For the family looking to spend quality time together this summer, Marriott’s resorts in Puerto Vallarta and Cancun offer something that both parents and children will enjoy - the Sea Turtle Rescue Program (June to November).
Sea turtle season begins in June when thousands of sea turtles arrive on the resort’s beaches to lay their eggs, which would naturally incubate in the sand until hatching. However, the recreational activities that take place on a resort beach hardly make it a safe place for baby sea turtles!
Each night resort staff patrols the resort’s beaches to gather sea turtle eggs. The eggs are then transported to the property nursery for incubation, still in their nests, to best preserve natural conditions. During the incubation period, researchers gather and study data.
Approximately 40-50 days after the sea turtle eggs arrive on the resort’s beaches, the hatchlings emerge from their eggs and are ready to be released on the beach - their nesting site - with the aid of the recreational staff and families staying at the resort. Tradition holds that the children name their tiny sea turtle babies, wish them luck, then set them free to find their way into the water.
Since young sea turtles face threats to their survival from land predators, the turtles are only released at sunset. Resort staff uses the opportunity to educate children about the sea turtles and Mexico’s environmental awareness initiatives to save them.
“As a result of our Sea Turtle Release Program, approximately 90 percent of these eggs will hatch. Prior to this program, typically only about 40 percent of the eggs would hatch. So we’re happy to be doing a real service to aid in the recovery of the sea turtle population,” states Dennis Whitelaw, general manager of the CasaMagna Marriott Resort Puerto Vallarta.
The Marriott Resort’s sea turtle program is strictly carried out according to the procedures established by the National Institute of Fisheries and the Fishing & Marine Biology Station of the University of Guadalajara.
To illustrate the program’s success, in 2003 211 nests were collected with 17,624 sea turtles released back into the sea. With an average of 96 eggs per nest, 88% of all eggs collected successfully hatched.
Currently, families wishing to participate in the Sea Turtle Rescue Program will also enjoy an unbeatable value when booking an Escape Now! vacation.
Valid through Dec. 17, 2004, the promotion offers rates as low as US$79* per night, and kids under 12 stay and eat free with families booking a minimum 5 -night stay.