Everything begins with a dream or a journey; in our case, with both.

Our story begins with Wallace J. Nichols and Jeff A. Seminoff, two young marine biologists with a passion for conservation and sea turtles. These young visionaries ventured on a voyage off the coast of Mexico in 1992. There they learned about the sea turtle conservation programs that had been operating since the 1960s, which were promoted by the Mexican government, universities and civil organizations. Guided by the desire to contribute to the scarce monitoring work in feeding zones, they started their purpose to initiate this great regional movement.

As part of their PhD research, Wallace and Jeff set out with the goal of building a diverse network for conservation that would fill the large gaps in knowledge about the biology and status of sea turtles.

It was a big challenge and there were many dissenting opinions due to the magnitude of the objective, but with perseverance Wallace and Jeff were able to obtain a grant to begin their monitoring work in the communities of Bahía de los Ángeles, Loreto, San Carlos, San Ignacio, Punta Abreojos and Laguna Ojo de Liebre. They involved the communities and fishermen, making them the main protagonists and the essence of this project. Before long, more individuals and communities joined conservation efforts.

As a result of the commitment and work of the volunteers, in 1999, 45 people from 8 communities (voluntarily dedicated to sea turtle conservation) met in the city of Loreto to share results and experiences. This meeting was so fruitful and enriching, imagine these people speaking with the same voice, a horizontal community for the conservation of sea turtles. They decided to meet the following year and agreed to identify themselves as the “Grupo Tortuguero”.

Since then, fishermen, academics, volunteers, students, government and community members have joined in. Year after year, we continue to meet to share experiences, results, celebrate the perseverance and effort of all members, and, above all, to learn about and discuss the great mission that unites us: to conserve sea turtles and their habitats, promoting the welfare of the community.

Later, in 2007, the Grupo Tortuguero de las Californias was legally constituted as a Civil Association, forming an administrative structure and formalizing various projects that are carried out, including water monitoring, land monitoring and environmental education.

After more than 25 years of work, the members of the network have witnessed and participated in the positive results of the conservation efforts, such as the increase in the sea turtle population and the growing knowledge and respect of the people in the communities towards these species. We continue and will continue to make history, science and community thanks to this project that has inspired many people around the world.

You too can be part of this effort.

Combining scientific knowledge with local ecological knowledge

Our mission is to combine scientific knowledge with local ecological knowledge in a participatory manner to develop strategies that promote the conservation of sea turtles and their habitats, encourage behavioral change and improve the well-being of coastal communities.

Generate information by rescuing the ecological knowledge of the communities, accompany and strengthen socio-environmental projects, and disseminate and apply this knowledge to influence decision-making on the care of sea turtles and coastal resources.

Strengthen and link conservation efforts by creating conditions for the exchange of knowledge, contributing to decision-making processes and providing tools to allied groups.

Strengthen institutional capacity and effectiveness, ensuring the necessary resources and their adequate administration, working on policies, processes and procedures in a clear and transparent manner.