In a groundbreaking initiative, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has joined forces with the state forest department to transform Sagarnagar beach, situated on the picturesque Kailasagiri-Rushikonda stretch, into an eco-friendly haven for Olive Ridley turtles. A comprehensive project, with an estimated cost of 15 crore, has been meticulously outlined, marking a significant step towards the conservation of these endangered species.
The Sagarnagar beach, known for its vast expanse and lush surroundings, has been identified as a critical nesting ground for Olive Ridley turtles. A detailed project report (DRP) has been prepared, emphasizing the importance of creating a habitat that caters to the specific needs of these marine creatures. The beach, having recently undergone a rejuvenation process with the addition of coconut tree plantations, is poised to become a sanctuary for the conservation of Olive Ridley turtles.
Approximately six months ago, the Andhra Pradesh forest department released around 700 tiny Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings into the sea at Sagarnagar beach. This commendable effort followed the successful conservation of turtle eggs, carefully protected from natural predators and hazards by the vigilant forest department. The eggs were securely stored in a protected location for artificial hatching, a process lasting 45-60 days until the tiny turtles emerged.
Last year, the state forest department released over 50,000 hatchlings from more than 650 nests into the sea, reinforcing their commitment to the preservation of Olive Ridley turtles. The Sagarnagar beach, with its rich biodiversity and pristine environment, has proven to be a crucial nesting site for these turtles.
The eco-friendly turtle beach project not only aims to safeguard the Olive Ridley turtles but also strives to create a clean and plastic-free environment. Recognizing the sensitivity of these turtles and their preference for pristine nesting sites, the GVMC and the state forest department are determined to ensure that Sagarnagar beach becomes a model for sustainable and responsible tourism.
As the project gains momentum, it is anticipated that the eco-friendly turtle beach at Sagarnagar will serve as a beacon of hope for the conservation of endangered marine species. The collaborative efforts of the GVMC and the state forest department underscore the importance of community engagement and environmental responsibility in protecting the diverse ecosystems that make Andhra Pradesh a unique and environmentally conscious region.