Restoring Coastal Habitat at Nature Seekers Beach Clean Up

One of CCARO's main programmes deals with reducing habitat damage, especially in coastal and marine areas. At present, we are doing some public education through our website to help reduce habitat damage and we sometimes join with others to help restore damaged habitats. On the 28th of February, 7 of our volunteers met at 6:00am and made their way to Orosco Bay, Matura to help in Nature Seeker's Annual Beach Clean Up which, for the past 20 years, has been done at the start of every turtle nesting season to facilitate nesting.

Although these clean ups focus mostly on the effect of trash on turtle well-being and the protection of turtles, they help to reduce the amount of trash which can adversely affect a wide diversity of marine life, including whales, dolphins and the animals they depend on for survival.
Every piece of trash that washes into our ocean adds to the pollution that slowly damages our sealife through entaglement, mistaken ingestion or leaching of chemicals, so it is good to know that we were able to play a small part in reducing that trash problem.

CCARO volunteers cleaning up Orosco Beach

We arrived just before 8am and after registering, joined several others in cleaning our section of the beach. It was good to see how many people came out to help and by 9am most of the beach had already been cleaned up by the almost 2000 people who had turned up that morning.  The rest of the day was spent enjoying the beautiful beach and looking at Nature Seekers' displays on turtles, turtle conservation and their recycled glass bead project which takes the clean up a step further by recycling the glass trash found during the clean ups into beautiful jewellery.

While clean ups are temporary solutions to the problem of marine debris on our shores, they will continue to be necessary until we can successfully address the root problems of inadequate waste disposal. The root problems are few, but far reaching, and include the present difficulty of disposing of waste in a safe manner as well as the public's attitude toward and understanding of waste, its disposal and its effects on us and the natural environment. Raising awarness about the problems of poor waste disposal and how we can help reduce waste, along with improving individuals' ability to part-take in recycling and reusing of items can go a long way in reducing these problems. CCARO intends to continue and expand our education and restoration work and in future aim to work in collaboration with other organizations to make recycling and reuse easier and more accessable options for the average person. We hope you will join us.


Project Updates

Project 1: Public Knowledge Assessment 1

Although our volunteers have been hard at work administering questionnaires this month, we are still moving along a little slower than expected and are presented with the challenge of finding more willing volunteers to assist, especially in the coastal regions.

Next month, we will be doing an outreach walk-about on the UWI campus to help recruit new volunteers for this project and will be doing some coastal trips along the north, south and east coasts of Trinidad to complete questionnaires in those areas. These trips will be done during the week and anyone interested in helping with questionnaires are welcome as space permits.

If you are interested in helping to administer questionnaires or database questionnaire results, please check our project page to see the areas
in which we need help. Perhaps you can do some around your home or place of work.

Project 2: Creation of Cetacean Species Fact Sheets
Just over a month ago, we began to create of fact sheets for every species of whale and dolphin that may be found in the waters of Trinidad and Tobago. This month three of our volunteers have just completed about a quarter of the 28 species fact sheets. Next month, we aim to complete the remaining 21 fact sheets and expect to upload them to our website ( by March 31st to enable easy public access to basic information on any whale or dolphin that they are likely to encounter in local waters.

For more information, or to volunteer for this project, check out our project page.

Project 3: Boat-based Cetacean Surveys
Every month, until July 2010, CCARO has been given the opportunity to join CFCA on their offshore bird surveys around Saut d'Eau Island and Soldado Rock so that we can do some whale and dolphin surveys in those areas. This month's boat-based cetacean surveys around Saut d'Eau Island on the 7th and Soldado Rock on the 21st did not result in any sightings of whales or dolphins but we do know from previouse interviews that they are regularly seen off the north coast on the way to Saut d'Eau and were told by the coast guard last week that though they never see dolphins around Soldado Rock, they are sometimes seen in the inshore waters near Cedros where we begin our Soldado Rock surveys.

A partial view of Saut d'Eau Island (left) and a view of Soldado Rock (right)

As most of a cetacean's time is spent under the water, only surfacing for air or in some cases to hunt for surface fish, it is possible that animals are being missed on these surveys.
To increase our chances of seeing any animals present, we requested that the speed of the vessel be decreased in transit to and from the island in the surveys to come.

For more information, or to volunteer for this project, check out our project page.

Volunteer Opportunities

Are you interested in helping with our projects or getting involved in our activities? Why not become a CCARO volunteer? Click on the links below to learn more about your opportunities to become involved.

Projects In Progress

Public Knowledge Assessment 1

Administering questionnaires

Data entry

Filling out electronic species fact sheets with relevant information.

Boat-based Cetacean Surveys

Data entry

Donations Welcome!

If you would like to donate any of the items on our wish list please contact us to make arrangements.

Our Wish List

Printed Contact Information Cards  
Boat driving lessons (beginner)
2.5" Parallel ATA (IDE) hard drive
MP3/ digital recorder with a 1/4" or 1/8"    microphone input


Thank You!

Thanks to all of you who volunteered to help with our projects in January 2010.

Thanks to Alan Rajkumar Maharaj and Alesha Naranjit for providing transport to the Nature Seekers Beach Clean Up.

Thanks to Devin Harry Paul for the donation of an adaptor for our hydrophone.

Thanks to Kerrie Naranjit of Eclipse Photography for the photos of the beach clean up (including the heading photo) and Alesha Naranjit for the photos of the islands.

Thanks to all of you who sent in information, pictures and video of local whales. Exciting stuff!

 Have you Seen a Whale or Dolphin around Trinidad or Tobago?

Information about the whales and dolphins you see can help us to determine what species live in or visit our waters and what areas around Trinidad and Tobago are most important to them for feeding, mating or calving (giving birth). Please report your sightings of whales or dolphins to CCARO or send us your photographs or video clips of local whales and dolphins, to help us to better understand local cetaceans. Information about sightings of whales or dolphins in the water around Trinidad and Tobago, or strandings of whales or dolphins on the coast, can be reported through the links below.

Stranding Emergency       Reporting Stranding       Reporting Sighting       Volunteer Now       Contact Us  

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