In the beginning of January, as part of the Ecological Restoration of Lac and the South of Bonaire, 50 green buttonwood trees (a native species of mangrove) were planted along the inside of the fence on Te Amo Beach. Over time, the green buttonwood will form a natural barrier that will replace the existing fence.
The fence, which is covered in palm leaves, has been effective at reducing light pollution from the airport, thereby reducing the disorientation of nesting turtles and hatchlings at Te Amo Beach. As the vegetation alongside the fence grows, it will further reduce light from the airport and the road.
The new vegetation will help nesting turtles, such as the critically endangered hawksbill that likes to nest underneath shore plants. The roots of the trees will also bind the sand, which in its turn prevents the sand from blowing away, maintaining one of Bonaire’s precious beaches. The new vegetation is therefore a win-win; preserving the beach for sea turtles and for humans too!
The conservation efforts at Te Amo Beach, for which Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire partnered with WILDCONSCIENCE BV, are part of the Ecological Restoration of Lac and the South of Bonaire: a project that is coordinated by the openbaar lichaam Bonaire and funded with ‘natuurgelden’ made available by the Dutch government. In addition, Green Label Landscaping N.V. has sponsored part of the tree planting and also the watering of the plants during their first month to ensure that the buttonwood grows successfully.