Turtle-watch project gets go-ahead

Camera to be installed this week

Michael Ridley, front, second from right, and a group of Department of Environment officials and corporate sponsors celebrate the fundraising milestone.

A campaign to put one of Cayman’s most popular turtle nesting beaches under round-the-clock surveillance has hit its fundraising target.

Project Turtle Beach, led by Caymanian Michael Ridley, raised $15,500 to lease a high-tech camera to be used at a key nesting beach at Sand Hole Road in Boatswains Bay for the duration of turtle nesting season.

The camera, leased from the Security Centre, with internet capabilities supplied by Logic, will supply a 24/7 live feed to a security monitoring station, allowing for Department of Environment officers to be dispatched when a nesting turtle arrives at the beach.

The project seeks to assist the DoE in monitoring the beach and in providing additional protection from poaching. The camera will be installed in the coming days and is expected go live early next week.

Ridley said, “We are all very excited and confident that the data obtained from this project will prove invaluable in assisting the Department off Environment in their conservation efforts.”

Janice Blumenthal, DoE marine research officer, said the camera would assist the DoE’s islandwide monitoring efforts.

“The Department of Environment is extremely grateful to Mr. Ridley, property owners, sponsors and community donors for making this project possible,” she said. “Sand Hole Road is a critically important nesting beach and poaching poses a constant threat to the survival of the sea turtles that nest there.

“We believe that this camera will greatly assist in the DoE’s efforts to protect them.”

Ridley added thanks to sponsors and collaborators, The Grove, Logic, The Security Centre and Moore & Moore Investments Ltd.

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