In support of Tamar Project’s event commemorating the 35 million turtle babies released along the Brazilian coast, the Port of Açu participated in environmental education activities and in the symbolic release of babies which took place today at the São Thomé lighthouse, in Campos. The celebration took place at the headquarters for Açu Lake State Park (PELAG) and included expositions and speeches in addition to storytelling and to poetry and drawing contests between area students. The events, which were open to the public, went from 10 am to 4pm.
About 50 children participated in the activities and, in addition to mugs and Tamar t-shirts, the top three drawings and poems won backpacks supplied by the Port of Açu. One of them was 11-year-old Maria Clara Barreto, a sixth grader from public school Cláudia Almeida, who wrote the first-place poem. “The verses came to me as I wrote. I have already participated in releases at the lighthouse and could see the turtles up close. So, I put what I learned at the beach activities together with daily experiences,” she said proudly.
Tamar 4.jpgTamar started protecting marine turtles in Brazil in 1980 and, since then, its main goal has been to do research, conservation, and management of the five species found in Brazil. Tamar protects nearly 1100 km of beaches in 25 spots over nine Brazilian states. Tamar has been present on the northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State for 16 years. Ten of those years have been supported by the Port of Açu.
According to the coordinator of Tamar’s Campos Basin branch, biologist Daniella Torres, the number of babies released through Tamar is cause for celebration. “It is with great happiness that Tamar celebrates the 35 million babies released in the ocean. It is a very important benchmark. Through the awareness and help provided by the population, researchers, institutions and partner companies, we have managed to advance in turtle conservation,” she said.
Tamar 11.jpgOf the 35 million babies released since Tamar started, more than 600,000 have benefitted from the Port of Açu’s Marine Turtle Monitoring program, which has been going on since 2008. In it, technicians cover 62 km of beach daily, registering any occurrences relating to the turtles. The monitoring goes from Pontal de Atafona, in São João da Barra, to Barra do Furado, in Campos. During the reproductive period, which goes from September to March, the team also has the mission of finding turtle nests, identifying them and following them up to the birth of the babies.
According to Wanderson Primo de Sousa, Port of Açu’s Environment manager, the Monitoring Program’s mission is to work with the Port so that it can contribute ever increasingly to the millions of babies released by Tamar. “We are very happy to be participating in the celebration of this achievement together with Tamar, and we take this opportunity to reinforce our commitment to marine turtle conservation in the Port Complex’s monitored area. Congratulations to all involved in this work!”
The Marine Turtle Monitoring Program follows the technical guidelines set forth by the Chico Mendes Biodiversity Conservation Institute (ICMBio) – Tamar and the State Environmental Institute (INEA).