August 14, 2014 – The Sandals Foundation in partnership with Island Routes Caribbean Adventures has launched a Turtle Watching Tour in support of the Antigua Sea Turtle Conservation Project.
The tour, which takes place every two weeks, offers guests and Sandals Foundation team members at Sandals Grande Antigua the unique opportunity to accompany research teams on an evening beach patrol, during which they learn about how endangered sea turtles interact with their environments. Participants may be fortunate to witness a nesting turtle sighting or hatchlings emerging from their nests.
Proceeds from the tour will support the conservation of and research on the endangered species.
“The Sandals Foundation is pleased to introduce this tour in partnership with Island Routes,” said Heidi Clarke, director of programmes for the Sandals Foundation. “The Turtle Watching Tour joins the Reading Road Trip as another way for our guests to interact with our local communities and environment while helping us make a difference.”
The inaugural tour started at 7 pm and lasted for three hours. It saw to 15 guests and team members learning about the hawksbill and leatherback turtles that frequently lay their eggs on the beach.
“The tour was an educational experience for everyone involved,” recalled Sandals Foundation Volunteer Brenton Bristol. “Our turtle patrol guides provided information about various turtles, how to deal with our endangered turtles, nesting tendencies and how persons should guide baby turtles back into the sea.”
The Sandals Foundation Turtle Watching Tour is the latest effort made by the non-profit arm of Sandals Resorts International to bring awareness to sea turtles in and around Antigua.
To date, the Sandals Foundation has provided support for turtle conservation in Antigua to the tune of more than US$40,000. Funding covers research and training, and will help to provide monitoring equipment that is needed to better protect turtles.
Additionally, the Sandals Foundation supports the preservation of the Queen Conch in the Bahamas, the Grenada Dove and endangered turtles in Jamaica.