Milestone Achieved: ProTortuga’s Significant Contribution to Sea Turtle Conservation in Miches, Dominican Republic

The Miches Sea Turtle Monitoring and Protection Program (ProTortuga) celebrated the successful closure of its 2023 season, marking a significant milestone in sea turtle conservation. This initiative, carried out in collaboration between the El Seibo-Miches PROMICHES Hotel and Tourism Association and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, has focused on monitoring and protecting sea turtle nesting spaces in Miches and La Vacama. The success of ProTortuga can be attributed to a public-private-community alliance, with various organizations, local businesses, and community leaders working together to ensure optimal conditions for turtle reproduction in the area’s marinas.

Among the participating entities are the El Seibo-Miches PROMICHES Hotel and Tourism Association, Tropicalia, Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, Consortium Punta Cana-Macao Energy CEPM, and WID Company. The support of the El Seibo Resiliente project, executed by the German Development Cooperation, GIZ, is also worth mentioning.

In his opening remarks, Yamil Isaías, president of PROMICHES, stated, “Sea turtle conservation is essential to ensure the survival of these endangered species. In Miches, tourism has been a driver of development, especially for rural communities. However, there is ample room for innovation in sustainability. Our vision is to build a tourism development model that prioritizes the needs of ecosystems and makes them responsibly available to the residents and visitors of this destination.”

The event was attended by Vice Minister of Coastal and Marine Resources, José Ramón Reyes, who highlighted the harmony between responsible tourism and sea turtle conservation demonstrated by the ProTortuga project. The shared vision between the Ministry and the tourism sector of Miches is to develop the new destination in a way that guarantees a safer future for these species on the coasts.

ProTortuga’s achievements in the 2023 season are remarkable. During this period, 21 sea turtle nests were identified and protected, including the first record of Green and Hawksbill turtle nesting in the area. The program successfully conserved 100% of the monitored nests, with a total of 1,399 normal eggs and 728 hatchlings recorded, all making it safely to sea. Raising awareness about the importance of these species was also a key focus, with workshops reaching 300 girls from the ‘I am a girl I am important’ program, 31 employees of the Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda hotel, and 53 students from the local Vocational School.

Another significant achievement of the season was the resolution by the Ministry of Tourism that prohibits the transit of horses and motor vehicles, as well as the landing of helicopters, in Playa Esmeralda. This resolution had a positive impact on the nesting process of sea turtles in the area.

The program covers 50 km of beach, including Playa Esmeralda West and East, Playa Celedonio, Playa Limón, Playa Barbacoa-Nisibón, and Playa La Vacama. For this season, Playa Esmeralda Este and Playa Limón were actively monitored, while surveillance was maintained on the other beaches. Measures such as beach sectorization with wooden signs, reflective numbering, fencing, and nest marking were implemented to facilitate nest identification and monitoring. Constant monitoring, both day and night, was carried out to ensure the safety of the sea turtles and their nests.

The program involved extensive research and data collection over a seven-month period, monitoring a total of 30 events, including 21 sea turtle nests and 9 snail shells. Leading experts in sea turtle conservation, both nationally and internationally, contributed to the program’s scientific basis, ensuring the best results at a technical level. The collaboration with the local community and organizations such as the Provincial Environment Office, the El Cedro District Board, and the National Aquarium has also been crucial to the initiative’s success.

ProTortuga serves as an exemplary model for collaboration between the public sector, private sector, and the community in the conservation of endangered species and the sustainable development of a region. The shared vision is to promote responsible, resilient, and regenerative tourism while protecting sea turtles, contributing to their safe future along the entire Miches coast. For more information about ProTortuga, visit

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