Hotel Online  Special Report


Committed to the Environment, Naya, the InterContinental San Juan’s
Adopted Sea Turtle, Swims for a Cause

Over 100 million Marine Animals are Killed Each Year by
Plastic Debris in Ocean; Education is Key to Elimination


Isla Verde, Puerto Rico–Naya, the leatherback sea turtle adopted by the InterContinental San Juan Resort & Casino, is representing the hotel chain and Puerto Rico in the annual Tour de Turtles Migration Marathon, organized by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation.
On August 1, eleven sea turtles using satellite-tracking technology will compete in a three month ocean race around the world to become the first turtle to reach the 1,628 mile distance.
Similar to human marathons, each turtle will swim to raise awareness for a particular “cause” or threat to their survival. This secondary competition, known as Causes Challenge, is designed to see which turtle can generate the most support and awareness for their cause.
Naya is swimming to raise awareness about Plastic Debris Marine Pollution, which is one of the InterContinental San Juan’s environmental causes. Over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean. It is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world and it is expected that another 60 billion pounds will be produced this year alone.

“Education is important to solving marine pollution,” said Sharon Kilmartin, general manager at the InterContinental San Juan Resort & Casino, who has implemented an environmental program to the resort’s operations. “The general public can get involved in this cause by reducing, reusing and recycling plastics; using reusable cloth bags instead of plastic bags when shopping; don’t litter instead volunteer at local beach clean-up events and make sure to properly secure your garbage to prevent any fly-away plastics.”
A dedicated web page for each racer (turtle) is available on for the general public to read their biographies, learn about their cause and hear periodic interviews with the marathon participants. Each turtle’s distance is monitored regularly and updated on a Leader Board that track’s the turtle’s progress.

In addition to watching the marathon unfold, the general public can support Naya’s cause: Plastic Debris Marine Pollution, by sponsoring her on Tour de Turtles through online adoption.

Approximately 80% of the plastic debris comes from land. It washes out to sea from our beaches, streets and highways. It flies away from landfills and into the stomachs of sea turtles everywhere.
Plastic bags, bottles, balloons, degraded buoys, packaging materials and food wrappers all contribute to the debris. Many turtles that have been killed by consuming debris had plastic bags or fishing line in their stomachs.
The following entities also contributed in technical and financial support: Caribbean Conservation Corporation, MeGotta, Inc., Disney Animal Programs, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, Casa Tortuga Foundation, Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, Arenas Del Pacifico in El Salvador, Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront Hotel, The Academy of Ocean Reef, Florida’s Sea Turtle License Plate and the University of Central Florida Sea Turtle Research Program.

Naya was adopted by the InterContinental San Juan Resort on June 1 and became the environmental mascot for the resort’s Planet Trekkers Kids Club. Currently, every child who enrolls in Planet Trekkers receives an adoption kit that includes an adoption certificate of Naya, where kids can track her migratory route for an entire year via Internet.
As part of the adoption process, the InterContinental San Juan conducted a turtle naming contest where the children of Puerto Rico between the ages of 4 to 12 were able to participate and give Puerto Rico’s adopted leatherback sea turtle a name. The winner was 6 year old Nayelis Betancourt of Carolina who suggested the name Naya, which means Earth.     

About the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC):
CCC is an international nonprofit and the world's oldest sea turtle research and conservation organization. Founded in 1959 to support the pioneering work of world-renowned zoologist and author, Dr. Archie Carr, CCC is dedicated to ensuring the survival of sea turtles through research, education, advocacy and protection of the natural habitats upon which they depend. To learn more, please visit or call 1-800-678-7853.

<>About the InterContinental San Juan
Intercontinental San Juan Resort & Casino features 402 newly renovated luxurious guestrooms with breathtaking ocean or city views. The resort offers fine dining restaurants with international cuisine. Recreational activities and amenities include a lagoon-shaped swimming pool with cascade, a full-service Spa and Fitness Center, 8,500-square-foot casino, and daily activities and evening entertainment. The resort features 18,000 square feet of meeting space for up to 600. Intercontinental San Juan is located on Puerto Rico’s north coast in Isla Verde on two miles of pristine white sand beach, just minutes from Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport and is an AAA Four-Diamond resort. For more information, call (800) 468-9076. For media inquiries, please contact, Evelyn Guadalupe-Fajardo at (787) 982-4204.

About InterContinental Hotels & Resorts:
With a worldwide portfolio of more than 150 hotels in 65 countries, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has been welcoming frequent international travelers for more than half a century. A pioneer in the development of the hotel industry, InterContinental properties successfully blend consistent global standards with the distinctive cultures of their locations to deliver a truly authentic and local experience. For additional information and reservations, visit


InterContinental San Juan
5961 Isla Verde Ave
Carolina, PR 00979
Puerto Rico
Evelyn Guadalupe
Public Relations
Tel:    +1 787-982-4204
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