Açu Port, in partnership with the Tamar Project and the Mayor’s Office of São João da Barra, has been sponsoring events to free marine turtles that are open to the public. The action is carried out every Friday, always at 4:30 pm, and will go on until late February. It takes place in different parts of the coast in order to reach the entire community, and is part of the summer calendar of the town.
The first action was in front of Atafona visitors’ center. The second was held on Grussaí Beach, in front of the food court. Put together, more than one thousand people attended both actions. The next one will take place this Friday at Açu Port, in front of the Church of Our Lady of Penha. The goal is to increase awareness among residents and tourists about preserving the animals, through environmental education. The action is part of the Marine Turtle Monitoring Program, managed by the port since 2008.
“We are very proud of the program that we developed to monitor marine turtles on the beaches of São João da Barra. This is no doubt an issue of interest not only to us who are involved in the project, but to the whole community. This is why we are so pleased to share important information that may contribute to increase awareness among the people,” said João Teixeira, Sustainability Manager at Açu Port.
Under the program, monitors run through 62km of the coast every day to register any situation involving the turtles. Telemetric data and visual information from vessels are also gathered as aid in handling and preserving the species. Biologist and project coordinator Tatiane Bittar has the relentless mission of locating and identifying turtle nests along with her team of monitors, biologists and vets. She also coordinates events to help the hatchlings reach the sea, attracting the curiosity of beachgoers in São João da Barra.
“I say that these babies are like my own, because I care so much and give them so much attention. My team and I are always on the beach, checking the development of nests and making sure that hatchlings survive. Actions to free the turtles along with the community are also dear to me, particularly when I see the spark in the eyes of children who are learning about animal preservation from an early age. ”
Turtles lay eggs between September and March. On the stretch between Açu and Atafona, about 15,000 hatchlings have already been helped to the sea. Of those, only 15 to 30 will reach adulthood. This is why the work carried out by the group is so important.
“We are pleased with this successful partnership between the Environment Secretary, Tamar Project and Açu Port. The result is positive, with strong participation of families in the pursuit of environmental awareness and integration with nature,” said Alex Firme, Environment Secretary of São João da Barra.
The Marine Turtle Monitoring Program follows technical guidelines set by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) – Tamar and the State’s Environment Institute (INEA).