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Celebrating one year of #tide impact in Mahahual

March 7, 2024

#tide ocean material_beach cleanup_Mexico_Mahahual

[Reading time: 3 min]

2023 has been the first full year of our operation in Mexico. Together with our local partners from Menos Plastico es Fantastico (MPEF) and with support from Lufthansa Group's aid organization help alliance, we were able to create significant impact. These are some of the highlights:

Clean-ups: engaging the community

Each month MPEF and their volunteers organize two clean-ups. One along the beach and the other one in the mangroves surrounding Mahahual. While the mobilization of the volunteers is well established and turn up is consistent, MPEF felt they needed to reach out to the community more broadly and try another approach.

MPEF director Ana Antillanca has been building relationships with schools, local businesses, the taxi driver union and the port workers association. This reach out has proven fruitful. Since last summer there is now a monthly community clean-up or “gran limpieza de Mahahual“ where between 150 and 200 volunteers show up regularly. Altogether in 2023, there were around 1200 people who helped clean up the beaches and environment surrounding Mahahual.

What a success, muchas gracias!

Turtle Conservation: helping biodiversity

The Costa Maya is an important turtle nesting ground. Close to Mahahual there is a stretch of beach where hundreds of sea turtles lay their eggs each year. At the Sandy Turtle Camp, #tide and MPEF are actively working to both help the sea turtles find a safe spot to put their eggs and to monitor and protect those nests.

#tide costa maya_Sandy Turtle Camp

During nesting season from April to November the Sandy Turtle Team is on site 24/7, their job includes:

  • daily patrolling of the beach to locate new nests

  • counting the eggs in each nest

  • sometimes relocating the nests to prevent flooding

  • counting the leftover eggs once the turtles have hatched to deduct the hatching rate

2023 was an exceptionally good nesting season, we even had to hire an additional field technician to deal with all the work. Almost 17’000 baby turtles have successfully reached the ocean. That is an increase of almost 50% compared to the previous year.


There are a number of reasons:

  • it proves that our clean-up activities are effective

  • the presence of our field technicians is helpful, because they can help the hatchlings if they get caught up in plastic waste or vegetation.

  • there was less sargasso than in previous years. This is an important factor because sargasso build-up can prevent turtles from reaching the beach in the first place.

  • there are a number of predators preying on the nests like jaguars and dogs. These incidents were less frequent this year.

Workshops: raising awareness

MPEF also holds educational workshops to engage with school children and the local youth. The program includes activities and games around the topics of plastic pollution, recycling and sea turtles. Some of the groups also help with a clean-up and even use some of the gathered material to create small art projects. Almost 600 school children and high-school students participated in those programs over the course of 2023.

#tide costa maya_Sandy Turtle Camp