About 100 of Botinho Project’s children in São João da Barra took part today in an educational activity sponsored by the Port of Açu and in support of the summer camp put on by the Fire Department. Gathered at the Science Space, by the Atafona beach center, the kids had the chance to get to know the Port of Açu’s Marine Turtle Monitoring Program up close while listening to a lecture given by the team responsible for the project. After that, technicians took the children towards the beach and released the hatchlings under the watchful eye of the youngsters.
The biologist responsible for the Program, Tatiane Bittar, spoke about the turtles’ lifestyle and explained how the community can contribute to the successful births of the hatchlings. “Contact with the children and teenagers is always positive. They are curious, demonstrate interest in learning about the turtles and work hard to spread the knowledge they acquire. We honestly really want to be part of this type of activity,” she said.
Botinho 6.jpgIn the Marine Turtle Monitoring Program, created in 2008, monitors cover 62 km (38 miles) of shoreline, registering all events related to the turtles. Monitoring efforts range from Pontal de Atafona, in São João da Barra, to Barra do Furado, in Campos dos Goytacazes. During mating season, which goes from September until March, the team is also tasked with locating nests, identifying them and keeping track of them until hatchlings are born.
The Port of Açu’s Social Responsibility coordinator, Izabel Sousa, reiterated the importance of letting the younger ones have a closer look at the work developed by the company. “Being able to support Botinho Project and spread environmental awareness to the participants is very fulfilling. Presenting our Monitoring Program to the community is a form of encouraging each individual to take part in it. We are trying to show that we all have a role to play in preserving the environment,” she said.
Botinho 7.jpgThe Botinho Project has been going on since 1963, and was designed to stimulate a culture of maritime accident prevention and environmental preservation through organized educational activities.