Monday, June 04, 2007

RC&D in the News

Marianas Variety, Monday, June 4, 2007

Turtle conservation advocates seek community’s support
By Emmanuel T. Erediano
Variety News Staff

A NEW group advocating the conservation of turtles will use videos of the threatened species in order to get support from the community, according to one of the advocates.

The group called Marianas Turtle Conservation Program —Meeting the Micronesia Challenge met on Friday at the Aqua Resort Club.

Three speakers discussed the threats faced by green sea turtles. They are Marianas Island Natures Alliance executive director Angelo Villagomez, Coastal Resource Management natural resource planner, Kathy Yuknavage, and Division of Fish and Wildlife turtle protection unit chief, Joe Ruak.

Villagomez in an telephone interview yesterday said those who attended the meeting have agreed to make underwater videos of turtles and the DFW’s conservation activities.

The group’s video project may be funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Villagomez said.

He added that they plan to submit grant applications for their programs.
Department of Land and Natural Resources Secretary Ignacio De la Cruz earlier said that the business sector, particularly hotel owners, should be involved in protecting the turtles.

He said there are certain conditions at hotel beachfronts that adversely affect the turtles. Too bright lights for example scare away the turtles, he said.

Hotel personnel also need to get informed about the turtles’ behavior, Dela Cruz said.
He added that the hawksbill turtle is now an endangered species, while the green sea turtle is a threatened species.
This meeting was hosted by Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council. We passed out Restoration Committee T-shirts along with our new bumper stickers and canvass bags.