Back in December, I was invited Sea Turtle Conservancy’s year-end cocktail reception held here in New York City. The evening, hosted by Naked Turtle Rum included a presentation on the Conservancy’s recent successes and partnerships, as well as a silent auction. It was that moment that I started to learn more and more about the Sea Turtles, and how these special creatures are endangered.
Based in Gainsville Florida, the Sea Turtle Conservancy is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) member organization, which is the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organization in the world! The conservancy was founded in 1959 by Mr. Joshua B. Powers, in response to renowned ecologist Dr. Archie Carr’s book, The Windward Road, which alerted the world to the plight of sea turtles. Since their inception, The Sea Turtle Conservancy research and conservation initiatives have been instrumental in saving the Caribbean green turtle from immediate extinction, as well as raising awareness and protection for sea turtles across the globe. The organization began its work in Costa Rica, but has expanded its efforts throughout Central America and the Wider Caribbean. A huge supporter and sponsor of the STC is the Four Seasons Nevis, contributing an annual $25k to the organization. Some of these expenses include travel to Nevis, GPS transmitters, and Turtle adoption program for kids and the scientific research project.
The Tour de Turtles was created by Sea Turtle Conservancy in 2008, as a fun and educational way of tracking and researching the sea turtles. The Four Seasons Nevis have worked with the STC each year since in finding the female turtles on the beaches of Nevis. Once the turtle has nested, a special transmitter is placed on the turtles shell, which is used to help scientists research the turtle’s habits, and collect data. The transmitters, which are unharmful to the turtles, can remain on their shells for up to two years, until the fall off naturally, as their shell grows. We were lucky enough to be in Nevis last month during the special time of the Turtle Release, where we experienced the releasing of two turtles, Coco and Sugar. Ryder and Siella were amazed at watching the turtles receive their transmitters, and counting down their release into the water. All of the guests from the Four Seasons lined up to watch this extremely fast sea turtle make her journey into the clear waters.
The 2014 Tour de Turtles includes live turtle releases in Costa Rica, Panama, Nevis, and Florida. This year, 12 individual sea turtles will be tracked for approximately three months, as they leave their respective nesting beaches, and race to complete a “turtle” marathon. The Tour de Turtles competitors will swim with the goal of being the turtle to swim the furthest distance during the migration marathon. You can get involved by supporting a turtle to help raise awareness about their cause.
Our family has decided to adopt Coco, an adult hawksbill sea turtle that the Four Seasons Nevis and Sea Turtle Conservancy found on Nevis’ Jones Bay Beach, during their first night of the search. The kids have been asking to track her on a daily basis, and as of yesterday, she was just leaving the Island of St. Eustatius.
There are many ways you can help, and support the Sea Turtles Conservancy. Fore more information visit www.conserveturtles.org