FUNDRAISING SPOTLIGHT: COASTCARE
Coastcare - Make your swim count for the future of our turtles
With over 13,500 kilometres of coastline, Western Australia is home to some of the world’s most remarkable ecosystems and marine wildlife – six of the world’s seven turtle species reside in our waters!
With this in mind, we are inviting you to make your swim count by supporting the future of our marine life and turtles through Coastcare.
Turtles are great evolutionary survivors. Their slow and steady nature has helped them plod through 220 million years of natural selective pressures.
Now a combination of human-induced changes has created a downward spiral of the survival of our turtles. Sadly, many turtle species will have disappeared by the close of this century.
However, there are a number of Coastcare groups in WA dedicated to caring and protecting the coastline so that our marine life, like turtles, have a place to lay their eggs in safe and protected environments.
The Ningaloo turtle program is one such example of a project that Coastcare volunteers are dedicated to. The aim of the program is to share information about nesting habits of the turtles with scientists and the public to ensure their protection.
The Ningaloo Reef has been popular with marine turtles for over 5,000 years and is a perfect playground; the turtles feast, frolic and mate in the area, while the beach is the ideal place to lay their eggs.
Coastcare volunteers spend hours throughout summer acting as ‘turtle monitors’, armed with a GPS, digital camera, tape measure, and a turtle identification booklet.
The volunteers’ role is to locate a turtle nest and mark its location. Then, identifying and following the tracks of the turtles, the volunteers determine if something spooked the visiting turtle back into the ocean, interfering with the nesting cycle.
With the information collected, marine biologists now have a better understanding of the behaviour of the turtles and what stands in their way for nesting.
In addition to the Ningaloo turtle program, there are hundreds of other Coastcare groups and volunteers working hard to protect and care for our marine life.
Coastcare needs funds to keep this important work going.
Make your swim count this March and swim for Coastcare. The funds raised will support Coastcare projects in your local region.
The person who registers and fundraises the most for our turtles will receive a custom-made wetsuit, valued at $680 from S2 wetsuits.
Pic: Coastcare volunteers turtle monitoring (image supplied)