A total of 115 sea turtle hatchlings made their way to the sea last March 29, 2019 from the shoreline of a coal-fired power plant, no less.
Since December 2018, three pawikan or sea turtle nests were discovered along the coast of AboitizPower subsidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI). The first nest was found in December 14 and the second last February 23, 2019. Since the discovery of the nests, TSI has worked with various groups, including the team from the group’s pawikan conservatory in Aboitiz Cleanergy Park in Punta Dumalag, to ensure that the nests inside TSI are well-protected and well-cared for.
The sea turtle hatchlings released last March 29 emerged from an undiscovered third nest along the shore of the coal-fired power plant.
TSI named this batch of sea turtle hatchlings “Team Stingray” after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s son, whose birthday is on the same day.
“This occurrence reinforces the diversity of our marine ecosystem in the city. Having a coal-fired power plant playing host to these hatchlings makes this event even more interesting,” expressed Mayor Duterte, who would have wanted to join the releasing if not for prior engagements scheduled that afternoon.
Asec. Ruth Tawantawan of Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Region XI (DENR-XI) also extended her congratulations to TSI and its efforts in protecting the nests and the marine ecosystem.
“The hatching of the pawikans has been an eye-opening experience. It is a small indicator that our environmental stewardship efforts are bearing fruit. The presence of these endangered creatures inside the plant is proof of sustainable environmental conditions resulting from the steps we have taken to operate our power plants responsibly,” said Danel Aboitiz, President and Chief Operating Officer of the AboitizPower-Coal Business Unit .
Since sea turtles come back to the place where they hatch through their magnetic imprinting, there might be other nests in the area. When the released hatchlings grow up, they may come back to the area to lay new nests and repeat the cycle. Because of this, TSI plans to engage the community and experts to ensure that the shorelines remain pristine and conducive for pawikan nesting in the years to come.