Yes, it's hard work but someone's got to do it...
Conservation of the turtle nesting grounds is crucial to successful breeding of the species. That means keeping the beach clean, planting shelter plants, etc - as workplaces go, there have been worse!
There's nothing quite like a night patrol. Patrolling the beach not only deters poachers but you might just witness a beautiful female turtle coming up to nest. A once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed.
Turtles come up onto the beaches to lay their eggs at night when they are particularly vulnerable. Once they lay their eggs, the nests themselves are vulnerable to predators and poachers - long tracks leading to the nesting site are very obvious!
And even if the turtles don't visit on the night, you can still enjoy a stroll along a warm beach, watching the stars to the sound of the Indian Ocean.
The project requires the help of both volunteers and the local community to keep operating.
The project needs to be kept clean and tidy, visitors are shown around the site, the turtle tanks need to be well maintained and the turtles themselves need to be looked after and fed. But it's all in a day's work...
Not only will you learn a lot about turtles yourself at the project but you will also have the chance to pass it on to others. Volunteers will have the chance to be involved in taking tours around the project and sharing a little of their gained knowledge with locals and tourists.
Awareness of and education about these fascinating creatures and the dangers faced by them is crucial to their conservation.
Eggs collected from nests on the beach (or even bought from poachers to avoid their sale in the markets) are reburied in the hatchery where they can hatch in safety.
Most are released as soon as possible at night (hatchlings should never been released during daytime) but some are kept back for a short period for 'headstarting' till they are stronger.
In addition to the Sea Turtle Conversation Project, the Perera family have been actively involved in their local community not only of Kosgoda but also Ahungalla, Ambalangoda and Balapitiya. This has involved construction work since the Tsunami 2004 and also teaching/educational opportunities in which volunteers have actively participated in.
As important as the project is, it is part of a close community and only a community working in partnership can achieve the conservation goals of the project. Kosgoda is home to the most amazing and resilient people as well as turtles.