That the availability of extensive scientific knowledge and the application of best practices is a pre-requisite for effective conservation of marine turtles and their habitats is undeniable. Nevertheless, in spite of the prolonged application of human and economic resources to generate information and recommendations in specialized publications, international and regional meetings and workshops, deficiencies persist when transferring to governmental programs of national scope and these are amplified at the local level with absent, erratic or baseless conservation policies. Consequently, recovery programs are exceeded by pressure factors like persistent directed and incidental capture of marine turtles, egg poaching and trade and the degradation/destruction of critical habitats. Through the instrumentation of a practice-based model at a local level that included biological and social components, we organized best-practice training workshops, environmental education programs, a marine fauna contingencies committee, a strandings network, programs to promote valuation of the natural heritage within cultural and traditional festivals, and dissemination through the mass media. We present results for these programs and report on the successes at mitigating pressure factors impacting the local El Verde (Sinaloa, Mexico) marine turtle sanctuary, an index nesting beach for Lepidochelys olivacea, and foraging grounds for Eretmochelys imbricata and Chelonia agassizii, with a monitoring program since 1975.