Sea Turtle Hatchlings Released in Puerto Vallarta
Sea Turtles appear to love the sunny sand beaches of Puerto Vallarta as much as the tourists. Olive ridley sea turtles are especially drawn to Puerto Vallarta's beaches and come in droves to lay their eggs each year. But most of these turtles were born in the Casa Magna Marriott Hotel turtle egg nursery (the largest in the area) or from other hotel nurseries.
For more than a decade the Casa Magna Marriott has hired biologists to collect eggs from nearby beaches and bring them to the nursery where they can be hatched in an environment safe from predators or human intrusion. Biologists teach students and hotel guests about the sea turtles while they wait for the right time to release them back into the ocean.
After the eggs hatch hotel guests help release the turtles back into their natural environment every evening from July to December. Each attendee receives their own hatchling to gently guide into the waves and cheer on as it swims to deeper water.
The hotel has hatched and released over 290,000 sea turtles, 47,000 in the last year. Unfortunately, only 5% of the sea turtles survive and come back to the beaches to lay eggs.
Originally the program was started to allow the hotel guests to use the beaches without harming the turtles. It then became another attraction and hotel promotion. Now it is protecting the sea turtles while providing educational opportunities for guests and local Mexicans alike.