Isla Palenque project encourages preservation of aquatic life
It’s the height of sea turtle nesting season! These giant, air-breathing reptiles fascinate nature-lovers everywhere, and their nesting season is a time to celebrate them and to reflect on their struggle to survive.
Each year from April through October, nesting season gives endangered and threatened sea turtles a chance to expand their shrinking populations. The Panama coastline is a key nesting ground for many sea turtle species, and the warm, equatorial waters of the Pacific Gulf of Chiriqui are home to five different types: the hawksbill, loggerhead, green, leatherback and olive ridley species. This time of the year, newly-hatched turtles can be seen struggling across Panama’s sandy beaches towards the sea.
“People occasionally come across a nest of sea turtle hatchlings on some of the area beaches,” said Ben Loomis, President of Amble Resorts, a sustainable development company currently building The Resort at Isla Palenque. “The sight of these rare little sea monsters really heightens your sense of responsibility and protectiveness.” Loomis and his development team recently won an ASLA Honor Award for their ecologically sensitive master plan. Next month, Amble will launch sales of their unique, sophisticated homes on a beautiful island property in Panama’s Gulf of Chiriqui, scheduled for delivery in 2012.
Even under ideal circumstances, sea turtle trials are numerous. They don’t reach breeding maturity until age 30, and their hatchlings run a gauntlet of hungry predators before reaching the safety of the sea. In recent years, sea turtle populations have sustained some additional blows. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, irresponsible development that ruins nesting sites, unsustainable fishing practices, water pollution – all threaten the continued existence of these majestic creatures.
Loomis doesn’t want to add to their problems. “To prevent hatchlings from being disoriented, we’re limiting the use of bright artificial lighting near the coast,” said Loomis. “And to make sure mother sea turtles can come ashore to make their nests, we’ll avoid constructing artificial barriers near the shore.” When The Resort at Isla Palenque opens in 2012, wastewater treatment and recycling practices will be implemented to significantly reduce and responsibly dispose of waste, keeping the ocean pure and protecting the area wildlife.
Panama’s coasts provide many nesting havens for sea turtles during this vital season. Chiriqui Beach in the Bocas del Toro province remains one of the most important sites for nesting leatherback turtles in the Atlantic Ocean. The Sea Turtle Conservancy states that as many as 7,170 to 14,005 endangered leatherbacks nest in the region between northern Costa Rica and central Panama. On the Pacific side of Panama, the Gulf of Chiriqui is home to a rich variety of marine life, including multiple sea turtle species. Nature-loving travelers boat, dive and snorkel in the protected waters of the Gulf of Chiriqui National Marine Park and the Coiba UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“If more people can get close to natural wonders like these sea turtles in a responsible way without harming them,” says Loomis, “then they’ll feel that same sense of responsibility and protectiveness I do.” That has to be a good thing for the turtles.
About Amble Resorts
Amble Resorts was founded by Benjamin Loomis in 2007 to develop and own unique upscale hotels and resorts which provide ecologically and culturally sensitive travel experiences. Those who want more out of travel, amble with us. http://www.amble.com
About Isla Palenque
Amble Resorts’ new Panama real estate project, The Resort at Isla Palenque, will be a secluded and sustainable residence community opening in late 2012 with a unique boutique hotel, ingeniously designed residences, and sumptuous amenities.