"Tourists and turtles?" The environmental awareness campaign of ARCHELON spreads to the nesting beaches of the Loggerhead sea turtle

It is already April, and most of the Loggerhead turtle that have started their reproductive migration this year in the Mediterranean have already approached their nesting areas, i.e. the beaches where they themselves hatched as small turtles decades ago.

"We expect them to start coming out and making nests on Greek beaches in late May, especially in Laganas Bay of Zakynthos, Kyparissiakos Bay, Koroni, Lakonikos Bay, Rethymno, Chania and Messara Bay," says Michalis Souroulides, Field Project Coordinator at ARCHELON. "At the same time, the first tourists will start arriving, who need to be informed about the miracle of life that is happening in these places and how they can help protect the reproduction of sea turtles," he continues.

ARCHELON's volunteers public awareness

According to available scientific data, 45% of the nests of the Loggerhead sea turtle in the Mediterranean are recorded by ARCHELON with the help of volunteers and protected on a total of approximately 100 kilometers of Greek coastline. In the above areas, volunteers also try to inform visitors by operating seasonal information stations, giving presentations at hotels and organizing events.

There is already cooperation with dozens of hotels, but the number of visitors to the sites is constantly increasing. Thus, a new communication and collaboration strategy will start to be implemented in ARCHELON's field projects with hotels located on nesting beaches as well as with hotels that hold the Green Key in these areas.

"This year, we will try to ensure that information on the appropriate code of conduct for visitors reaches all nesting beaches of ARCHELON's projects. The key to the success of the awareness campaign is cooperation with the tourism sector, and especially hotels," says environmental scientist Thanos Bollas, Sustainable Tourism Officer at the organization. The training of field leaders and volunteers in each project will be adapted accordingly.

Volunteers protecting sea turtle nests

Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in the Sea Turtle Beach Walks, i.e. to take a walk with our volunteers on some of the nesting beaches. These walks take place during the summer months and are part of ARCHELON's environmental awareness program with the aim of highlighting the correct interactions between humans and sea turtles, as well as the need to preserve coastal ecosystems.

If you work in the tourism sector near a sea turtle nesting beach, please contact ARCHELON (phone: +30 6932600182, email: tourism@archelon.gr, Thanos Bollas, Sustainable Tourism Officer) to learn how you can help sea turtles this summer.

If you are a resident of, or intend to visit, one of the loggerhead nesting areas in Greece this summer, see here for the basic code of conduct and take part in an educational walk on a nesting beach.



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