October 29th, 2018 -- The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN) has nearly completed the process of educational sign placement for the two main leatherback nesting beaches on St. Kitts, North Friars Beach and Keys Beach. The SKSTMN was the proud recipient of a grant from the Judith A. Towle Environmental Studies Fund at the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands in 2017, enabling the implementation of this project, developed by SKSTMN Member, Ms. Kayla Sell as a portion of her MS studies, entitled “Strengthening Public Awareness of Sea Turtle Conservation in St. Kitts and Nevis Through Beachside Interpretive Panels.”
Two educational panel templates were developed during this process, one outlining the life cycle of sea turtles and the other describing threats to their survival. One of each of these signs will be placed at the two main leatherback nesting beaches on St. Kitts and two will be placed at an appropriate location in Nevis to be chosen by the Nevis Turtle Group (NTG). The hope is that these signs will serve as an educational tool for all members of the public visiting the nesting beaches. In addition to the educational information provided on sea turtles, the Sea Turtle Hotline phone numbers for both the SKSTMN and the NTG are listed on the signs thus facilitating ready access to this information should it be needed to report sea turtle related activities occurring on the nesting beaches.
The SKSTMN hopes to expand and place these signs at additional locations and also plans to add additional panels in the future that will outline details on shorebirds and seabirds and their activities in these areas. Should organizations in other locations be interested in the electronic templates for these panels the SKSTMN would be happy to share them.
The Judith Towle Environmental Studies Fund was established in 2003, and supports activities that address environmental concerns that transcend the boundaries of any single island or island state, particularly in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands (a shared marine ecosystem separated by a political boundary) and in the dual-island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis (one political entity comprising two contrasting and separate islands). For more information on this opportunity please visit the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) website at this link https://www.cfvi.net/.
For more information on any of the SKSTMN programs or to report any sea turtle related activity please call the Sea Turtle Hotline at (869) 764-6664 and visit the website www.stkittsturtles.org or Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/St-Kitts-Sea-Turtle-Monitoring-Network-217982931612650/.
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