San Pancho and Turtle News from Costa Verde Ecological Group
Frank D. Smith - Ecological Group of Costa Verde

May 5, 2017

Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Readers ~

The 2017 nesting season began on May 1st, however, at this point in time, we are critically short of several good volunteers (May through mid-June, and mid-August through October).  If you get the chance, please tell all your friends and family that we have great surfing beaches, outstanding restaurants, good lodgings, potluck dinners, and good environmental work if they wish to join us. Visit Select on our website showing the dates that we are in need volunteers.

Weather-wise: Daytime temperatures were mostly in the mid to high 80°s, nighttime temperatures were down to the low to high 60°s.  The lagoon has been closed off to the sea for months, and is carpeted with bright green water plants. We received no rain or unusual weather events in April, the total rainfall for the year is 1.04 inches.

Town and Country wise: As expected, the town was packed with a record number of tourists during Semana Santa (Easter). The town’s fathers had made an effort to keep tent camping to the far south of the lagoon but the effort failed within days when the town was over run by the crowds turned away from Sayulita. The town received all new LED streetlights; the change to LED dropped the wattage from about 100 watts down to 22 watts while providing even better lighting. The peso was madly fluctuating between 18.0 to 19.5 pesos per dollar; regular gasoline in San Pancho was 16.22 pesos per liter.

The big uproar around town this April was created over the pros and cons of the construction of a 62-unit condominium complex planned within the vacant lot next to the Las Palmas Restaurant. The pro side of the argument comes from a few locals that saw the project as bonanza of work. Not true at all, as developers had plans to bring the labor force from Lo de Marcos. This is a little like the XL pipeline, once finished, only a handful of employees will be needed to maintain it, perhaps a few maids and some groundskeepers or gardeners.

The developers have plans to build a wall and a swimming pool out on the high tide line (see the map below) which would make it nearly impossible for locals and our volunteers to walk the beach in either direction during high tide, storms, etc.  This is not at all a good direction in which we want San Pancho to follow, a couple of six-story, white elephants towering over our beach, and the possibility that the condominium management will not allow people to walk on or use the beach in front of it. If they succeed, it will cause grave harm to our marine turtle program.

From what I have observed over the past twenty-six years of working with the marine turtle, it is evident that over the past several hundred years, thousands of marine turtles have made their nests within the area that these developers claim as their land (the Federal Zone, including a 30-foot strip of land beyond the red/white line). On the map below, notice how the white line which has been the Federal Zone for decades hugs the end of the northern alleyway, Las Olas property lines and their chain link fence, the end of the southern alleyway, both restaurant structures, the Malecon, etc.

Despite my hard work to locate the homeowners listed below, I had failed. I know that most of you were in San Pancho over the past six months, although, for me to be on your doorstep at the right time was impossible despite endless miles of driving and countless telephone calls. If you are interested in receiving a directory and/or giving a donation, please drop by my house and pickup a copy, or if you are out of town for the summer and wish to donate, there is PayPal.

Homeowners: Keating Bartholomew, Trish and Blair Albertson, Sandy Lockett, Giulio Olivotto, Nancy Nicola, Jeff and Michele Boston, Echeverria-Weber, Melodee, Dan and Gabe Loshbaugh, Greg and Lanai Draper, Juan and Frances Romero, Gilles and Monique Ste-Croix, John and Charlotte Nelson, Pat and Nitzi Rabin, Jim and Laura Marx, Marc Van Geffen, Coco and Dan McCoy, David and Laura Figuli, Javier and Jennie Galindo, Ed and Frances Barlow.

Fun and games: Just as I began to teach this young volunteer how to drive the Dune Buggy it becomes a stubborn mule. When I pulled into a vacant field where she was to drive, and set the transmission into neutral. When she began to set the gear into low the entire shifting assembly fell into several pieces, the clutch cable snapped, so we walked home. The next day the buggy was totally repaired and it received two new seats and two new waterproof covers, one black and one yellow.

Frank D. Smith, Director
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Project Tortuga
Tel. 311-258-4100

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