The coast of Oaxaca in southern Mexico is incredibly unique with a diversity of wildlife including four of world’s seven sea turtle species which nest on its shores (green, hawksbill, leatherback and olive ridley sea turtles).
Although the coastal ecosystems and habitats of Oaxaca are relatively intact, they face a number of threats. One of which comes from a major oil refinery in the port of Salina Cruz, where large volumes of petroleum are processed and shipped daily. In 2012, the refinery spilled hundreds of gallons of crude oil on neighboring sea turtle nesting beaches. The refinery processes 330,000 barrels per day and continues to be a latent risk to the flora and fauna of the region.
In 2017, WILDCOAST, in coordination with the Mexican Turtle Center, organized our third “Immediate Response Plan for Oil Spills and Management of Affected Wildlife” workshop in Huatulco, in order to properly train sea turtle camp staff and groups dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles, on how to handle wildlife in case of an oil spill accident.
The workshop was held successfully with the participation of 24 community members from the coast of Oaxaca, representatives of the “Committee for Clean Beaches Huatulco”, Huatulco Salvaje, EarthCheck Platinum, and members of the Municipal Youth Institute of Salina Cruz. Participants gained knowledge about hydrocarbons, the reason for oil spills, and actions to be taken in the event of an accident of this type.
Thanks to the support of organizations, cooperatives, and the Oaxaca community for participating in the event, WILDCOAST will continue to provide these trainings to act jointly in response to future potential spills.
Poster (in Spanish) created with instructions on dealing with oil spill disaster.