Leatherback Sea Turtles
Leatherback Sea Turtle. Photo: Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Trinidad and Tobago

Leatherback sea turtles to return to a clean Matura Beach

Trinidad is host to the majestic leatherback sea turtles as they travel across the Atlantic Ocean to nest on our east coast beaches from March to September every year. Leatherback sea turtles have been around for more than 110 million years and play a significant role in maintaining healthy oceans.

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It is, therefore, critical that the beach shorelines are clear of debris that may hamper the journey of female leatherback sea turtles from the ocean to their nesting sites. Debris, especially marine waste, is a predominant factor in their entanglement and death along this journey.

Leatherback Sea Turtle
Leatherback Sea Turtle. Photo: Visit Trinidad

Nature Seekers partnered with staff members of Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL) and conducted the Matura Beach Clean-Up 2022. The Matura Beach Clean-up took place from March 6th to 12th, and involved the collection and removal of glass, plastic, metal, and degradable materials from the shoreline, to facilitate successful turtle nesting.

Nature Seekers and TTL
Members of Nature Seekers and TTL at Matura Beach Clean-up.

Matura Beach is a popular nesting site of the leatherback sea turtles. This year, the clean-up was more than just collection of trash. It was an opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to environment conservation and to the preservation of marine life.

Matura Beach clean up
Clean-up activities at Matura Beach.

Over 340 bags were collected (3169 kilograms or 6986 pounds) with 83 percent of the waste being plastic and the rest old flips flops, styrofoam (polystyrene) objects, fishing nets and ropes and other macroplastics.

Matura clean up
Garbage collection at Matura Beach.

TTL employees volunteered their time, energy, and resources “to live tourism” by making a difference to the amazing leatherback sea turtles and to the Matura community that has built its economic livelihoods on these wonderous creatures. This activity also contributed to the strengthening of the organisation’s team and corporate social responsibility.

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The Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Trinidad, Kurtis Rudd, explained, “I am really impressed by the tremendous turnout and participation by our staff for this Matura Beach clean-up. More than 25 employees came out and covered specific zones of the 7-mile-long Matura Beach; picking up debris such as broken glass, logs, plastic bottles, and general waste that can injure beachgoers and have a huge detrimental effect on local marine life and ecosystems. Activities such as this not only assists in conservation of the natural environment but ensures the authentic connection of tourism officials to the industry.”

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He continued that “It is time for us to look at the way we live and reduce our consumption of single-use plastic. In this regard, therefore, it is critical that we clean up our shorelines, protect marine life and support our community coastal tourism economies. Nature Seekers must be applauded for their long-standing work in environment conservation and dedication to the protection of the nesting sites of the leatherback turtles.”

Hacienda Jacana

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Hacienda Jacana is a peaceful country haven. Slip into the serene setting of a private country paradise, discretely set in 22 acres on the edge of the tropical rain forest at the centre of Trinidad. Relax or BBQ poolside, walk the grounds, bird watch, read a book in a hammock under the trees, fish or canoe in the lake. There are 4 cottages, each with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. You can rent just 1 cottage with either 1 or 2 bedrooms; or all 4 cottages.

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