GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – The non-profit Caribbean Conservation Corporation announced today that it will begin accepting applications for the Sea Turtle Grants Program through 5:00 pm, November 15, 2003. Application forms may be obtained from a new website for the grants Program atwww.helpingseaturtles.org or by contacting Dan Evans at (352) 373-6441 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Funded by a portion of revenues from Florida’s Sea Turtle Specialty License Plate, the Sea Turtle Grants Program, administered by CCC, distributes funds each year to support sea turtle research, conservation and education Programs throughout Florida.
In 1997, thanks to the efforts of CCC and other Florida sea turtle groups, the Florida Legislature authorized the creation of a Sea Turtle Specialty License Plate to provide a permanent funding source for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWCC) Marine Turtle Program and to promote the conservation and protection of Florida’s sea turtles. The Sea Turtle License Plate was first offered for sale in February 1998 and quickly became one of the most popular specialty plates in Florida, raising over $1 million annually. At just $17.50 per tag, the turtle plate is also one of the least expensive specialty plates in Florida.
“Over 90% of all the sea turtle nesting in the United States takes place in Florida,” said CCC Executive Director David Godfrey. “We established the tag to provide a permanent funding source for turtle research and protection Programs being conducted by State biologists and the many independent turtle protection groups working in Florida. By purchasing an official Sea Turtle Specialty License Plate, citizens can directly support sea turtle conservation.”
All of the funding generated by the tag is required by law to support sea turtle protection in Florida. Seventy-percent of the funding goes to FWCC’s Marine Turtle Program to support research and management activities related to sea turtles. The remaining 30% of revenue is distributed by CCC through the Sea Turtle Grants Program.
All of the funding generated by the tag is required by law to support sea turtle protection in Florida. Seventy-percent of the funding goes to the FWCC’s Florida Marine Research Institute and the Bureau of Protected Species to support research and management activities related to sea turtles. The remaining 30% of revenue now will be distributed to CCC, which will then redistribute the funding through a competitive grants Program supporting turtle projects that benefit Florida sea turtles.
Numerous groups and institutions around the state are working to protect the threatened and endangered sea turtle species found nesting on Florida beaches and swimming in Florida’s coastal waters. Through the grants Program, coastal governments, Florida-based non-profit organizations, education and research institutions are eligible to receive funding to support their activities. An independent committee of experts will review grants and select the best ones for funding each year. During the last funding cycle, the Florida Sea Turtle Grants Program distributed about $275,000 in grants to support 20 sea turtle projects. For more information about the Sea Turtle Grants Program and funded projects, visit www.helpingseaturtles.org.
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 (800) 678-7853.