Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA) launched the 2022 Turtle Camp season; this will be the twenty-seventh season of conservation and protection by the ecological non governmental, not for profit institution founded in 1993 in Akumal. Fortunately, Claudia Leon, hydrologist and marine turtle coordinator for the center, is returning after an extremely challenging first year with the Akumal Camp. Not having a technician per beach has increasingly become a stress due to human impact/development, sargasso and other climate change issues like the increase of storms, high tide and water and sand temperatures not to mention the pandemic restrictions and the consequential hit to funding. With the increased needs of helping the hundreds expected over a thousand nests to be laid this season, and a decrease in resources to funding for staff, the camp has been relying more and more on the dedication and assistance of the residential volunteer group, the Guardians of Akumal Turtles, and a variety of youth and volunteer travellers, looking to pitch in, and help the cause.
Flash forward to the past two years-2020/2021 and you can see hard at work CEA staff, volunteers and the Guardians of Akumal’s Turtles all working together to help the nesting sea turtles and all the while educating, preparing and spreading the word about the sacred sea turtles from which Akumal, the place of the turtles.
Because six of the seven species of Marine turtles are endangered, and are protected by international and Mexican laws. CEA’s Turtle Nesting Protection Program is operated through a permit and our plan is based on SEMARNAT guidelines, more commonly known as NOMs (Norma Oficial Mexicana). NOM-162-SEMARNAT-2012 which provides us with the foundation of our action plan during the nesting season for conservation and protection of the turtles.