Conservation benefit: Sea turtle protection
Community benefit: “Bottle Bead” women’s livelihood initiative
The island of Antigua, in the Eastern Caribbean, hosts important populations of hawksbill, green, and leatherback turtles. The Antigua Sea Turtle Project (ASTP) monitors sea turtle populations there and collects data on nesting numbers. It also plays an important role in turtle conservation. Staff protect nesting turtles from artificial lighting, entrapment in building and swimming pools, poaching, and predation by the invasive mongoose. The team of eight volunteers also raises awareness with presentations in schools, communities and hotels, turtle-watching trips, and media publicity. The ASTP works with coastal properties to protect beachfront habitats from erosion caused by storms or construction, places signs at nesting sites, develops conservation guidelines for important habitats, and rescues stranded turtles.
Developing sustainable income sources is critical to the continuation of sea turtle conservation activities. Seacology is funding a women’s livelihood initiative in cooperation with the ASTP. The program will help local artisans produce and market jewelry from “bottle beads”— colorful glass beads made from bottles found on the beaches. The ASTP will supply materials for a line of jewelry with a sea turtle theme and upgrade the artisans’ workshop. It will buy the finished products directly from the artists and market them, with the proceeds supporting turtle conservation efforts.
- May 2015
- The first Seacology funds have been sent, and launch activities have begun. A graphic designer is working on a logo and packaging; five women who will be involved in making the jewelry have met to...
- May 2018
- The ASTP team has decided to partner with the local group Adopt-a-Coastline Antigua, which organizes coastal cleanups and produces quality recycled jewelry products. Its well organized team of...
- May 2017
- A local jewelry artisan has created a lovely “dreamcatcher” incorporating a turtle design. Another artisan conducted a training session for members of the sea turtle volunteer team on May 10,...
- January 2017
- Two local jewelry artisans are currently preparing new samples, and the team hopes to finalize styles and start production very soon.
- May 2016
- Handmade materials for the first half-dozen jewelry items arrived on Antigua in January--but were the wrong shape and size. They were sent back, and the correct replacements arrived in April....
- January 2016
- The first half-dozen products have been designed and are being produced now by a full-time local jewelry maker. A merchandizing plan is also being developed. The organizers hope to launch the sea...