Johath Laudino-Santillán, S. Hoyt Peckham, Kama Dean, Melania López-Castro and Wallace J. Nichols. Strengthening sea turtle conservation on Baja California Peninsula: Education, outreach and communication. 2008. . In: Rees, A.F., M. Frick, A. Panagopoulou and K. Williams., compilers. Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-569, 262 p.
The Grupo Tortuguero works with local communities to recover migratory sea turtle species and reverse declines of diversity, complexity and connectivity of ocean basins. The objectives of this project are: 1) to build a diverse network of fishermen, students, teachers, activists, researchers, funders, managers, indigenous community members and other coastal citizens.; 2) draw on these relationships to understand threats, generate new knowledge and develop locally-appropriate solutions and 3) empower local leaders to communicate the conservation message and share these solutions widely. One of the main challenges in the field of marine conservation is the progression from field research to knowledge to the modification of detrimental behaviors. Recognizing this, a comprehensive education, outreach and communications plan remains a major part of our conservation strategy. Based on our research and work in communities we implement solutions and share our findings widely through a variety of media outlets, educational programs, festivals, symposia and public meetings, with the goals of defining policy and modifying detrimental behaviors. Using the five species of sea turtle found on the Baja California peninsula (Caretta caretta, Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriacea, Eretmochelys imbricata and Lepidochelys olivacea) as flagship species for environmental conservation, we are encouraging sensitivity and appreciation of local natural resources. We have developed a methodology to identify the main environmental challenges in the region, and have developed various activities such as cleanup campaigns, festivals, sporting events, and outreach using stickers, posters and t-shirts that have become a permanent message of conservation and protection of sea turtles.
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