Date: June 16, 2010
Contact: David Godfrey or Rocio Johnson
Phone: (352) 373-6441
Gainesville, FL ¯ On World Sea Turtle Day, the nonprofit Caribbean Conservation Corporation will officially change its name to Sea Turtle Conservancy. As the world’s oldest sea turtle conservation group, the organization has led global efforts to study and protect sea turtles for more than 50 years through research, education, advocacy and protection of the natural habitats upon which these species depend. By changing its name to Sea Turtle Conservancy, the organization’s work will continue expanding under a name that more accurately reflects the group’s focus on sea turtles and its broader geographic scope.
“It’s only fitting that we have chosen to announce our new name on June 16 — a date recently established as World Sea Turtle Day in honor of our founder Archie Carr’s birthday,” said David Godfrey, who has served as executive director of the CCC since 1997. “I am immensely proud of CCC’s successful efforts to protect and recover sea turtle populations around the world, and I look forward to many more achievements under the new banner of the Sea Turtle Conservancy.”
Since its founding as the world’s first sea turtle conservation group in 1959, CCC’s unique name has served it well and has become recognized globally among marine scientists and sea turtle enthusiasts as the leading sea turtle conservation group. Despite CCC’s benchmark work on behalf of sea turtles, the organization’s historic but quirky name has limited the general public’s awareness about the group’s leadership role on behalf of sea turtles. As the organization embarks on a new half century of turtle protection efforts, the time has come to give the organization a name that better describes its mission.
The Sea Turtle Conservancy will continue carrying out the world’s longest running and most successful sea conservation initiative, which takes place at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. This program, which recently was selected by the Smithsonian Institute as one of the world’s greatest marine conservation success stories, has achieved a 500% increase in green turtle nesting. STC also conducts successful research and conservation programs at Chiriquí Beach, Panama, which hosts two of the world’s most important nesting populations of both hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles. And in Florida, STC carries out successful research, conservation and education programs in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, the most important sea turtle nesting site in the United States.
“As the BP oil disaster continues to wreak havoc on sea turtles and other marine species in the Gulf,” said Godfrey, “we all must redouble our efforts to protect sea turtles from the wide range of threats to their survival. Coastal development, poorly regulated commercial fishing activities and marine pollution like that caused by the BP spill, continue to present major obstacles to sea turtle survival. The unique expertise of the Sea Turtle Conservancy is needed more than ever to protect these magnificent animals.”
Sea turtle enthusiasts around the world are encouraged to embrace the new name for the world’s “original” sea turtle conservation group by joining and supporting the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s ongoing research, protection and advocacy programs.
To learn more about Sea Turtle Conservancy’s current work, visit its new website at www.conserveturtles.org. Watch a video statement from the executive director about the new name, sign-up to receive important sea turtle updates via e-mail and adopt an endangered sea turtle to support the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s mission. Follow Sea Turtle Conservancy on Facebook and on Twitter, @tourdeturtles
The Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, is the world’s oldest sea turtle research and conservation group. An international nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization, STC was founded in 1959 by world-renowned sea turtle expert Dr. Archie Carr to save sea turtles from eminent extinction through rigorous science-based conservation. The Florida-based organization carries out worldwide programs to conserve and recover sea turtle populations through research, education, advocacy and protection of the natural habitats upon which they depend. The Sea Turtle Conservancy’s research programs over the past 50 years have yielded much of what is now known about sea turtles and the threats they face, and STC is applying this knowledge to carry out the world’s most successful sea turtle protection and recovery programs. The organization has ongoing programs in Florida, Costa Rica, Panama, Bermuda, El Salvador, Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands, and is a leader on international policy issues impacting sea turtles around the world