The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN) held its 10th annual Sea Turtle Camp from 17-29 July, 2017. Marine and Beach Conservation Officers from the Department of Marine Resources and St. Kitts Department of Environment served as Camp Counselors. The six officers were Locksley Edwards, Tasia Jones, Jevanito Huggins, Kaywanna Hughes, Ashadi Duncan and Lucianno Eddy.
Ashadi Duncan, Marine Conservation Officer recalled “We were all excited about becoming Camp Counselors and sharing our knowledge with the campers. It was easier than we thought; the campers were very engaged and enthusiastic about all of the presentations and field trips. The camp promoted positive messaging about sea turtles through art and craft interpretations which were displayed at the turtle release.”
The campers learnt about the importance of preserving sea turtles, their ecosystems and how they can get involved in sea turtle conservation in St. Kitts. Turtle edutainment (education and entertainment) through arts and crafts, games, and field trips to various beaches where they participated in beach scavenger hunts, beach clean ups, learned how to do beach profiling, and monitor sea turtle nests. Another highly anticipated field trip was to the St. Kitts and Nevis Aquaculture Pilot Project and Environmental Research (SNAPPER) where campers met sea turtles that were there for rehabilitation by the SKSTMN. Plastics harm turtles! Campers learnt about the importance of recycling and reducing waste and participating in the St. Kitts Plastic Free July Campaign.
The Sea Turtle Camp concluded with a Hawksbill Turtle release on Saturday July 29th 2017, at Whitehouse Bay. Over 250 persons lined the beach area to witness “KITTAR- The Kittitian Turtle” entering the Caribbean Sea.