I Newsletter 2/2004
Turtle Watch on Statia's Beaches
On Saturday the 24th of May,
STENAPA began its third year
of patrolling Statia's beaches.
The object is to monitor the
Sea Turtles nesting activities
on our shores.
STENAPA's Sea Turtle Moni-
toring Program is sponsored
by Wider Caribbean Sea Tur-
tle Conservation Network
(WIDECAST), the World Turtle
Trust, KNAP nature conserva-
tion fund (VOMIL, Curacao)
and Idea Wild (USA).
STENAPA's patrol crew of two
monitors the beach most
nights. The first patrols were
conducted by Program Coor-
dinator Rozenn Le Scao and
High School student Coen
Cherubin. He is a pupil of the
Gwendolyn van Putten High
School in St. Eustatius and
was onjob training with
STENAPA for 2 weeks.
Their first night patrol started
with high excitement as they
spotted a nesting Leather-
back Turtle. Unfortunately,
the turtle chose a nesting site
susceptible to erosion by
waves, which caused the
patrol crew to move the eggs
to a nest on safer ground.
They also tagged the Leather-
back Turtle on her flipper.
On patrolling the beach the
following night, they noted,
that the location where the
clutch of eggs was first depos-
ited, was completely flooded.
Thanks to the vigilance and
action of the patrol crew a
number of Leatherback Tur-
tles will now have a chance
to hatch, grow and perhaps
come back to Zeelandia to
start the cycle over again.
For Coen the experience on
the beach will surely be a
memorable one. It was his
first encounter with a Leath-
erback Turtle and though he
was a bit apprehensive to
start off with, he soon real-
ised that she was a gentle
creature. Coen feels privi-
leged to be part of the patrol
crew as well as having this
wonderful experience from
which he learned so much.
(Photo by Rozenn Le Scao)
At the same time, STENAPA is
grateful for Coen's help and
assistance with the Turtle
Monitoring Program and
plans to continue working
with students in the future.
The Leatherback Turtle is
listed as critically endangered,
and therefore the need for
information and awareness is
of the utmost importance. Sea
Turtles nesting on Statia's
shores are the Leatherback,
Green and Hawksbill Turtles.
During May 2004, STENAPA
has conducted two training
sessions for the Sea Turtle
Monitoring Program, one for
volunteers working for
STENAPA and one for mem-
bers of the public of Statia.
Both sessions were well at-
caught in Rope
The Daily Herald of 11-05-04
reported a Leatherback Turtle
caught up in ropes, designed
to hold marker buoys in
place. This happened at a
resort in St.Maartin, where
the unfortunate animal tried
to come ashore. A resident
rushed to rescue the large
turtle, but only managed to
sever part of the entangle-
ment. After a hard struggle,
the turtle escaped, still
wrapped in rope and trailing
three marker buoys. A dinghy
tried for some time to follow
the turtle, but alas ran out of
fuel. The Nature Foundation
of St Maarten was alerted,
after which the area was pa-
trolled, to no avail. The fate of
the Leatherback does not
bear thinking about.
Keeping in mind the status of
the Leatherback Turtle, as
indeed all Sea Turtles, inci-
dents like this should be
avoided at all costs. Should
members of the public in
Statia ever notice a similar
tragedy, STENAPA earnestly
requests, that they are in-
formed immediately. Because
there is a risk of further inju-
ries, rescue by the public
should only be attempted, if
the animal's life is in acute
Inside this issue:
Environmental Week in 2
Beach clean-ups in St.
Marker buoys for
Reptiles on Statia
Special points of inter-
* The Botanical Gardens are
open from 7am-12noon every
weekday. You can visit outside
these hours but there might
not be a guide available. Con-
tact the office if you want to
arrange a guided tour.
* You are invited tojoin patrols
for the turtle program on Zee-
landia, either sunset patrols to
look for hatchlings or night
patrols to look for nesting tur-
tles. Contact the office to let us
know when you wish to come.
* The next Plant Sale will start at
end June at the National and
Marine Parks Office. The plants
come from the Botanical Gar-
den and are surplus to require-
ments. We have plants from
SSt Eustatius: Nat l ad Mrine P s ad B a
ENVIRONMENTAL WEEK IN ST. EUSTATIUS
As part c
the C. Fl
ing the c
Activities (Photo by Carrie Simon)
May 3rd the Island Government of St.
Eustatius launched its Environmental
Week Program with a Health Walk and
Treasure Hunt for all government em-
ployees. The walk started at Government
Guest House on Oranjestraat and ended
at the Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Gar-
The Employees were placed in nine
groups and everyone was issued with
questionnaires which had to be an-
swered on their way to the Treasure
Hunt. After a rest and refreshments at the
Botanical Garden, the party proceeded to
Zeelandia Beach for "Fun and Games"
e.g. Tug of War (men against women).
May 4th Field trip in the morning with
the object to collect and remove tires
and old batteries from locations such as
Brown's Garage, White Wall, Union Farm
and Zeelandia. 10AM Radio Program
highlighting the aim and purpose of En-
vironmental Week. At 7.30 PM a meeting
at the Christine Flanders Community
Center had been called by the Island
Government, where, along with repre-
sentatives of Government and other
interested bodies, Dr. Lee Harris of the
Coral Reef Foundation and Nicole
Esteban of STENAPA, were present.
May 5th Inventory of car wrecks on the
May 6th Collection of "Groot Vuil" (large
items of rubbish) in Oranjestad.
May 7th Planting of trees, Coconut Palms,
Aloe and Lilies along Gallows Bay.
Employees and Volunteers of could be
STENAPA were actively involved in effect to
helping and assisting with Environ- of similar
ment Week. bean, w
As part of Environment Week submerc
STENAPA conducted a Goat Survey in For mor
the Quill National Park. The result this web
shows, that the number of goats
within the Protected Area will certainly Nicole E
cause long term damage. At the end lighted t
of Environment Week, STENAPA ar-
ranged a beach clean up at Zeelandia.
STENAPA received the gift of a very
beautiful pastel painting. Depicted is
an underwater scene with the accent
on turtles. The generous donor is a
French artist by the name of Martine
Cotten. Ms Cotten's connection to
STENAPA is through Rozenn Le Scao,
a STENAPA employee who also hails
To enable the public to share in this
painting, STENAPA has decided to
have posters printed as well as getting
T-shirts made. For this reason a slogan
is needed for the picture. STENAPA
invites the people of Statia, as well as
friends and supporters elsewhere, to
don their thinking caps, so that we can
get as many suggestions as possible.
The aim of the poster and T-shirt is to Some int
promote awareness, on how impor-
tant it is to protect all Marine Turtles. Coastal
All contact numbers are listed on page
4 of this publication.
STENAPA extends sincerest thanks to
- .. l r 1. : T r I I[ T: ( : r t r : i l -: n _-r il l '
resting and disturbing facts:
Communities around the world are
losing millions on eco-tourism, due to the
destruction of rare turtles.
The Leatherback turtle has declined by 90 %
In the last 20 years
f St. Eustatius Environment Week
d Government hosted a meeting at
anders Community Centre. Attend-
)ccasion were members of govern-
r. Ronald Rouse, Mrs Carol Jack rep-
g GGD, Professor Lee Harris and
A Manager Nicole Esteban. The
was broadcast live on local radio.
r Harris, Ph.D., P.E. of the Reef Ball
ion visited Statia on invitation of the
government. Professor Harris gave a
tion on how the beaches of Statia
Sre-established, with no adverse
the environment. He gave examples
r problems elsewhere in the Carib-
hich were addressed by building
)ed reefs, constructed of reef balls.
e information on this subject visit
steban, Manager of STENAPA, high-
he activities of the Marine Park and
issues on St. Eustatius.
BEACH CLEAN-UPS IN ST. EUSTATIUS
STENAPA sponsored a beach clean up
on Zeelandia Beach on Wednesday 14th
of April. The exercise was part of the
Snorkel Club and Junior Rangers Club
activities for children and youth.
STENAPA staff members, five volunteers
and six youngsters from their respective
Nicole Esteban, Manager of STENAPA
said, although a clean up took place six
weeks previously, Zeelandia Beach was
again covered in litter. Much of the debris
was plastic bottles for outboard oil, motor
oil, water and sun screen, as well as
glass bottles, Styrofoam cups and fishing
nets. These items were found mostly
downwind from Smith's Gut entrance, in
the vicinity of Statia's landfill. Nicole
Esteban stressed, that beach cleaning is
particularly important because of the Sea
Turtle nesting season. Earlier in April the
first Hawksbill Turtle's nesting activity this
season, had been observed.
Regular beach cleaning tasks will be
undertaken until November, when the
turtle nesting season will be over.
STENAPA appeals to the public to be
mindful of the environment by cleaning
up and taking their rubbish home, after a
visit to the beaches.
Marine Turtles, particularly the highly
threatened, soft shelled Leatherback Tur-
tles are easily injured by debris.
STENAPA beach combers
(Photo by Carrie Simon)
To mark World Earth Day, the Snorkel
Club, sponsored by STENAPA, spent the
afternoon of the 22nd of April on the
shore of Oranjestad Bay. Their aim was,
to pick up rubbish and all "unnatural" ma-
terials littering the shallow water, rocks
and sandy beaches. Gershon Lopes,
assistant manager of STENAPA and
leader of the Snorkel Club was in charge
of the clean up activities.
The group of "snorkelers" started at the
pier, working their way towards the al-
mond tree. Their harvest included fish pot
wire, pieces of roof tin, beer bottles and
other rubbish floating in the shallow water
or littering the rocks and sand. The return
trip was made on foot, picking up all un-
natural debris scattered along the shore
Gershon Lopes feels that children should
be made aware of their environment and
STENAPA Intern Lucy Savage from the
UK and other volunteers, Jaime Vickers
and Dave Lawson assisted Gershon.
STENAPA extends thanks and apprecia-
tion to all who helped in cleaning up the
beaches thus making them a safer place
for the island's Marine Life.
Two more marker boys for Southern Reserve
At the request of Statia's fishermen,
STENAPA placed two more marker buoys
at the edge of the southern reserve within
the St. Eustatius Marine Park.
The buoys are third and fourth, defining
the boundaries of the reserve.
In the past the fishermen were afraid of
inadvertently placing their pots within the
reserve, resulting in possible confiscation
of pots and their catch.
The positioning of these buoys will aid in
ascertaining exactly where the bounda-
ries of the reserve are located.
The reserve is a section of the Marine Park
in which fishing is not allowed by law. The
purpose is to give fish, lobsters and conch
a safe area in which to multiply and there-
fore improve fishing in nearby waters.
STENAPA's Rozenn Le Scao stressed that
without the help of Statia Terminal's craft
"STATIA RESPONDER" the buoys with
their anchoring mechanisms could not
have been placed.
STENAPA thanks Statia Terminal for an-
choring chain and assistance in place-
ment as well as PADI PROJECT AWARE
for providing the buoys and the ropes.
(Photo by Rozenn Le Scao)
St Eustatius: National and Marine
Parks and Botanical Gardens
St Bustatius National Parks
National and Marine Park Office
St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
STENAPA is an environmental not-for-profit founda-
tion on St Eustatius and was established in 1988. The
objectives of STENAPA are to upkeep the natural envi-
ronment, to preserve and protect endangered or en-
demic species (flora and fauna) and to educate the
community about the importance of the protection of
the natural environment.
Areas of responsibility include management of the
marine park, the national parks and the Miriam C
Schmidt Botanical Gardens. STENAPA is legally dele-
gated by the Island Council to manage these pro-
Special thanks to Heid Duncan for her time and dedication in producing this edition of the STENAPA Update
New Group of Volunteers at STENAPA
Reptiles on Statia
A new international group of volunteers
has arrived on Statia. They will be with us
for two months. Like the young people
who were here before them, they work
diligently on all STENAPA'S projects. At
present, an extra task is the nightly turtle
watches, which are taken in turns. The
volunteers are also busy with building
retaining walls in the Botanical Garden,
benches for the visitors to rest on and the
ongoing job of keeping the gardens free
of weeds. The Jean Gemmill Bird Trail is
being extended, to meet up with the
Round the Mountain Trail. All these activi-
ties would be very daunting for the faint-
hearted. STENAPA, as always, salutes
In the photo from left to
Rob from England, Steven
and Floris from Holland,
Matthew from Canada,
Sophie from England and
at extreme right Julie from
:_.,. Denmark, In front Foxi
Not in the picture is Lucy,
she was a volunteer with
" .. .. .. -" Lth
:"'' the last group, but elected
S. to stay on as an Intern until
(Photo by Heidi Duncan) the end of August.
Alert Statians will have noticed the new
sign outside the offices of STENAPA.
The sign, depicting the Lesser Antillean
Iguana /Iguana de/icatissimna/was do-
nated by the International Iguana Soci-
ety, in connection with a month long
population survey of all reptiles on the
island. This survey will be conducted dur-
ing the month of June.
The Iguana posters will be put up at the
entrance to the Quill Trail, on Round the
Mountain trail and at the entrance to the
Botanical Garden. Statia Terminal has
agreed to place two signs and hopefully
more will be placed in other strategic