even guests and clients to become involved in keeping the nesting beach safe for sea turtles and sanitary for beachgoers. In house opti ons may require that a di fferent department take turns perhaps on a monthly basis during the nesting season, organizing an employeesponsored beach cleanup Inviting guests to participate might involve offering, on a lottery basis, a complementary meal or nights stay when they book a future vacation. It is a common occurrence throughout the Caribbean that local conservation groups in partnership with youth, organize community sponsored beach clean up s, enticing volunteers with incentives such as fre e prizes and food. Members of the hospitality sector often become involved in these campaigns by paying for garbage bags, sponsoring bus transportation or water for volunteers, or donating prizes. Joining the International Coastal Cleanup (see Internet Resources) links your efforts to global databases.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 32 Youth participating in community organized clean ups of sea turtle nesting beaches on Union Island, Saint Vincent (photo: Environmental Attackers), Nevis (photo: Nevis Turtle Group) and Rosalie Bea ch, Dominica (photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST). Beach Cleaning : Internet Resources Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Share the Beach G uidelines for Beach Cleaning d uring Sea Turtle Nesting Season : http://www.myfwc.com/WILDLIFEHABITATS/Seaturtle_BeachCleaning.htm Surfrider Foundation Beach Grooming : http://www.surfrider.org/a z/beach_groom ing.php Surfrider Foundation Marine Debris : http://www.surfrider.org/a z/marine_debris.php NOAA Marine Debris ( including definitions, types and components, sources, movement, and impacts ) : http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/marinedebris101/mdinfo.html The Ocean Conservancy, International Coastal Cleanup (register and get involved!): http://www.oceanconservancy.org/site/PageServer?pagename=icc_home Katelios Group (Greece), Education A Decal ogue for Tourists : http://www.kateliosgro up.org/decalogue.htm Beach Sta bilization Most Caribbean beaches are naturally dynamic. To protect commercial investments such as beachfront hotels, from cycles of erosion and accretion, beach stabilization typically involves the use of breakwaters, jetties, impermeable groynes and/or seawalls. However, t hese structures are expensive and can be less effective in the long term than certain alternatives, such as the use of construction setbacks (see Con struction Setbacks) Moreover, because they in terfere with the natural longshore transport of sediment, the armoring of one beach segment often result s in the starvation and eventual loss of other beaches down current (e.g., Green e 2002) In addition, the armoring of beaches can limit or eliminate access to sea turtles seeking a suitable incubation environment for their eggs According to Cambers (1998b), One of the dominant characteristics of beaches is their constant changes in form, shape and sometimes the very material of which they are comp osed. The best way to conserve beaches is to allow them the space to move in a seaward direction when sand is building up (accretion) and in a landward direction during erosion phases. The prudent use of coastal development setbacks or establishing a saf e distance between buildings and the active beach zone can ensure that space is provided for a beach to move naturally, both during normal events and infrequent hurricanes, thereby ensuring the beach is conserved for all to enjoy and that coastal infrastru cture remains intact.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 33 Beac h armoring, such as this seawall (left) can worsen localized erosion and reduce sea turtle n esting habitat while jetties (right) disrupt longshore sand transport and starve down current beach segments, also reducing sea turtle nesting habitat (photos: F lorida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute http://research.myfwc.com/gallery/ ). C oastal armoring structures impede sea turtle reproduction b y limiting access to suitable nest sites; e.g. egg laden f em ales cannot reach favorable habitat above the high tide mark due to barricades and sea walls. On some beaches, stabilizing structures have inhibited all sea turtle nesting activity (Steinitz et al. 1998). The disruption of the sand distribution cycle also impacts other sea life; for example, armoring alters coastal currents, influencing algae density and distribution (e.g. Fletcher et al. 1997). The better solution to beach maintenance is an enforced construction setback adequate to reduce or eliminate the risk of losing coastal buildings to routine erosion or violent storms. We recommend, from a policy standpoint, that national planning legislation adopt a strong stance regarding setbacks for beach front development and require mixed species vegetated buffer zones between built facilities and sandy beach platforms. Setbacks not only help to protect coastal properties from storm damage, but lessen the likelihood that local residents will be excluded from the beach and enhance the probability that artif icial lighting will not shine directly on the beach (see Beachfront Lighting). Beach Stabilization : Internet Resources UNESCO CSI Coastal Erosion (including publications on coastal development and setback guidelines for Caribbean nations, as well as strategies and wise practices for coping with beach erosion) : http://www.unesco.org/csi/theme/them2.htm UNESCO CSI, Coping with Beach Erosion ( determine your Vulnerability Index, see Chapte r 2 and Appendix I ): http://www.unesco.org/csi/pub/source/ero1.htm NOAA, Shoreline Management ( Alternatives to Hardening the Shore ) : http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/shoreline.html Western Carolina University Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines ( including reports and documents on coastal hazards, beach nourishment, beach preservation, and beach stabilization ) : http://psds.wcu.edu Surfrider Foundation, Shoreline Structures (including an overview of the issue, environmental impacts and policy responses): http://www.surfrid er.org/structures/index.asp

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 34 Beach R estoration 2 The linkages between development and the persistence of sandy beaches are complex, and should be considered with care before construction near sandy beaches is permitted or undertaken If dunes are leveled vegetation removed and/or solid jetties or seawalls constructed, the likelihood of committing the owners to repetitive and increasingly expensive beach renourishment is heightened. R ebuild ing a natural beach is costly and often in effective. The force s precipitating the erosion generally cannot be allayed by the act of restoration, and in many cases the cycle inexorably begins anew. According to Cambers (1999), beach restoration (or renourishment) is a technique little used o n Carib bean islands, in part because the cost of dredged sand ranges from US$5 to $16 per cubic meter; in addition, mobilization costs for the dredge may range from $100,000 to $300,000, depending on the location of a suitable dredge. She describes b each restoration as the addi tion of l arge volumes of sand (obtained from an inland or offshore source ) to the beach and notes that, s ince land sources of sand are limited in the Caribbean, the sand is usually obtained from the offshore zone mixed with water, and pumped via a floatin g pipeline onto the shore. In a recent assessment in southeast Florida, Wanless and Maier ( 2007) attributed wi despread fa ilure of renourishment projects to, among other things, a lack of appropriate and affordable material nearby Replacement s ediment s generally display ed unsuitable grain size, durability, and hydrodynamic behavior for a beach setting Specifically, sa nds derived from dredging on the adjacent shelf contain ed excessive amounts of fine sand and silt too small to remain on the beach ; a s a result, coral and hardbottom habitat on the adjacent narrow shelf were stressed by increased sediment turbidity, siltation, and smothering. Beach renourishment project in Ocean City ( p hoto: Rutgers University, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences http://marine.rutgers.edu/geomorph/oceancityfill.jpg ) Renourished beach sand also tend s to become compacted, reducing the quality of the nesting habitat. Compaction alters sand temperature and moisture levels, preventing adult females from successfully con structing their nests and/or affecting the development process of the incubating eggs If restoration is 2 Beach restoration involves the placement of sand on an eroded beach for the purposes of restoring it as a recrea tional beach and providing storm protection for upland properties. Beach nourishment (or renourishment) generally refers to the maintenance of a restored beach by the replacement of sa nd. Restoration is generally accomplished by bringing sand to the beach from inland sites or adjoining beach segments, or by hydraulically pumping sand onshore from an offshore site.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 35 unavoidable, replacement sand should be similar (grain size, organic content) to that which was eroded, thereby maintaining the suitability of the beach for the incubation of sea turtle eggs. Restoration should never occur during nest ing and hatching seasons when heavy equipment and activity can deter nesting crush eggs, and /or p revent hatchlings from successfully digging out of the nest. Experts continue to debate whether beach renourishment affects sea turtle nesting behavior (Davi s et al. 1999). Steinitz et al. ( 1998) Rumbold et al. ( 2001) and others have published data demonstrating that the number of nests de creases and the number of false crawls (unsuccessful nesting attempts) increases immediately following the renourishment of a beach Crain et al. (1995) concluded that while beach res toration projects may enhance some nesting areas, in general the effects (for sea turtles) are negative. It is worth noting that there is an imbalance in the system somewhere when sand is lost from an other wise predictable beach habitat and is not replaced by natural accretion processes. The underlying cause can be as direct as an up current solid jetty or pier that is literally starving the down current beaches by interrupting the longs hore transport of sand and sediments (s e e Beach Stabilization Structures) Or the impetus may be more subtle, as occurs with the removal of beach vegetation or when nearshore pollution retards the productivity of calcareous (coralline) algae and other sand sources. The best and least expensive in the long term way to reduce the need for beach restoration is to de fine and enforce construction setbacks adequate to ensure that the development itself does not ex acer bate natural cycles of erosion an d accretion. Setbacks can also help to ensure that natural beaches will replenish themselves over time, following a serious erosion episode (see Construction Setbacks). Protecting coastal vegetation is also important D amage a ssessments following th e December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami clearly showed that coastal vegetation ( e.g., mangroves, beach forests) helped to provide protec tion and reduce effects on adjacent communities. When this vegetation is cleared, the shoreline is more vulnerable to stor m damage ; conversely, establishing or strengthening greenbelts of mangroves and other coastal forests may play a key role in reducing the effect of future extreme event s (D anielsen et al. 2005) reduce the need for beach restoration and reduce economic losses Beach Restoration and N ourishment : I nternet Resources UNESCO CSI, Coastal Erosion : http://www.unesco.org/csi/theme/them2.htm UNESCO CSI, Coping with shoreline erosion in the Caribbean: http://www.unesco.org/csi/act/cosalc/shore ero.htm UNESCO CSI, Wise Practices for Coping with Beach Erosion : http://www.unesco.org/csi/wi se2b.htm National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center, Beach Nourishment Guide for Local Government Officials : http://www.csc.noaa.gov/beachnourishment/ Nation al Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Overview of S tate, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs : http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/resources/docs/fi nalbeach.pdf Western Carolina University, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (including reports and documents on coastal hazards, beach nourishment, beach preservation, and beach stabilization): http://psds. wcu.edu

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 36 Vehic le U se In many areas, beach driving has become a popular activity. However, driving on beaches can seriously degrade the coastal environment by damaging beach vegetation, compacting sand crushing incubating eggs, creating deep ruts and t ire tracks that can trap hatchlings trying to reach the sea (Hosier et al. 1981), and accelerating erosion (potentially resulting in the loss of nests to the sea). Vehicles can also strike and kill hatchlings crawling to the sea, or frighten females away from nesting. Hatchlings huddled just below the surface of the sand (waiting to emerge later in the evening, when the sun sets and the beach surface cools) are particularly vulnerable to being crushed by passing vehicles. Driving on nesting beach es can be detrimental to sea turtles by compacting the sand (which can crush buried eggs ), killing hatchlings and promoting erosion. Photos: Turtug a ruba Foundation, Aruba. We recommend that with the exception of authorized patrol or emergency vehicles (which should be required to drive below the high tide line) motorized vehicles not be allowed to drive on sandy beaches except at authorized boat haul out sites A bumper sticker encourages awareness of beach driving Here we see eggs and hatchlings, buried unseen below the san d at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge in St. Croix crushed by a passing vehicle (left photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST). Beach Driving: Internet Resources Surfrider Foundation, Beach Driving : http://www.surfrider.org/a z/beach_driving.php

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 37 Protecting Coastal Habitats Beach V egetation The hawksbill sea turtle often selects a nest site within the shelter of woody vegetation The loss of veg etation can mean that a female must crawl further onshore in search of suitably vegetated areas. Other species prefer to nest on the open beach platform in front of vegetated areas, using the dark vegetation backdrop as an important ambie nt cue. After egg laying is complete, vegetation can be important in safeguarding sea turtle nests by helping to maintain the natural beach structure, reducing compaction of sand grains, moderating diurnal temperature changes, and reducing erosion V eg etation c an also provide an aesthetically pleasing tool to reduce or block b eachfront lighting that would otherwise discourage sea turtles from nesting or misdirect hatchlings away from the sea (see Beachfront Lighting) One study has shown that this is especially true on urban beaches where problems with artificial lights exist; female sea turtles preferentially nested in front of vegetated areas or dunes in these areas (Salmon et al. 1995). Coastal tourism development has placed extreme pressures on o nce pristine sandy beaches. Among other stresses, p roperty owners often remove native vegetation and natural debris ( e.g. St. Omer and Barclay 2002) and r eplac e (or displac e ) native species with non native ornamentals Non native species can d isrupt veg etative communities, pollination cycles, water use, nutrient transfer, and patterns of erosion For example, Australian pines often crowd out native trees and palm tree s can exacerbate wind erosion. T hese human induced actions and reactions cause a n over all reduction in available nesting habitat for sea turtles and can significantly diminish the quality of the nesting habitat that remains What C an B e D one? Hoteliers and resorts can adopt within the context of EMS, certain standards and practices in regards to vegetation Strive to protect beachfront forest and to restore native vegetation and natural habitat which has been lost Become familiar with and utilize native trees and shrubs including sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera), almond (Terminalia catappa) and p ortia (Thespesia populnea) trees, c oco plum (Chysobalanus icaco) and so on for landscaping purposes. In general, native plants require less maintenance and save energy planted properly, they require little or no extra water, fertilize r or pesticides (which ultimately pollute local waterways) In addition, they display resistance to insects and disease and often attract desirable wildlife including birds, butterflies, and pollinators. Identify source books on local ly occurring specie s (e.g ., Honeychurch 1986, Bannochie et al. 1993 Roegiers and McCuen 2007) explore o nline resources such as the Cayman Wildlife Con nections inventory of Native Trees and Seaside Plants ( http://ww w.caymanwildlife.org/plants.html ) and establish partnerships with experts, including botanical gardens and nurseries Non native plants, especially coconut palms (Cocos nucifera), should not be planted on or near beaches where sea turtles are likely to nest Our experience confirms that p alms provide insufficient cover for nesting, and their roots act as a hardened structure which solidifies habitat and may accelerate erosion (especially wind erosion) of the beach. Other non native plants may create to o much shade on the sand, which can alter nest temperature and affect the development (and sex ratio) of sea turtle embryos or they may out compete or displace important native species. Remember to share your conservation effort s! Post s igns t hat comm unicate to guests, clients and visitors the importance of coastal plantings and habitats, and describe any restrictions or conditionalities. Raised walkways can be very effective in guiding beachgoers to the shore while protect ing fragile coastal areas Visitors are likely to enjoy learning about historical uses (e.g., cultural, nutritional, medicinal) of native species create a nature walk si mply by posting botanical notes!

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 38 Natural vegetation acts as a buffer between the beach and buildings an d raised walkways protect fragile habitat at D isneys Vero Beach Resort Florida (left photo: Ga Young Choi). A Welcome sign, posted at Juno Beach, Florida encourages S ustainable beach visitation practices (right p hoto: Chris Johnson, MarineLife Cent er ) Beach Gardens An idea that may be favorable to both developers and sea turtles is the creation of a beach garden . On Pasture Bay Beach (Jumby Bay) in Antigua, homeo wners have initiated an innovative approach to develop their beach in a way t hat supports nesting hawksbill sea turtles while maintaining an aesthetically beautiful landscape for the island owners and their resort guests. Native coastal plant species including ink berry (Scaevola plumeria), sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera), bay ced ar (Suriana maritime), beach morning glory (Ipomoea pes caprae), and sea bean (Canavalia maritime) were p lanted in group ing s on a nesting beach that had seen its beach forest diminished by development Af ter five years with no disturbance from hurricane s, there was positive evidence that the beach gardens were providing addition al nesting habitat suitable for endangered hawksbill t ur tles (Muenz and Andrews 2005). While the results suggest that beach gardens are work ing, the highest density of nesting still occurs in areas of the beach with remnants of intact native maritime forest. Therefore, while restoration with beach gardens can be viewed as a support technique where habitat loss has already occurred architects and property managers should make every effort to pr eserv e native maritime forest Restoring nesting habitat with beach gardens demands a thorough investigation to compare habitat quality to native maritime forest. With that in mind, the gardens appear to provide a useful management to ol to help in reconcil ing the needs of sea turtles with those of beach development Natural vegetation (maritime forest) buffer zones have been integrated into the Jumby Bay development (Antigua) in addition to the innovative use of planted beach ga rdens seen here in the lower right corner. Photo c ourtesy of Jumby Bay Island Company.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 39 Seagrass and Coral R eefs Native marine vegetation such as s eagrass Thalassia testudium ( left, photo: S. I. Apteker ), is just as important to the vitality of a coastal ecosystem as a maritime forest species, such as s eagrape Coccoloba uvifera ( right, photo: Ga Young Choi) Much has been made, and appropriately so, of the importance of coral reefs in dissipating wave energy, stabilizing the shore and safeguardi ng life and property in the face of storm events ( e.g. Mimura et al. 2007, Burke et al 2008) Marine vegetation also reduces erosion pressure. P lants create drag in the water current, which slows the current and deposits suspended particles in the seag rass bed the r esult of this process is that seagrass promotes sediment building that acts to protect the shoreline. Like rainforests and wetlands, coral reefs have a high recycling rate for nutrients. This allows biodiver sity to thrive, even though the surrounding ecosystem is relatively low in nutrients. Producers (plants that photosynthesize including algae and seaweed ) form the base for any food web and are found in abun dance in coral reefs. The producers provide food for small fish and marine life, which in turn provide food for larger animals. Coral reefs are important indicators of ocean health, and their decline has serious economic as well as environmental consequences, especially in fisheries and tourism sectors. S e agrass is also import ant both ecologically and economically Seagrass thrives in protected shallow water s (depths less than 2 m), where it flourishes in the presence of sunlight. Many species (including many commercially valuable fishery species) depend on seagrass, which p rovides nursery and foraging habitat for a large variety of juvenile fish and crustaceans (Zieman and Zieman 1989) In the Caribbean, the d egradation or loss of mangrove and seagrass habitats has been shown to have a significant negative impact on commerc ial reef fisheries ( e.g., Nagelkerken et al. 2002) Marine vegetation is critical to the survival of sea turtles. Green sea turtles feed primarily on seagrass in the Caribbean Sea, and s tudies indicate that the turtles have a major effect on nutrient cycl ing and com munity structure in their foraging habitats ( Thayer et al. 1984, Bjorndal 1997 ) Moreover, s eagrass communities are intricately tied to coral reef systems. S ea turtles often feed on organisms that live with in, or depend upon both seagrass a nd coral reefs Sea t urtles also use the reef for sleep and shelter. Shallow marine ecosystems, including both coral reefs and seagrass meadows, c an be greatly affected by coastal development and ocean based recreation Dredging, chains, anchors, prop ellers, even swimmers can cause damage by uprooting seagrass scarring the seabed reducing water quality and destabiliz ing sediments which in turn inhibits seagrass growth reduces fish and wildlife habitat and can threaten entire coastlines Orth et al. (2006) characterize the decline of seagrass as a global crisis while T exas Parks and Wildlife (1999) describe the declining quantity and quality of seagrass as the most serious threat to wildlife, recreation and economy along the Gulf Coast of the U.S

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 40 Both of these photographs show boat damage to seagrass beds which can take more than a decade to overcome On the left, propeller scarring is evident ; on the right, boats cut into the seabed when they try to power off (photos: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/images/habitats/seagrasses/Blowunder.jpg ). Scars that channel water c urrents can erode deeper and wider with time, and may never recover. Physical damage to co ral reefs due to anchoring (left photo: E. Kintzing) and collision (right photo: Caroline Rogers, USGS). Green and hawksbill sea turtles in healthy hardbottom and coral reef habitat ( left photo: STENAPA Sint Eustatius ; m iddle photo: A ru n Madisetti ; right photo: C aroline Rogers, USGS)

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 41 Fast Fact A s eagrass meadow one hectare in size can produce about 20 tonnes of organic matter per year! These remarkably important and productive habitats a re damaged by a wide range of human actions i ncluding dredging and anchoring, coastal development, pollution, sedimentation and eutro phication, hypersalinization ( resulting from reduction in freshwater inflows) habitat conversion, and climate change (e.g., Lapointe et al. 2004 McField et al. 2007) Major losses of seagrass habitat have been reported in the Mediterranean, Florida Bay, and Australia, and current losses are expected to accelerate, especially in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean (Mille n nium Ecosystem Assessment 2005a) Fast Fact D es pite covering only 0.2% of the sea floor, coral reefs contain 25% of global marine species. These highly productive ecosystems also provide inland protection from storm surges and are integral to both coastal fisheries and tourism, supporting the livelihoo ds of about 100 million people around the world. Yet, according to the recent Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005 b ) 20% of coral reefs have been destroyed in the last few decades and an additional 20% or more are severely degraded, particularly in the C aribbean Sea and parts of Southeast Asia, and revenue from tourism associated with coral reefs has been estimated to be US$30 billion annually. What Can Be Done? Do not scar or remov e seagrass meadows or coral reefs in nearshore waters Manage waste wat er to reduce effluent to the sea; for example, recycling graywater (wastewater that emanates for sinks and showers) and using it to water hotel grounds and other landscaping helps defray fresh water us e and can l ower operating costs ( http://www.graywater.net / ). Maintain high standards for sewage treatment, and emphasiz e low doses of landscape chemicals. P romote limits or bans on watercraft that may damage the seagrass beds (see Boats and Personal Watercraft). Boaters can minimize seagrass destruction by lifting their motors and drifting, poling, or trolling through shallow areas. W hen possible, avoid running a boat through shallow areas c onsider wind speed and direction c heck tide charts and forecast s and create a float plan accordingly u se deeper water or exist ing marked channels as preferred access and k now the boats limitations for running and takeoff depths. Divers and snorkelers ( http://www.coral.org/resources/guides_best_practices/for_tourists ) should be aware of appropriate behavior Demarcating a no wake Swim Zone offshore the nesting beach can be a win win, offering both s wimm ers and sensitive ecosystems a reprie ve from water sports and anchoring. All vessels should be moored A nchoring, as needed, should be strictly relegated to non sensitive areas Seagrass and Coral Reefs: Internet Resources REEF CHECK: http://www. reefcheck.org/ World Resources Institute, Economic Valuation of Coral Reefs in the Caribbean : http://www.wri.org/project/valuation caribbean reefs Texas Parks and Wildlife, Seagrasses : http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/habitats/seagrass/index.phtml Millennium Assessment Reports: http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/index.aspx NOAA, 25 Things You Can Do To Save Coral Reefs: http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/25list.html

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 42 Boats and Personal Water C raft (PWC) Marine vessels operating in coastal waters can kill or seriously injure sea turtles. Turtles can be struck by the hull and/or suffer propeller wounds, as evidenced by body lacerations and shell damage. These injuries can affect vision, movement and buoya ncy, and may increase the chance that the turtle, now debilitated, will be struck again or attacked by a predator. The recreational use of personal watercraft (PWC), popularly known as jetskis may also pose a threat, though data are scarce. Some of th e best documentation of propeller injury is from southeast Florida (Martin County through MiamiDade County) where, from 1980 through 2007, about 35% of sea turtle strandings had distinct propeller wounds, with the highest annual percentage occurrence of p ropeller wounds being 46% in 2004 (Allen Foley, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in litt 17 February 2009). The exact number of sea turtles killed or injured by boats and PWCs is unknown; many, if not most, injured animals are never enc ountered or tallied by management agencies. Propellers slice into sea turtles surfacing to breathe; the interaction can be fatal (p hotos: Johan Chevalier, DIREN Guadeloupe). With the rising popularity of coastal tourism, the number of boats and PWCs has escalated. PWCs can travel at high s peeds in shallow areas, including areas close to shore, where wildlife, including sea turtles, are found Numerous studies present evidence that PWCs disturb waterfowl and nesting coastal birds ( e.g ., Burger and Leonard 2000 Rodgers and Schwikert 2002, B urger 2003 ). PWCs can travel at high speeds in nearshore areas ( p hoto: http://www.pahrumpvalleytimes.com/2004/07/28/photos/2jetski.jpg ). L eatherback sea turtle killed by the lacerations of a boat propeller ( right, photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST) B oats and PWCs can compromise the genera l health of the coastal environment by lowering a ir and water quality. The engines that power boats and PWCs run on gasoline, contributing to noise and air pollution

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 43 (hydrocarbons and nitrogen emissions) Tw o stroke engines dump 25 % 30 % of their fuel un burned into the water creating the familiar rainbow sheen on the surface of the water in marinas and other high use areas and s cientific studies confirm t hat petrochemical effluents negatively affect estuarine flora and fauna ( e.g. Wake 2005, McLusky and Martins 1998). Seagrass beds provide food and shelter to numerous marine species, including green sea turtles (left photo: Caroline Roge rs, USGS) and c an be negatively affected by boat traffic, in cluding propellers and wakes (right, photo: http://www.moccasinlanding. homestead.com/files/Vpoint/FWCWake.jpg ). W ithout proper caution sea creatures can be disturbed, displaced, or killed What C an B e D one? Various restrictions can be implemented to reduce the harmful effects of pleasure craft on wildlife on sensitive marine ecosystems (seagrass, coral reefs mangroves ), and on the shoreline. Safety is also an issue: a ccording to US Coast Guard statistics, jetskis represent roughly 10 % of all boats, yet are involved in approximately 30 % of all boating accidents ( http://www.bluewaternetwork.org/ ) One way that some areas have protected their natural resources is by employing slow speed or no wake zones (Apsund 2000 Hazel et al. 2007 ). Florida, for example, has incorporated two types of slow speed zones idle speed and slow speed. In idle speed areas, all watercraft must move at the slowest speed possible to keep steerage of the boat or PWC and generate no wake. Slow speed areas require all vessels to produce only minim al wakes and keep the hull fully in the water. The state of Florida uses these restrictions to help protect ma natees, which are struck frequently by boats (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2003 Florida Statutes). Enforced slow speed zones can reduce the number of PWCs t hat use an area ( Blair Witherington, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission personal comm unication ) Jet skiers enjoy riding PWCs for the thrill of moving at high speeds; if speed is heavily restricted in an ecologically sensitive area, the re sult is that the use of these watercraft is reduced ( as drivers move to unregulated zones ) Boats and PWCs can also be restricted or banned from certain areas Many national parks in the US, such as Biscayne National Park and Olympic National park, have banned PWCs for several reasons, which include the safety of other people recreating in highly visited areas; reducing noise, air, and water pollution; and protecting wildlife and beach vegetation. Area bans could be appropriate for shallow waters bo rdering hotels and resorts, with such a ban serving to reduce noise pollution and prevent dan gerous accidents (between jet skiers and swimmers kayakers etc.), as well as safeguarding sea turtle habitat and the important ecological functions of nearshore marine habitats.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 44 Together, slow speed zone s ( left, Biscayne National Park, Florida : http://www.nps.gov/bisc/visit/spee d.htm ) and propeller guards can reduce the number human and wildlife injuries due to propeller strikes (middle: https://www.adventuremarine.net/ right: http://www.floridaconservation.org/psm/images/prop/stealth.gif ). Another tactic that can be applied is to limit the number of PWCs in one area at any given time Studies of sea turtle/propeller interaction data in Florida sugg est that limiting the number of boats/PWCs in a given area might allow sea turtles to dodge these vessels (April Norem, University of Florida, unpubl. data). This type of restriction may be the most effective when sea turtles are the most active near the surface of the water, such as during peak feeding times. The use of propeller guards on boats may help reduce propeller strikes o n wildlife M any styles are available ( http:// www.uscgboating.org/articles/pdf/April08_08_prop.pdf ). However, blunt trauma from a hull strike occur s just as frequently and potentially cause s more harm (Nancy Mettee DVM, MarineLife Center of Juno Beach, personal comm unication ). Thus, an integrated a pproach is necessary: propeller guards are unlikely to achieve conservation results without restrictions that enforce no wake zones off nesting beaches and in sensitive nearshore habitats such as seagrass meadows. The s lower the rate of travel the more likely a sea turtle, manatee or human swimmer will move out of harms way In summary, hoteliers can do their part in reducing the boat strike injury and mortality o f sea turtles b y promoting the restricted usage of personal watercraft near nesting beaches, in inter nesting habitats, and on foraging grounds. Public awareness and consistent enforcement of restrictions are necessary for success. Local sea turtle experts are good partners in any education campaign. To identify a sea tur tle program in yo ur area, visit http://www.widecast.org/Who/Contact.html Finally, advocate for similar policies throughout the hospitality sector. Sea turtles are very mobile, and while taking unilateral action is an essential first step, encouraging unified policies among coastal opera tions in general is the best way to meaningfully promote the survival of endangered sea turtles in your area. Encourage discussion of these issues within industry organizations (e .g. hotel and tourism repre sentatives) and participate in alliances with solution oriented conservation partners in order to advocate for change s sector wide Boats and Personal Watercraft (PWC): Internet Resources Surfrider Foundation, Personal Water C raft : http://www.surfrider.org/a z/pwc.php Bluewater Network, Personal Watercraft: Creating Havoc in their Wake: http://www.bluewa ternetwork.org/campaign_pl_pwc.shtml U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gasoline Boats and Personal Watercraft : http://www.epa.gov/otaq/marinesi.htm

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 45 Final Considerations: Think Global, Think Clima te Change Sea turtles are highly migratory during all life stages, so conservation actions taken in any one place can have profound and positive implications for their survival throughout the Caribbean Sea and beyond. Sea turtles have internationa l ranges and they rely on conservation actions taken in dozens of countries to ensure their survival. For example, l eatherbacks protected at their nesting grounds in Trinidad return to highseas foraging grounds in the northern and eastern Atlantic Phot os: (left) Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST; (right) postnesting dispersal of adult females ( from Eckert 2006). Ecologically conscious management of coastal areas accrues benefits far beyond sea turtles. Coral reefs, for example, provide a wide range of commer cial and non commercial benefits to human society, includ ing ecosystem goods and services of high value to local and national economies. In addition to reducing the impact of waves on the shore (slowing erosion and beach loss, and lessening storm damage), C arib bean coral reefs are c ritical for nutrition and food security and draw millions of visitors to the region each year and tourism is the single largest economic sector for the region accounting for more than 15% of total employment and 13% of GDP ( CARSEA Assessment 2007 in Burke et al. 2008). Despite their impor tance and the many benefits they provide, most Caribbean coral reefs are threatened : a n estimated 70% are threatened by human activities including overfishing, coastal development and ru noff from land (Burke and Maidens 2004). Protection of coral reefs and maritime forest, and adherence to setbacks, becomes even more important in the face of future sea level rise driven by climate change. Over the next century, sea level is expected to rise 18 59 cm above present (IPCC 2007) greatly increasing the likelihood and frequency of coastal flooding events, severity of hurricane impacts, and beach erosion all contributing to a net loss of coastal land. Sea turtle nesting beaches may be lost if bui l dings, roads, or other infrastructure hinder their shift ing inland, as sea level rises. Local topography and conditions will influence the extent of vulnerability to these threats but a logical relationship between beach slope, sea level rise and setback regulations is clear: the greater the slope of the beach and the greater the setback from the shoreline, the more likely the beach is to prevail and a beachfront property to survive under sea level rise scenarios. Fish et al. (2005, 2008) estima ted beach loss due to sea level rise for Bonaire and Barbados and found that set backs of at least 90 m would be required to safeguard coastal investments from climate change impacts. Another reason for concern from climate change is the rise in temperat ure, which in the US is causing loggerhead sea turtles to nest earlier in the year ( Weishampel et al. 2004, Pike et al. 2006, Hawkes et al. 2007) and also affect s incubation conditions for sea turtle eggs in the sand. As temperature increases, the sex rat io of developing sea turtles shifts, sometimes producing only females and in extreme cases killing all embryos from over heating (Ackerman 1997, Davenport 1997, Glen and Mrosovsky 2004) Native coastal vegetation provides shade in some areas of the beach, hence mitigating partly the effects of increasing temperatures. In areas where the native vegetation i s removed, hotel s on beachfront DC 2Flemish Cap RegionDC 3 DC 6 DC 5 DC 7Cape Verde IslandsDC 1 1,500 km50% UDCanary Islands Azores Islands Bay of Biscay Mauritania Morocco Portugal Spain France Trinidad and Tobago 35 W 0 5 W 10 W 15 W 20 W 25 W 30 W 40 W 45 W 50 W 55 W 60 W 65 W 70 W 75 W 15 N 20 N 30 N 35 N 40 N 45 N 50 N 10 N 25 N

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 46 propert y may contribute to sea turtle conservation by restoring the original vegetation fringe above the high tide line Turtles and other wildlife benefits from such intervention, which in turn provides tourists with shady spots for the enjoymen t of beaches in tropical latitudes. Consider the many benefits that your business enjoys from a clean and ecologically intact co astline, then weigh th o se benefits seriously in decisions regarding everything from water and pesticide use to beach front lighting and mooring policies. Sea turtles are widely acknowledged as useful ambassadors for sustainable coastal zone management ( e.g., Frazier 2005 ), use them to communicate to your guests and clients the importance of decisions and policies that may otherwise seem burdensome or unimportant Meaningful progress is measured one step at a time educate yourself, set an example, ad v ocate for ecologically sound policies, and stay involved at local, national and even interna tional levels Your success (or failure) is and will continue to be integrally linked to the success of others. We hope that this Manual will inspire your managem ent team to progress beyond old habits, and become an advocate for globally relevant environmental policies worthy of the hospitality and tourism sector in the 21st century. V. GUEST EDUCATION AND PARTICIPATIO N An informed public can be a powerful force in promoting the protection of sea turtles and in endorsing and seeking to support sustainable choices made by the hospitality sector in general. Public involvement ranges from influencing legislation and po licy to volunteering (monitor and protect nests report sightings or infractions, etc. ) and donating to conservation causes Raising public awareness of the plight of sea turtles is crucial to sea turtle survival. P erhaps the most important aspect of gues t/ client education and outreach is that informed guests /clients are likely to be more responsive to and accepting of the various conservation actions taken by the resort, including modified lighting regimes, enforcing no wake zones, moving sunbeds off t he beach at night, restricting bonfires and vehicle traffic in nesting zones, etc. Hotels and resorts can (and many do) offer a variety of informative programs on sea turtles and the local environment for the enjoyment and intellectual stimulation of gues ts. Resorts can tailor these programs to meet the needs and desires of their guests, including family and child friendly activities. G uests can even experience direct encounters with sea turtles on T urtle Wa lks Turtle Walks should not be ad hoc, the y should always be offered in partnership with trained local experts (c onservation groups government wildlife officers) or trained and certified hotel staff. T urtle Walks can focus on nesting adults or emerging hatchling s. In the case of hatchlings g ue sts may be asked to participate directly in hatching survival by forming a line that shields the tiny turtles from shoreline lighting remember to enforce a no touch rule! See Sea Turtle Encounters and Turtle Watches . Remember that local sea turtle conservation groups operat e on very small budgets, so offering compen sat ion for their services is appropriate. Such compensation might include contributing to transportation and fuel costs, providing housing during the low tourism season (which typically corresponds to peak nesting season) for beach patrollers and other sea turtle conservation volunteers, offering fair pay for services like Sea Turtle Summer Camp (Marin in press) and evening slide shows, and exhibiting i nforma tion e xplaining the importa nce of the groups conservation efforts (e.g. through in room materials and/or featur e s on hotel television stations, industry magazines, and other corporate outreach venues ) Remember that interactions with endangered and protected species (including Tur tle Watching and rescuing hatchlings) require proper training and often require a G overnment permit.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 47 Environment al Programs Environmental p rogram s can focus on biodiversity (e.g., bird walks, botanical displays, coral reef diving ), cultural or historical aspects, or green community partnerships such as tour ing an organic farm or fair trade agricultural area that supplies food to the hotel. Handson experiences are the most memorable and might include such things as guided scenic tours, Sea Turtle Su mmer Camp for young guests, special evening presentations or films, Story Hour with local authors or cultural historians, star gazing with an entertaining story teller and interactive expos or craft fairs Invite local conservation organizations and ot her experts to develop and deliver scheduled presentations Visit http://www.widecast.org/Educators/Resources.html for education and outreach materials focused on sea turtles, including mult ilingual narrated slide shows, S ummer C amp activities and crafts for children, puppet shows, and l esson plans for both indoor and outdoor enrichment activities. These materials are designed to bring sea turtle biology to life and all accommodate effor ts by the educator to insert added info r mation on locally occurring species, conservation efforts program successes, and specific ways in which tourists can become involved in conservation issues. Local conservation groups may be willing to assist with other guest programs, includ ing unexpectedly popular activities, like beach clean ups! To identify a sea turtle conservation partner in your country, visit http://www.widecast.org/Who/Contact.html For information on how to organize a beach c lean up v isit http://www.oceanconservancy.org/site/PageServer?pagename=icc_home P hotographs showing the wide range o f sea turtle conservation activities taking place in the Caribbean Sea can capture the attention of guests and provide a context for on site conservation measures. Here a l eatherback nest s at dawn in Querepare Venezuela ( left, photo: Mariana Malaver, CICTMAR ) and fishermen tag and release a young H awksbill in Bonaire Dutch West Indies ( right, photo: R obert van Dam STCB) Whether on or off site, environment focused programs c an raise awareness about endangered species, including sea turtles; sustainab le choices, such as organic farming and fair trade practices ; and sensitive ecosystems like coral reefs, wetlands and rainforests. Unique and m emorable programming not only enriches the experience of guests (a reality that may, more often than not, incr ease the chance of a return visit ), but can increase support for hotel sponsored conservation activities, such as nest monitoring, hatchling rescue and release, landscaping with native species, efforts to reduce beachfront lighting restrictions on anchor ing, efforts to conserve electricity and water, and slow speed zones offshore

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 48 G etting the Message Across Signage can help in directing foot traffic away from sensitive areas and alert tourists to regulations pro tecting sea turtles and their nesting grounds. Signage alone however, is not sufficient Care should be taken to reinforce this information on the hotels in house TV channel, in guest orientation/welcome package s, materials placed in hotel rooms (see Appendix IV ), and during regularly sche duled outreach activities (see Environmental Programs ). Equally important is conservation signage and outreach at ports of entry including airports and cruiseports. Tourists are generally unaware of local e nvironmental issues ; c onsequently, they inadv ertently engage in activities that can have negative effects on both wildlife and sensitive habitats, potentially as in the case of driving on the beach, littering, contributing to light pollution, or ignoring conservation policies while diving or boatin g r educing the aesthetic values of surrounding landscapes, compromising the quality of the environment for themselves and o ther s and lowering the survival prospects of endangered species. Hotels can employ several tactics to inform guests of the impo rtance of respecting the local environment. Signs strategically placed on hotel property can enlighten guests concerning endangered species, such as sea turtles. Information should be simple, concise and clear, such as alert ing guests to the seasonal pre sence of nesting sea turtles and emphasizing appropriate behaviors These signs alert Caribbean visitors t o rules that have been established to protect nesting se a turtles. In addition to emphasizing appropriate behavior, such as restrictions o n beach fires, pets or the use of flashlights, signs near nesting beaches can provide update s on the number of nests incubating on the beach, ask visitors to maintain a safe distance, and explain how to report infractions. Signs and bill boards should be updated periodically and maintained in an attractive condition. As appropriate, the message should be multi lingual If your business d istribute s a regular n ewsletter or guest/client information package, include tips on how to assist in local conserva tion efforts. For example, reminding guests to close their curtains at night to prevent light leakage (see Beachfront Lighting) and explaining what to do if a sea turtle is encountered (see Appendix V, VI) will help to ensure that the industrys impact on nesting activity is progressively reduced. R emember to lead by example! If the maid turns down the sheets at night then ( during sea turtle nesting season ) closing beachfacing curtains should also be part of her routine.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 49 Beach sign on Klein Bon aire, a protected nesting beach in the Netherlands Antilles, provides nesting updates and asks beachgoers to keep a safe distance from the nests Photo: Robert van Dam Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire Interested guests may request more information rega rding environmental issues and conservation oppor tunities. Local sea turtle groups, as well as regional entities WIDECAST ( http:// www.widecast.org ), the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism ( http://www.cha cast.com ), and the UNEP Caribbean Environ ment Programme ( http://www.cep.unep.org/ ) will have updated information to share and can direct you to natural resource experts. The hospitality industry can help spread the conservation message by sponsoring offsite signage, as in roadside billboards (French Guiana; photo: B. deThoisy), murals (Venezuela; photo: CICTMAR), airport light boxes (Costa Rica; photo: B. Pinto) and signs associated with bus and taxi stops (Dominica; photo: WIDECAST ).

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 50 Finally, encourage the purchase of souvenirs that support sea turtle conservation. Commercial items such as books, DVDs, and plush animals can reinforce a conservation message or remind visitors of a special experience. Seek partnerships with local crafters or guilds able to provide an inventory of unique products that provide income to local communities and support conservation causes. These might include hand bags woven from pla stic bags, wood carvings (from sustainable sources!), pottery, photography, soaps, spices, candles, and/ or crafts from locally abundant materials such as grasses, seeds, coconut, calabash, and recycled glass but not seashells, coral, or products derived from rare or protected species. Sea Turtle Encounters and Turtle Watches Nesting is both the most accessible and the most vulnerable stage of sea turtle life history If there is a possibility of encountering e gg bearing female s or newborn hatchlings on the beach then certain rules of behavior must apply. I f these rules are no t enforced, the encounter(s) may result in sea turtle haras sment chang ing patterns of nest site selection lowered reproductive success, and environ mental degradation (e.g. shor eline erosion, litter, beach fires, trampling of vegetation). W ithout a trained guide or other expert in attendance, onlookers can easily frighten the turtle or alter her natural behavior collect or restrain hatchlings, or damage the nest cavity. Prop erty managers s hould notify guests of the seasonal presence of sea turtles and their young, request that guests keep a respectful distance and ask that they inform the front desk if they observe any evidence of nesting (see Appendix III) To encourage an appropriately respectful viewing experience, a guide to appropriate behavior (e.g., see Appendix V ), should be posted prominently and included in guest welcome package s. Be aware of any special regulations, guidelines or restrictions in your area and re member that not all sea turtle species lend themselves well to Turtle Watches. Similarly, some beaches are too narrow, steep, or debris strewn to accommodate visitors safely at night Turtle Watches can be exploitative and abusive (left, photo: Ancom Marketing Services) or respectful and positive (right, photo: Turtugaruba Foundation) To ensure best practices, g uests should be accompanied by a trained guide and follow strict guidelines In the photo on the right, a n alert onlooker called the national Sea Turtle Hotline, a public service line maintained in Aruba by the Turtugaruba Foundation, to report a rare daylight nesting. A member of the Foundation arrived to provide guests and visitors with guidelines on watching the animal, including keeping a respectful distance A guided Turtle Watch allows residents and visitors alike to enjoy a n unforgettable experience. For countries that still have ample and predictable nesting, turtle watching can also offer financial incentives for communities to protect, rather than to harvest, sea turtles (e.g ., Fournillier 1994, Wilson and Tisdell 2001, Campbell 2003, Trong and Drews 2004, UNEP CMS 2006, Sammy et al. 2008). We strongly recommend that any formalized Turtle Watch offerings be developed in close partnership with a local sea turtle conservation group Another option is to collaborate with a c ommunity based group

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 51 already active in general tour guiding whose members can be trained to conduct Turtle Watches. Such a partnership b enefit s hotel gu ests, strengthen s community ties with the hospitality industry, contributes to local employment, and helps to protect sea turtles. If you cannot identify a suitable partner visit http://www.widecas t.org/Who/Contact.html and ask your WIDECAST Country Coordinator for advice or for information on training A Turtle Watch typically c onsists of an information session presented by a trained guide, followed by the opportunity to witness a nesting event first hand. During the information session, the guide or local sea turtle specialist talks about the various species of sea turtles, their life stages, what foods they eat, threats affecting their survival, and other relevant information. T he guide or specialist also explains that certain behaviors are appropriate and certain behaviors are inappropriate, providing a clear explanation of the r ules for the T urtle Wa tch experience ( Baptiste and Sammy 2007, Sammy and Baptiste 2008). Caution : Con sider the risks carefully. S ea turtles can be negatively affected by noise, activity, flashlights and other distractions and e xperience has shown that a poorly run T urtle W atch can do more harm than good both to the sea turtle and with regard to visitor satisfaction Remember that i nteractions with endangered and protected species (including Turtle Watching) may require a G overnment permit. Hatchlings are often viewed as especially touchable, and the following guidelines should prevail: Hatchlings must be allo wed to crawl to t he sea without being disturbed C urious onlookers should stand behind the nest and away from the hatchlings path The public must be managed and organized so that the chance of a person inadvertently trampling on and / or killing a hatchli ng is removed. If lighting is misdirecting the hatchlings landward, the hotel should turn off the lights or if this is not possible onlookers should position themselves so as to shield the small turtles from the light, giving them a chance to locate th e sea. Remember that hatchlings orient to the subtle bright ness of the open ocean horizon It is important that this orientation be allowed to take place as naturally as possible because it is the first in a series of orientation exercises that the hatc hlings will need to accomplish in order to reach the distant highseas where they spend the first several years of their lives. If hatchlings, misdirected and confused by lights, are found on hotel property during the day, they should be kept in a dark, coo l place (in a covered cooler or bucket) for release (with the lights off!) that evening. Hatchlings are less mobile during the heat of the day ; moreover, a day light release may attract predators Nests may only be dug after the hatchlings have completed their emergence (the emergence may occur over the course of several nights). Nest excavation is generally done for the purpose of evaluating hatch success and releasing any residual hatchlings that may have been left behind. E xcavation should only be un dertaken by someone trained and permitted to do so, standardized data should be collected, and nest contents disposed of properly so as not to attract predators. S ea turtles may also be encountered at sea while diving or snorkeling Care should be taken n ot to chase or harass the turtles. Natural rhythms of feeding and resting can be disrupted by divers intent on getting too close, by pursuing the animal, or by preventing it from coming to the surface to breathe. Standards of appropriate behavior are not well developed for at sea encounters, but general guidelines are included in Appendix V and Appendix VI, the latter courtesy of the Barbados Sea Turtle Project. Meadows (2004) recommend s safe approach distances (for snorke llers) on the order of 2 to 5 m Encourage guests to report evidence of nesting and hatching. Compile the information, and share it with conservation partners and Government (request and use standardized data reporting forms ) S taff should know who m to contact in the event that a s ick or wounded sea turtle is reported. Guidelines are available (Phelan and Eckert 2006) T he assistance of a veterinarian or animal care profes sional might be needed, especially if recuperative care is called for (Bluvias 200 9 ).

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 52 Sea Turtle Watch ing : I nternet Resources WIDECAST, Sea Turtle Ecotourism : http://www.widecast.org/TurtleWatch/Why.html Ocean Revolution, SEE TURTLES : http://www.seeturtles.org/41/aboutsee turtles.html Florida Marine Turtle Program, Where to View Sea Turtles : http://www.myfwc.com/WILDLIFEHABITATS/Seaturtle_Faciliti es_Walks.htm Turtle Safe Products, Turtle Safe Flashlight Filters : http://www.turtlesafeproducts.com A n experienced tour guide from Nature Seekers explains the nesting process while keeping his g uests positioned behind a leatherback sea turtle at Matura Beach. With the exception of headlamps worn by the guide and a trained d ata recorder no lighting is used (Trinidad; photo: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST).

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 53 LITERATURE CITED Ackerman, R.A. 199 7. The nest environment and the embryonic development of sea turtles, p.83 106. In : P.L. Lutz and J.A. Musick (Editors), The Biology of Sea Turtles. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida. Apsund, T.R. 2000. The effects of motorized watercraft on aquatic ecosyste ms. Excerpted from the Water Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Integrated Science Services and University of Wisconsin, Water Chemistry Program. http://www.wblcd.org/Scienceforno wakezoneinmarsh.pdf Bannochie, I., M. Light and B.R. Phillips. 1993. Gardening in the Caribbean. Macmillan Caribbean, Mac millan Publ ishers Ltd. Oxford. 173 pp. Baptiste, S.L. and D. Sammy. 2007. Final Report: Basic Course on Community Based Sea Turtle Ecotour ism, Tour Guiding and Management. La Plaine Agricultural Training Centre, Commonwealth of Dominica, 1115 September and 1 12 October 2007. Prepared by WIDECAST, in partnership with Nature Seekers and the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Organizatio n (DomSeTCO), with funding from USAID. Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica. 39 pp. http://www.widecast.org/Resources/Pubs.html Bjorndal, K.A. 1997. Foraging ecology of sea turtles, p.199 232. In : P .L. Lutz and J.A. Music (Editors), The Biology of Sea Turtles. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida. Bluvias, J. 200 9 Marine Turtle Trauma Response Procedures: A Husbandry Manual Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) Technical Report No. 1 0 Beaufort, North Carolina. 69 pp. http://www.widecast.org/What/Regional/Medicine.html Brutigam, A. and K.L. Eckert. 2006 Turning the Tide: Exploitation, Trade and Management of Mari ne Turtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. TRAFFIC International. Cam bridge, UK 533 pp. http://www.widecast.org/Resources/Docs/Brautigam_and_Eckert_(2006)_Exploitation _Trade_Mgmt_of_Caribbean_Sea_Turtles.pdf Burger, J. 2003. Personal watercraft and boats: Coastal conflicts with common terns. Lake and Reservoir Management 19(1): 2634. Burger, J. and J. Leonard. 2000. Conflict resolution in coastal waters: the case of personal watercraft. Marine Policy 24(1): 61 67 Burke, L. and J. Maidens. 2004. Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean. World Resources Institute. Washington, D.C. http://www.wri.org/project/reefs at risk Burke, L., S. Greenhalgh, D. Prager and E. Cooper. 2008. Coastal Capital Economic Valuation of Coral Reefs in Tobago and S ain t Lucia: Final Report. World Resources Institute. Washington, D.C. 66 pp. http://pdf.wri.org/coastal_capital.pdf Cambers, G. 199 6 Managing Beach Resources in the Smaller Caribbean Islands. Coastal Region and Small Island Papers No. 1. COSALC: Coast and Beach Stability in the Caribbean Islands. UNESCO and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagez. http://www.unesco.org/csi/pub/papers/papers1.htm Cambers, G. 1997. Planning for Coastl ine Change: Guidelines for Construction Setbacks in the Eastern Caribbean Islands. CSI Information Document 4. UNESCO, Paris. 14 pp.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 54 Cambers, G. 1998 a Coping with Beach Erosion. Coastal Management Sourcebooks 1. UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scient ific and Cultural Organization. Paris, France. http://www.unesco.org/csi/pub/source/ero1.htm Cambers, G 1998b. Coast and Beach Stability in the Caribbean Islands: Planning for Coastline Change 2a : Coastal Development Setback Guidelines in Nevis. Coastal Regions and Small Islands Sea Grant College Program, University of Puerto Rico. http://www.unesco.org/csi/act/cosalc/cosalc2a. pdf Cambers, G. 1999. Coping with shoreline erosion in the Caribbean. Nature and Resources 35(4):43 39. http://www.unesco.org/csi/act/cosalc/shore ero.htm#erosion Cambers, G. 20 03. Coping with Beach Erosion. UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Paris, France. Visit http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise2b.htm for the full series: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Cambers, G., L. Richards and S. Roberts Hodge. 2008. Conserving Caribbean Beaches, p.18 24 In : TIEMPO Bul letin on Climate and Development, Issue 66. C ampbell, L. 2003. Contemporary culture, use, and conservation of sea t urtles, p.317 338 In : P.L. Lutz, J.A. Musick and J. Wyneken (Editors), The Biology of Sea Turtles, Vol. II. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida. Clark, J.R. 1996. Coastal Zone Management Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton. 694 pp. Clark, J.R. 1998. Coastal Seas: The Conservation Challenge. Blackwell Science Ltd. 134 pp. (In particular, pp. 63 64, Methods and Tools: Setbacks; pp. 7981, Anguilla: Management of the Beachfront) Coe, J.M. and D.B. Rodgers (Ed itors ). 1997. Marine Debris: Sources, Impacts and Solutions. Springer Verlag: New York. 432 pp. Crain, D.A., A.B. Bolton and K.A. Bjorndal. 1995. Effects of beach nourishment and sea turtles: Rev iew and research initiatives. Restoration Ecology 3(2):95 104. Danielsen, F., M.K. Sorensen, M.F. Olwig, V. Selvam, F. Parish, et al. 2005. The Asian tsunami: A pro tective role for coastal vegetation. Science 310(5748) : 643. Davenport, J. 1997. Temperat ure and the life history strategies of sea turtles. Journal of Thermal Biology 22(6):479 488. Davis, R.A., M.V. Fitzgerald and J. Terry. 1999. Turtle nesting on adjacent nourished beaches with different construction s tyles: Pinellas County, Florida. Journal of Coastal Research 15(1):111 120. Eckert, K.L. and J.A. Horrocks (Ed itors ). 2002. Sea Turtles and Beachfront Lighting: Proceedings of a n Interactive Workshop for Industry Professionals and Policy Makers in Barbados Sponsored by the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network the Bar bados Sea Turtle Project, and the Tourism Develop ment Corporation of Barbados WIDECAST Tech nical Report No. 1. Bridgetown, Barbados. 44 pp. http://www.widecast.org/Resources/Pubs.html Eckert, K.L., K.A. Bjorndal, F.A. Abreu Grobois and M. Donnelly (Editors). 1999. Research and Manage ment Techniques for the Conservation of Sea Turtles. IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group Publi ca tion No. 4. Washington, D.C. 235 pp. http://www.iucn mtsg.org/publications/

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 55 Eckert, S.A. 2006. High use oceanic areas for Atlantic leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) as identified using satellite telemetered location and dive information. Marine Biology 149:1257 1267. FFWCC. 2007. Marine Turtle Conservation Guidelines. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida. 110 pp. http://myfwc.com/docs /WildlifeHabitats/Seaturtle_Guidelines.pdf Fish M. R I.M. Ct J.A. Gill, A.P. Jones, S. Renshoff and A.R. Watkinson. 2005. Predicting the impact of sea level rise on Caribbean sea turtle nesting habitat. Conservation Biology 19(2):482 491. Fish, M.R ., I.M. Ct, J.A. Horrocks, B. Mulligan, A.R. Watkinson and A.P. Jones. 2008. Construction set back regulations and sea level rise: Mitigating sea turtle nesting beach l os s. Ocean and Coastal Manage ment 51 : 330341. Fletcher, C.H. et al. 1997. Beach loss along armored shorelines on Oahu, Hawaiian Islands. Journal of Coastal Research 13(1) : 209 215. Fournillier, K. 1994. Integrating endangered species conservation and ecotourism: marine turtle manage ment in North East Trinidad, p.3 6 In : Tourism and Marin e Turtles: Can We Live Together? IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group Committee on the Impact of Tourism on Marine Turtles. Unpubl. Frazier, J. (Guest Editor). 2005. Special Issue: Marine Turtles as Flagships. MAST/Maritime Studies 3(2) and 4(1):1303. Gl en, F. and N. M rosovsky 2004. Antigua revisited: the impact of climate change on sand and nest temp eratures at a hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) nesting beach. Global Change Biology 10 : 2036 2045. Greene, K. 2002. Beach Nourishment: A Review of the Biological and Physical Impacts. ASMFC Habitat Management Series No. 7. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Washington D.C. 176 pp. http://www.asmfc.org/publicati ons/habitat/beachNourishment.pdf Hawkes, L.A., A.C. Broderick, M.H. G odfrey and G.J. Godley 2007. Investigating the potential impacts of climate change on a marine turtle population. Global Change Biology 13:923 932. Hazel, J., I.R. Lawler, H. Marsh an d S. Robson. 2007. Vessel speed increases collision risk for the green turtle Chelonia mydas. Endangered Species Reserach 3:105 113. Honeychurch, P.N. 1986. Caribbean Wild Plants and their Uses: An Illustrated Guide to some Medicinal and Wild Ornamental Plants of the West Indies. Macmillan Caribbean, Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 166 pp. Hosier, P.E., M. Kochlar, and V. Thayer. 1981. Off road vehicle and pedestrian track effects on the sea approach of loggerhead turtles. Environmental Conservation 8:158 161. IPCC 2007 Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and A. Reisinger (Editors)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland. 104 pp. Knowles, J.E. 200 7. In the Spotlight: An Assessment of Beachfront Lighting at Four Hotels and Recom mendations for Mitigation Necessary to Safeguard Sea Turtles Nesting in Barbados, West Indies. Thesis, Master of Environmental Manage ment Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences Duke University Durham, North Carolina. 149 pp.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 56 L ake K N. and K L. Eckert. 2009. Reducing Light Pollution in a Tourism Based Economy, with Recommen dations for a National Lighting Ordinance. P repared by the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) for the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Government of Anguilla. WIDECAST Tech. Report No. 11. Ballwin, Missouri. 65 pp. http://www.widecast.org/Resources/Pubs.html Lapointe, B.E., P.J. Barile, and W.R. Matzie 2004. Anthropogenic nutrient enrichment of seagrass and coral reef communities in the Lower Florida. J Experimental Marine Biol Ecol 308(1):2358. Marin, A.B. in press Sun, Sand and Sea Turtles: Inspiring Youth through Hands on Learning (Karen L. Eckert, Editor). Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) Technical Report No. 7. Beaufort, North Carolina. 15 8 pp. Mrquez M., R. 1994. Synopsis of biological data on the Kemps Ridley Turtle, Lepidochelys kempi (Garman, 1880). NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFSSEFSC 343. U.S. Department of Commerce. 91 pp. McField, M., P.R. Kramer M. Gorrez and M. McPherson. 2007. Healthy Reefs for Healthy People: A Guide to Indicators of Reef Health and Social Wellbeing in the Mesoamerican Reef Region. The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. 208 pp. http://healthyreefs.o rg/Book_launch/Healthy_Reef_Engl_Final.pdf McKenna, J., M. Macleod, J. Power and A. Cooper. 2000. Rural Beach Management: A Good Beach Guide. Donegal County Council. 109 pp. (In particular, pp. 6 9, Physical Processes; and pp. 7174, Issue: Devel opment in Sand Dunes) McLusky, D.S. and T. Martins 1998. Long term study of an estuarine mudflat subjected to petrochemical discharges. Marine Pollution Bulletin 36(10):791 798. Meylan, A. and A. Redlow. 2006. Eretmochelys imbricata Hawksbill Turtle. Biolo gy and Conservation of Florida Turtles Peter Meylan, Editor. Chelonian Research Monographs 3:105 127. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005a. Ecosystems and Human WellBeing: Wetlands and Water Syn thesis. World Resources Institute. Washington, D.C. 68 pp. http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/index.aspx Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005b Ecosystems and Human Well being: Biodiversity Synthesis. World Resources Institute. Washingto n, D.C. 86 pp. http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/index.aspx Mimura, N., L. Nurse, R.F. McLean, J. Agard, L. Briguglio, P. Lefale, R. Payet and G. Sem. 2007. Small Islands, p.687 716. In : M.L. Parry et al. (Editors), Cl imate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vul nerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergove rn mental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. 979 pp. Mortimer, J.A. 1979. Ascension Island: British jeopardize 45 years of conservation. Marine Turtle News letter 10:78. Muenz, T.K. and K.M. Andrews. 2003. The recovery of nesting habitat: A proactive approach for conservation of the hawksbill sea tur tle, Eretmochelys imbricata, Long Island, Antigua, West Indies, pp. 105 106. In : J.A. Seminoff (Compiler), Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation. NOAA Tech. Memo. N MFS SEFSC 503. U.S. Dep artment of Commerce, Miami. Nagelkerken, I., C.M. Roberts, G. van der Velde, M. Dorenbosch, M. C. van Riel, E. Cocheret de la Morinire and P. H. Nienhuis. 2002. How important are mangroves and seagrass beds for coral reef fish? The nursery hypothesis tested on an island scale. Marine Ecology Progress Series 244:299 305.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 57 Orth, R.J., T.J.B. Carruthers, W.C. Dennison et al. 2006. A g lobal crisis for seagrass e cosystems. Bio Science 56(12):987 996. P helan, S.M. and K.L. Eckert. 2006. Marine Turtle Trauma R esponse Procedures: Field Guide. WIDECAST Tech nical Report No. 4. Beaufort, NC 71 pp. http://www.widecast.org/What/Regional/Medicine.html Pike, D.A., R.L. Antworth and J.C. Stiner. 2006 Earlier nesting contributes to shorter nesting seasons for the loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta. Journal of Herpetology 40:91 94. Reina, R.D., P.A. Mayor, J.R. Spotila, R. Piedra an d F.V. Paladino. 2002. Nesting e cology of the leather back tu rtle, Der mochelys coriacea, at Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas, Costa Rica: 1988 1989 to 19992000. Copeia 2002:653 664. Rodgers, J.A. and S.T. Schwikert. 2002. Buffer zone distances to protect foraging and loafing waterbirds from disturbance by personal watercr aft and outboard powered boats. Conserv Biol ogy 16(1):216 224. Roegiers, M. and J.K. McCuen. 2007. A Guide to Tropical Plants of Costa Rica. Cornell University Press, New York. 529 pp. Ross, J.P., S. Beavers, D. Mundell and M. Airth Kindree. 1989. The S tatus of Kemps Ridley. A Report to the Center for Marine Conservation from the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. Center for Marine Con servation. Washington, D.C. 51 pp. Rumbold, D.G. et al. 2001. Estimating the effects of b each n ourishment on Caretta caretta (Loggerhead) n esting. Restoration Ecology 9(3):304 310. Salmon, M. et al. 1995. Behavior of loggerhead sea turtles on an urban beach: Correlates of nest place ment. Journal of Herpetology 29(4): 560567. Sammy, D. and S.L. Baptiste. 2008. Commun ity Tourism Handbook: A Resource Guide for Community Groups Participating in Sea Turtle Ecotourism in the Commonwealth of Dominica (K.L. Eckert, Editor). Prepared by Nature Seekers and WIDECAST, in partnership with the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Orga nization (DomSeTCO), with funding from U SAID. Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica. 41 pp. http://www.widecast.org/Resources/Pubs.html Sammy, D., K. Eckert and E. Harris. 2008. Action Plan for a Se a Turtle Conservation and Tourism Initia tive in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Prepared by WIDECAST, in partnership with Nature Seekers and the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Organization (DomSeTCO), with funding from USAI D Roseau, Commonwealth of Domin ica. 59 pp. http://www.widecast.org/Resources/Pubs.html Sheavly, S.B. 2007. National Marine Debris Monitoring Program: Final Program Report, Data Analysis and Summary. Prepared for the U.S. Envi ronmental Protection Agency by The Ocean Conservancy, Grant Number X83053401 02. 76 pp. http://www.oceanconservancy.org/site/DocServer/nmdmp_r eport_Ocean _Conservancy__2_.pdf?docID=3181 St. Omer, L. and G. Barclay. 2002. Threatened halophytic communities on sandy coasts of three Carib bean islands. Annales Botanici Fennici 39:301 308. http://www.sekj.org/PDF/anbf39/anbf39 301.pdf Stapleton, S.P. and K.L. Eckert. 2008. Community Based Sea Turtle Research and Conservation in Domin ica: A Manual of Recommended Practices. Prepared by the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Net work (WIDECAST) and the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Organization (DomSeTCO), with funding from USAI D WIDECAST Technical Report No. 8. Beaufort, North Carolina. 47 pp. http://www.widecast.org/Re sources/Pubs.html

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 58 Steinitz, M.J. et al. 1998. Beach renourishment and loggerhead turtle r eproduction: a seven year study at Jupiter Island, Florida. Journal of Coastal Research 14(3):1000 1013. Texas Parks and Wildlife. 1999. Seagrass Conservation Plan f or Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife. Austin, Texas. 82 pp. Thayer, G.W., K.A. Bjorndal, J.C. Orgen, S.L. Williams and J.C. Zieman. 1984. Role of larger herbivores in seagrass communities. Estuaries 7 (4A) :351 376. Trong, S. and C. Drews. 2004. Money Talks : Economic Aspects of Marine Turtle Use and Conservation. WWF International. Gland, Switzerland. 62 pp. UNEP CMS. 2006. Wildlife watching and t ourism: A study on the benefits and risks of a fast growing tourism activity and its impacts on species. UN EP / C MS Secretariat Bonn, Germany. 68 p p Wake, H. 2005. Oil refineries: a review of their ecological impacts on the aquatic environment. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 62(1 2):131140. Wanless, H.R. and K.L. Maier. 2007. An evaluation of beach renouri shment sands adjacent to reefal set tings, Southeast Florida. Southeastern Geology 45(1):25 42. Wason, A. and L. Nurse. 1994. Planning and Infrastructure Standards. UNCHS and UNDP 173 pp. Weishampel, J.F., D.A. Bagley and L.M. Ehrhart. 2004. Earlier nes ting by loggerhead sea turtles following sea surface warming. Global Change Biology 10:1424 1427. White, N. 2001. Boaters face bans from areas to protect Manatees. Miami Herald. January 25, 2001. http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/updates.htm Wilson, C. and C. Tisdell. 2001. Sea turtles as a non consumptive tourism resource especially in Australia. Tourism Management 22:279 288. Witherington, B.E. 1992. Behavioral responses of ne sting sea turtles to artificial lighting. Herpetologica 48:31 39. Witherington, B.E. and K.A. Bjorndal. 1991a. Influences of wavelength and intensity on hatchling sea tur tle phototaxis: implications for sea finding behavior. Copeia 1991(4):1060 1069. Wi therington, B.E. and K.A. Bjorndal. 1991b. Influences of artificial lighting on the seaward orientation of hatchling loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta. Biological Conservation 55(2):139149. Witherington, B.E. and R.E Martin. 2000. Understanding, Assessing, and Resolving Light Pollution Pro blems on Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches (Revised Edition) Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FMRI Technical Report TR 2. Tallahassee, Florida. 73 pp. Witzell, W. 1983. Synopsis of Biological Data on the Hawksbill Turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus, 1766). FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 137. Rome. 78 pp. Wood, L.D. 2004. A Field Guide for Sea Turtle Nesting Survey s: Southeast U.S. Region. MarineLife Ctr at Juno B ea ch, F L http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/turtles/volres/Wood%20Nesting%20Field%20Guide.pdf Zieman, J.C. and R.T. Zieman. 1989. The Ecology of the Seagrass Meadows of the West Coast of Florida: A Commun ity Profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 85(7.25). Washington, D.C. 155 pp.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 59 APPENDIX I SEA TURTLE POLICY STATEMENT

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 60 SEA TURTLE POLICY STATEMENT Aware that sea turtles contribute in significant ways to the ecology, culture and economy of the Wider Caribbean Region; Concerned that sea turtles are severely depleted from their historical abundance; and Acknowledging that while the large majority of Caribbean nations protect sea turtles, population recovery will not be po ssible without greater attention to the conservation of essential nesting and feeding habitats, We Pledge To : Encourage a commitment to environmental responsibility among employees and guest s; View sea turtle protection as an opportunity for civic engag ement in biodiversity issues; Be vigilant and aware of any risks to the environment which may occur within or outside our development area as a result of our activities; Assess environmental impacts of all activities, planned and ongoing, as they relate t o the conservation of sea turtles and their habitats; Provide employees and contractors with information and instruction to enhance their awareness of relevant environmental issues and to ensure effective management of environmental impacts, including imp acts on sea turtles and their habitats; Identify and collaborate with local experts in designing, implementing and evaluating our sea turtle program to ensure that it fits within national sea turtle conservation priorities, policies, and ongoing initiativ es; Make continual improvements in operations and management oversight to increase the effectiveness and reliability of our sea turtle conservation program; Comply with environmental legislation and local best practice policies related to turtles and their habitats (sandy beaches, seagrass, coral reefs) and encourage others to do so ; Promote setbacks, and maintain vegetated buffer zones between sandy beach es and all buildings, patios, and other built structures ; Implement measures to minimize waste, includi ng applying monitoring procedures to ensure that the nesting beach and nearshore waters remain free of debris and pollution; Conduct regular (at least annual) lighting assessments to identify sources of light pollu tion, and strive to eliminate artificial light visible from the beach during nesting season; Implement a system that removes potential obstacles to sea turtle nesting, including sun beds and recreational equipment, from the beach each night during nesting season; Discourage vehicles on the nestin g beach require hand raking of debris and seaweed; Support local sea turtle conservation and research, including offering financial or in kind support as practicable; and Report all incidents of sea turtle harassment or harm to the proper authorities.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 61 APPENDIX I I SEA TURTLE SPECIES IDENTIFICATION LEAFLET * Other language versions are available at http://www.widecast.org/Biology/Pictorial/PictorialKey.html

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 64 APPENDIX I I I HOW TO IDENTIFY SIGNS OF SEA TURTLE NESTING

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 65 SEA TURTLE NESTING AND CRAWL SIGNS During the nesting season a period of several months each year sea turtles leave the ocean at regular intervals (typically every 914 days, de pending on the species) to lay their eggs in cavities they excavate in the sand. Although they mostly emerge at night, they leave tracks, mounds and pits on the beach as evidence of the visit. On accessible beaches throughout the tropical world, sea turt le experts and conser vation groups collect nesting information on a daily ba sis. This information is used to evaluate population status identify threats, and decipher local nesting trends. This section is designed to help you identify the nesting trac ks found on your beach and to use this information to determine the sea turtle species that made them. The ability to read field signs, including the width and symmetry of the nesting crawl (track) is important to population monitoring activities. By c arefully examining these clues, you can often determine the sea turtle species that came ashore, if nesting (egg laying) took place, and the approximate location of the nest. If the turtle did not nest, but false crawled instead, experts can often decip her why she was unsuccessful in her attempt; for example, were there obstacles that may have prevented her from excavating a nest cavity ? Remember, a sea turtle nesting crawl will lead from and return to the ocean. A on e way track may indicate that the turtle was killed before she had a chance to return to the sea. Approach one way crawls carefully (the turtle may still be present!) and notify authorities if there is evidence of poaching. Sea turtles crawl onto Caribbean beaches to lay their eg gs. The nesting crawl includes an approach and departure track, and often features evidence of body pitting, nest excavation, and covering/camouflage ( left, p hoto: Turtugaruba Foundation). The field signs left by a nesting leatherback turtle can include a beach disturbance 5 10 m across ( right, p hoto: Scott A. Eckert, WIDECAST) Nesting occurs on sandy beaches throughout the Wider Caribbean region. Some species nest virtually year around, but most have a d efined peak season. Many lines of evidence sug gest that the female will return to lay her eggs on or near the beach where she was born. Scientists believe that the homing mechanism may rely on a combination of cues, including the earths magnetism, the position of the sun and stars, prevailing ocean temperatures or currents, and geologic features, among others. ( For the most accessible assemblage of information on migration and orientation vis it the research laboratory of Dr. Kenneth Lohmann and associates at http://www.unc.edu/depts/geomag/ ) Each nesting ground supports a unique assemblage of sea turtles. Females most often nest at night. Males do not come ashore. M ost species nest individually; however, Kemps and olive ridleys display another kind of nesting strategy called an arribada, which is character ized by females emerging from the sea in large numbers to nest simultaneously. Arribada nesting can be

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 66 observed in the Pacific and Indian oceans, but this unique phenomenon no longer occurs in the Carib bean Sea where ridley sea turtles are highly endangered. Occasionally a female will emerge from the sea and false crawl ( meaning that she was unsuccessful in the laying of her eggs) for a variety of reasons including physical obstructions, bright lights, vehicle traffic or aggressive dogs, the presence of people, et c If the female does find a suitable nesting site she will begin the construction of a nest by making a body pit. Caribbean green (left) and leatherback (right) turtles are shown bodypitting, a process by which the dry surface sand is swept away to reveal the slightly damp underlayer into which the nest chamber will be carved. Photos : Scott A. Eckert (WIDECAST) Carefully using her rear flippers, the egg laden femal e digs a nest chamber by scooping deeply with one flipper and then the other. When this is completed, she positions her body at an angle over the nest chamber and deposits her eggs. Different species of sea turtles lay varying numbers of eggs in one nest Eighty to 200 or more eggs are deposited in the nest chamber, but typically the average number of eggs (referred to as the clutch size ) is closer to 100. A green sea turtle carefully cover s h er clutch of eggs (left p hoto: Rowan Byrne) and retur n s to the sea, leaving a distinctive symmetrical track (right photo: Scott A. Eckert, W IDECAST) After egg laying, the female sweeps sand over the eggs and compacts the nest with her rear flippers. She will repeat this process several times throughout the nesting season. T ypically anywhere from 2 to 6 clutches of eggs are laid per year (see Basic Biology of Sea Turtles ) but leatherbacks have been

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 67 observed to deposit as many as 13 clutches of eggs per year ( Reina et al. 2002). When all stages of the nesting sequence have been completed, the turtle returns to the ocean, leaving the eggs behind to incubate unattended in the warm sand. Asymmetrical tracks Four species of sea turtle leave asymmetrical tracks, sometimes referred to as zipper crawls. These turtles the loggerhead (see illustration below) hawksbill, Kemps ridley and olive ridley alternate the movement of their front flippers so that the front and rear flippers on opposite sides move together. A faint tail drag running through t he middle of the tracks may or may not be present. If the track is fresh and the sand crisp, an exact measurement of maximum track width can provide yet another clue as to species: Species Track Width (widest point) Loggerhead 8090+ cm Hawksbill 7085 cm Kemps Ridley 7080 cm Olive Ridley 7080 cm Loggerhead Turtle Track Source: Sea Turtle Conservation Guidelines ( F FWCC 2007 ) For all practical purposes, a ridley track is physically indistinguishable from that of a hawksbill However, bec ause the nesting range of the ridleys is relatively nar ro w (Kemps ridley : Gulf of Mexico; olive ridley : extreme southern Caribbean and South America), the track is more likely to have been made by a female hawksbill than by either of the ridleys at most C aribbean sites. Kemps and olive ridley tracks are also indistinguishable from each other, but their nesting ranges are non overlapping. In the Western Atlantic region, Kemps ridleys are generally confined to latitudes no rth of 15N, w hile olive ridley s are generally confined to latitudes south of 15N. The ridleys are the smallest of the sea turtles and despite the fact that they once nested in our region by the tens of thousands of turtles per day ( e.g., in Mexico: Ross et al. 1989, Mrquez 1994), th ey are now the rarest of all Caribbean and Atlantic sea turtles.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 68 Examples of asymmetrical nesting tracks: a loggerhead nesting in Florida (left p hoto: Kate Mansfield ) and a h awksbill nesting in Antigua (right photo: Johan Chevalier, DIREN). Note the alternating flipper pattern and in termittent tail drag Symmetrical tracks The tracks of the remaining two species are symmetrical in design meaning that green and leatherback sea turtles move their front flippers unison, literally dragging themselves above the high tide line. Hind flippers create m atching parallel mounds in the middle of the track. Both species te nd to drag their tails, leaving behind either solid or broken lines with accentuated points. The track sizes of these turtles differ noticeably, potentially confused only in the case of a very large green turtle or a very small leatherback: Species Track Width (widest point) Leatherback 150 230+ cm Green 70130 cm Source: Sea Turtle Conservation Guidelines ( FFWCC 2007 )

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 69 Example of a symmetrical nesting track: a leatherback r eturns to the sea in Aruba (left, photo: Turtugaruba Foundation ) and a leatherback hatchling makes a similar journey in Sint Eustatius (right, photo: STENAPA). Because both leatherbacks and green turtles leave a symmetrical track in the sand, o ther fiel d signs can be use ful in distinguish ing between them For example, t he beach disturbance left by a leatherback is broad and disorganized. An expanse of hummocks and thrown sand may extend 5 10 meters across the beach platform, with a track some 2 meters wide leading to and from the sea. In contrast, a green sea turtle leaves a characteristic pit, approximately 1 meter deep and 1.5 meters across, associated with each attempt to dig a nest chamber. The green turtles nesting pit unique among sea turtles, is deep and broad enough to nearly completely conceal the nesting female during her egg laying. Green turtles typically leave a crater on the high beach platform (left, photo: Aruba, Turtugaruba Foundation), whereas a hawksbill nests discretely in m aritime forest and the site can be difficult to locate (right, photo: Antigua, C.G. Stapleton and S. Stapleton). See page 64 for a photo of a typical leatherback nesting site. Want to know more? An excellent resource is Wood (2004), A Field Guide for Sea Turtle Nesting Surveys Southeast U.S. Region Photos and field signs are well presented in this guide, which is available online at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/ marine/turtles/volres/Wood%20Nesting%20Field%20Guide.pdf

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 70 APPENDIX IV SAMPLE MATERIALS FOR PLACEMENT IN HOTEL ROOMS * Used with permission

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 77 APPENDIX V WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SEE A SEA TURTLE ON THE BEACH? * Staff should always r eport sighting s to management, who in turn should provide this information to local conservation partners and the appropriate authorities. The following brief guidelines will he lp in establish ing basic rules of behavior when sea turtles are encountered.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 80 APPENDIX VI WHAT SHOULD I DO I F I SEE A TURTLE WHILE DIVING OR SNORKELING?

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 82 APPENIDX V II WHATS IN IT FOR ME? GREEN GLOBE AND BLUE FLAG CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 83 INDUSTRY CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS Green Globe Green Globe ( http://www.greenglobeint.com/ ) is a global benchmarking and certification program that promotes sustainable tourism throughout the world by providing a framework for environmental and social performance improvement Based on Agenda 21 and the principles endorsed at the United Nations Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992, Green Globe Standards are performanceoriented, providing partici pants with a framework to measure their environmental impact and then develop and implement strat egies to reduce those impacts. Participants of the Green Globe benefit in a variety of ways, including demonstrating the high level of standards that they hold for themselves in their operation to their customers and shareholders, as well as the government and local community. They also gain market share and credibility among consumers seeking companies within the tourism industry that have adopted high environment al standards and sustainable management practices. As importantly, by implementing a more systematic and integrated approach in its operations, a company can significantly reduce energy costs while decreasing water use and waste production. The Green G lobe journey involves three steps: Benchmarked Bronze, Certified Silver and Certified Gold. In order to qualify as a Green Globe operation and display the trademarked Green Globe logo, businesses and communities must be certified by one or more Green Glob e licensee. Green Globe Standards, which underpin the Benchmarking and Certification program for the travel and tourism industry, are available in five categories: Company (Enterprise), Community/Destination, Design and Construct, Precinct, and EcoTourism There are several Focus Areas in achieving the Community Standard, including inter alia a sustainability policy, environmental investment, and a commitment to biodiversity conservation. Adopting and imple menting a Sea Turtle Policy Statement contrib utes meaningfully to each of these areas. E nhanced local socio economic benefits must also be demonstrated a criterion which can be met through the kinds of partnerships with local communities and conservation organizations discussed in this Manual T he Caribbean has the largest number of Green Globe certified properties : according to the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) ( http://www.cha cast.com/ ), an allied partner of Green Globe, there are 57 C ertified P roperties in the region and the T op 10 Be nefits of Certification a re : Reduced water consumption Reduced energy consumption Lower operational costs Improved staff moral e and productivity Increased staff creativity Increased customer satisfact ion Reduced employee conflict Increased employee retention Improved community relationships and benefits Improved business and shareholder value To those who incorporate the recommendations embodied in this Manual, we can add a further benefit: that of se a turtle c onservation and the satisfaction of assisting a unique group of animals that once flour ished in the Caribbean Sea and, according to archeological evidence, have contributed substantially to the nutrition and economy of humankind in the region fo r more than 1,000 years. This is your opportunity to give something back and to reap corporate benefits at the same time.

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 84 Case Study: Bucuti Beach Resort Bucuti Beach Resort ( www.bucuti.com ) is located on Eagle Beach on the western coast of Aruba. Firmly committed to conserving the environment, the resorts management team has implemented conservation programs ranging from waste recycling to preserving wildlife to green constr uction. The progressive nature of the operation and its positive results have been recognized numerous times for example : 2007: ISLANDS Magazine BLUE LIST Global Tourism Sustainable Awards 2007: Green Globe 21, ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 Certified 2006: Gr een Globe 21 ReCertified 2004: International Hotel & Restaurant Association Green Hotel Award, Independent Hotel category 2003: Green Hotel of the Year by the Caribbean Hotel Association 2003: ISO 14001 Environmental Certification (the first hotel in the Americas and the Caribbean to achieve this certification) 2002: Green Globe 21 Certified Sea turtle conservation is a strong component of the resorts environmental and social commitment. At the start of each nesting season, the local WIDECAST affi liate (Turtugaruba Foundation) trains Bucuti Associates to recognize nesting signs on the beach and to respond appropriately. T raining always includes a n interactive slide presentation provid ing an opportunity for management, staff and guests to learn ab out sea turtle biology and the resorts role in safeguarding some of the most important nesting habitat in Aruba Informed and empowered, s taff routinely participate in resort sponsored beach clean ups, report sea turtle nesting and hatching events, and s upport and interact with Turtugaruba volunteers ( e.g. http://bucuti.com/en/about_us/news.php?release=20060531 ) Bucuti Beach Resort fulfills their Certification Performance Criteria in a number of ways, including : Environmental and Social Policy the r esort has focused on reducing energy and water use, limiting solid and liquid waste, promoting guest participation in environmental efforts of the resort, and raising environmental awareness in the community Energy The resort has limited energy use by installing energy efficient light bulbs, solar panels, and motion sensors for lights and air conditioning; a ir condition energy consumption has declined by 30% Water Numerous water saving techniques have been implemented on the property including flow reducers on shower heads and water faucets, reduced capacity toilet tanks, drip and timed irrigation systems, a gray water reuse system and a linen and towel reuse program

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 85 Soli d and liquid waste The resort uses a variety of management schemes to minimize solid and liquid waste, including eliminating the use of disposable dishes and cups and placing bulk soap and shampoo dispensers in all the rooms Resource conservation The resort has reduced the use of paper in their offices communicating mostly through the internet and placing brochures and sales kits on CDs ; t hey also promote wildlife conservation by placing informative signs throughout their property and support and co llaborate with local conser vation organizations to protect wildlife found on their property including sea turtles Each of these commitments from social policy to solid waste benefits the natural environment and contributes in important ways to biodi versity conservation. In return, the resorts relationship with the local sea turtle population is embraced by resort guests and contributes to a positive vacation experience. Combined with the fact that sea turtles are protected in Aruba (Br utigam and Eckert 2006), it is not sur prising that sea turtle nesting is increasing on Eagle Beach. Blue Flag The Blue Flag Campaign ( http://www.blueflag.org/ ) is an international voluntary certification scheme for beache s and marinas. The Blue Flag is an exclusive eco label that was awarded to 3,200 beaches and marinas in 35 countries across Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and the Caribbean in 2005. The Blue Flag label requires beaches and marinas to meet high standards in environmental management, education and information, water quality, safety, and other services. The standards of environmental management include t he proper disposal and recycling of waste, beach cleanliness, and the maintenance of buildings and equipment among other things Blue Flag beaches also must meet the criteria of environmental education and information, which high lights the need for informing the public by providing necessary information regarding water quality and environmental resources; additionally, educational activities need to be provided. Water quality require ments address compliance with treaties, discharge of pollutants and runoff, as well as monitoring the health of nearby coral reefs. The Blue Flag program also checks to see if proper measures are taken to ensure visitor safety by providing lifeguards, preventing conflicts or accidents, and other public ser vices. While Blue Flag does not specifically require the conservation of wildlife, innovative partnerships, such as with REEF CHECK, are focusing attention on the importance of protecting coastal and marine biodiversity. Similarly, WIDECAST is exploring the possibility of a Blue Flag partnership that r ecognizes sea turtle conservation measures implemented by beachfront properties. Such measures might include providing quality nesting habitat by adop ting and implementing a Sea Turtle Policy Statement to include setbacks, proper lighting, unobstructed nesting areas, partnerships with local experts to monitor nesting activity, promoting awareness among beach users of the presence of incubating eggs on t he beach, etc. By adopting and implementing a Sea Turtle Policy Statement, many of Blue Flag mandates are met, including : compliance with all coastal zone planning regulations and environmental legislation, the beach must be clean ( e.g., no industrial or sewage related discharges may affect the beach; waste disposal bins /receptacles must be available on the beach in adequate numbers, regularly maintained and emptied ; requirements for sewage treatment and effluent quality must be met ) no unauthori z d cam p ing or driving on the beach and no dumping regulations concerning dogs and other domestic animals on the beach must be s t rictly enforced etc. In the Caribbean Sea protecting sea turtles is good business! For more information concerning the Caribbean Bl ue Flag program, contact the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) at cast@cha cast.com

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Choi and Eckert (2009) Safeguarding Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches WIDECAST Technical Report 9 86 NOTES

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Working together to build a future where all inhabitants of the Wider Caribbean Region, human and sea turtle alike, can live together in balance. The Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) is a regional coalition of experts and a Partner Organization to the U.N. Environment Programmes Caribbean Environment Programme. WIDECAST was founded in 1981 in response to a recommendation by the IUCN/CCA Meeting of NonGovernmental Caribbean Organizations on Living Resources Conservation for Sustainable Development in the Wider Caribbean (Santo Domingo, 26 29 August 1981) that a Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan should be prepared ... consistent with the Action Plan for the Caribbean Environment Programme. WIDECASTs vision for achieving a regional recovery action plan has focused on bringing the best available science to bear on sea turtle management and conservation, empowering people to make effective use of that science in the policy making process, and providing a mec hanism and a framework for cooperation within and among nations. By involving stakeholders at all levels and encouraging policy oriented research, WIDECAST puts science to practical use in conserving biodiversity and advocates for grassroots involvement i n decisionmaking and project leadership. Emphasizing initiatives that strengthen capacity within participating countries and institutions the network develops and replicates pilot projects, provides technical assistance, enables coor dination in the c ollection, sharing and use of information and data and promotes strong linkages between science, policy, and public participation in the design and implementation of conser vation actions. W orking closely with local communities and resource managers, the network has also developed standard management guidelines and criteria that emphasize best practices and sustainability, ensuring that current utilization practices, whether consumptive or nonconsumptive, do not undermine sea turt le survival over the long term. With Country Coordinators in more than 40 Caribbean nations and territories, WIDECAST is uniquely able to f acilitat e complementary conservation action across range S tates, strengthening and harmonizing legislation, encouraging community involvement, and raising public awareness of the endangered status of the regions six species of migratory sea turtles. As a result most Caribbean nations have adopted a national sea turtle management plan, poaching and illegal product sales have been reduced or eliminated at key sites, many of the regions largest breeding colonies are monitored on an annual basis, alternative livelihood models are increasingly available for rural areas, and citizens are mobilized in support of conservation action. You can j oin us! Visit www.widecast.org for more information. WWW.WIDECAST.ORG Working together to build a future where all inhabitants of the Wider Caribbean Region, human and sea turtle alike, can live together in balance. The Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) is a regional coalition of experts and a Partner Organization to the U.N. Environment Programmes Caribbean Environment Programme. WIDECAST was founded in 1981 in response to a recommendation by the IUCN/CCA Meeting of NonGovernmental Caribbean Organizations on Living Resources Conservation for Sustainable Development in the Wider Caribbean (Santo Domingo, 26 29 August 1981) that a Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan should be prepared ... consistent with the Action Plan for the Caribbean Environment Programme. WIDECASTs vision for achieving a regional recovery action plan has focused on bringing the best available science to bear on sea turtle management and conservation, empowering people to make effective use of that science in the policy making process, and providing a mechanism and a framework for cooperation within and among nations. By involving stakeholders at all lev els and encouraging policy oriented research, WIDECAST puts science to practical use in conserving biodiversity and advocates for grassroots involvement in decisionmaking and project leadership. Emphasizing initiatives that strengthen capacity within participating countries and institutions, the network develops and replicates pilot projects, provides technical assistance, enables coordination in the collection, sharing and use of information and data, and promotes strong linkages between science, polic y, and public participation in the design and implementation of conservation actions. Working closely with local communities and resource managers, the network has also developed standard management guidelines and criteria that emphasize best practices and sustainability, ensuring that current utilization practices, whether consump tive or nonconsumptive, do not undermine sea turtle survival over the long term. With Country Coordinators in more than 40 Caribbean nations and territories, WIDECAST is uniquely able to facilitate complementary conservation action across range States, including strengthening legislation, encouraging community involvement, and raising public awareness of the endangered status of the regions six species of migratory sea turtles As a result, most Caribbean nations have adopted a national sea turtle management plan, poaching and illegal product sales have been dramatically reduced or eliminated at key sites, many of the regions largest breeding colonies are monitored on an annual basis, alternative livelihood models are increasingly available for rural areas, and citizens are mobilized in support of conservation action. You can join us! Visit www.widecast.org for more information. WWW.WIDECAST.ORG