Creating the First Marine Sanctuary in Japan
We are working tirelessly to create the first marine sanctuary dedicated to the protection of sea turtles in Japan. With your help, the very first sanctuary will be located right here in Okinawa.
“Mother turtles will return to the beach they hatched from to lay their eggs.
If they cannot return to that beach and lay due to development, or other human intervention,
they will not lay their eggs anywhere else.”
How it Started
Chura-Mura was founded in early summer of 2020. As an after-effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the subsequent decrease in tourism to Okinawa, there was a bloom of turtle nesting activity, first noticed along Uza Beach in Yomitan Village. We erected fences to protect these nests, and the area saw more turtles born than in many years previous, we assume because of the lack of traffic along the beach, and the fact that marine sports in the adjacent lagoon had slowed with the lack of tourism.
The protection of these nests, and our first summer with the turtles quickly evolved into an island wide movement, and the variety of programs that define Chura-Mura today.
Donate to the Cause
Monthly Beach Clean Initiative
We conduct regular Beach Cleans sometimes several times per month in collaboration with partner organization the Yomitan Beach Clean Network (YBCN) and with support from the American Chamber of Commerce Okinawa’s Sustainability Committee in order to prevent trash from killing the marine life including corals, whales, dolphins, birds, fish and especially our beloved Sea Turtles. Marine animals getting tangled in discarded fishing nets and ropes, or ingesting plastics and trash are the leading causes of unnatural death and exacerbating vulnerability in many ocean species.
As we are regularly patrolling the Okinawan Coastline, we know where the trash is and target different areas depending which beaches need the most attention.
As the beaches of Okinawa are turtle habitats, we need to ensure that they remain clean and free from dangerous debris, especially the babies as they hatch and head to the dangers of the open water. Please visit the YBCN Face Book page to see where the next Beach Clean event is.
Yomitan Beach Clean Network
YBCN is the largest and most active Beach Clean organization in central Okinawa and is an official SDG’s partner of the Okinawa Prefectural Government, as well as the Japanese National Coast Guard “Okinawa Clean Coast Network” Please get in touch to collaborate or host your own Beach Clean Charity event.
Chura-Mura Ocean Rangers
We are now hosting a monthly program to educate youth on the importance of conservation work and being environmentally conscious. Together with our friends at Blue Reef Okinawa, who provide the ocean skills and safety training for our course, we lead an excited group of youth into the wilderness, with education and conservancy as our primary focus.
If your organization would like to know more about sea turtle conservation, our team will be more than happy to visit your company, school, or group to deliver a presentation that will inform your people. Recently we have had the opportunity to deliver our curriculum to several area schools and we are eager to reach more people.
Raising Money for a Good Cause
Learn how to host your own Chura-mura donations drive. We can work with you to give you the skills to present our cause within your community so that you can become a Chura-mura Team Fundraiser. We need all the support we can gather to reach our goal of making a sanctuary for sea turtles here in Okinawa. With your support, we believe we can do it!
Contact us to find out how you can get involved!