Date: July 28, 2009
Contact: Rocio Johnson or David Godfrey
Gainesville, Fla. – On August 1st, Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) will launch the annual Tour de Turtles: A Sea Turtle Migration Marathon. For at least three months, Tour de Turtles will follow eleven individual sea turtles, using satellite-tracking technology, as they travel from their nesting beaches to unknown feeding grounds with the goal of being the first turtle to reach the 2,620 km distance.
With as few as one out of 1,000 hatchlings surviving to adulthood, sea turtle conservation must focus on combating human-caused threats through research and education. By tracking sea turtle migrations using satellites, scientists can learn more about these mysterious mariners and the best ways to ensure their protection. This knowledge helps researchers, conservationists and governing agencies make more informed decisions about sea turtle conservation methods and policies.
Similar to human marathons, each turtle will swim to raise awareness for a particular “cause” or threat to their survival. Utilizing interactive online maps, videos and games, Tour de Turtles will focus on the biology and conservation of sea turtles and their habitats.
A dedicated web page for each racer will be available for people to read their biographies, learn about their causes and hear periodic interviews with the marathon participants. Each turtle’s distance will be monitored on a regularly-updated Leader Board that will track the turtles’ progress.
In addition to watching the marathon unfold, the public can support an issue facing sea turtles by sponsoring Tour de Turtles competitors through online adoptions. This secondary competition, known as the Causes Challenge, is designed to see which turtle can generate the most support and awareness for their cause.
Tour de Turtles includes activities that the public and educators can use to learn more about sea turtle conservation. Educational materials, quizzes and lesson plans are provided specifically designed to help teachers incorporate environmental education into classroom activities. All of these online resources are free to access.
Tour de Turtles offers everyone an opportunity to get involved. By cheering on these courageous swimmers, the public can ensure that their voices are heard. To get a sneak peak, visit www.tourdeturtles.org on July 31st starting at 8:30 a.m. to see a live webcast of a satellite-transmitter attachment and sea turtle release. And don’t forget, saving sea turtles is a marathon, not a sprint!
Tour de Turtles would not have been possible without the generous support of the marathon sponsors. The following entities contributed 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, InterContinental Resort San Juan in Puerto Rico, Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront Hotel, The Academy at Ocean Reef, Florida’s Sea Turtle License Plate and the University of Central Florida Sea Turtle Research Program.
The Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization based in Florida with offices and projects in several other locations. The Sea Turtle Conservancy is the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organization in the world. Since its founding in 1959, the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s work has greatly improved the survival outlook for several species of sea turtles. The Sea Turtle Conservancy has as its mission the protection of sea turtles and the habitats upon which they depend. To achieve its mission, the Sea Turtle Conservancy uses research, habitat protection, public education, community outreach, networking and advocacy as its basic tools. These tools are applied in both international and domestic programs focusing on geographic areas that are globally important to sea turtle survival. For more information, visit the STC website atwww.conserveturtles.org or call (352) 373-6441.
To learn more about the Tour de Turtle organizers, sponsors and partners, please visit www.tourdeturtles.org.