Project AWARE - Creating Plastic-Free Sea Turtle Habitat
Sea turtle conservation workers are removing plastic garbage from important sea turtle nesting beaches across Costa Rica as part of a new project to study the concentration of garbage and help reduce it. Garbage is harmful to endangered sea turtles, especially juveniles, that accidently eat it or become entangled in it. The project is a collaboration between international conservation groups PRETOMA, SeaTurtles.org, and Project AWARE.
Teams have conducted scientific assessments of the exact density of garbage, also known as marine debris, along beaches, removed hundreds of pounds of the debris, and spread awareness of the harmful impacts of plastic pollution to sea turtles. The project has taken place at Estacion Las Tortugas in the Caribbean and on the Pacific Coast at Playa Caletas, Playa Coyote, Playa San Miguel, and Playa Costa de Oro.

“It’s very important to understand that plastic garbage lasts for tens, maybe hundreds, of years in the marine environment,” says project leader Chris Pincetich, Ph.D. of SeaTurtles.org. “The plastic garbage is harming sea turtles and the chemicals in it are becoming part of the fishes we eat.”

“The continuation of this project will not only help keep the local beaches free of garbage but also educate local community members and tourists how to be more responsible with their rubbish in the future” said Lotti Adams from Turtle Tracks (www.turtle-trax.com), a Costa Rican business placing volunteers at sea turtle nesting beaches working on the project.
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