Turtle House Foundation established within the world’s oldest sea turtle conservation group

Date: July 22, 2003
Contact: David Godfrey
Phone: (325) 373-6441

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – The award-winning book, Fire in the Turtle House: The Green Turtle and the Fate of the Ocean, has drawn international attention to a gruesome plague ravaging the world’s sea turtle populations. Now the book’s author, Osha Gray Davidson, is partnering with Caribbean Conservation Corporation, the world’s oldest sea turtle protection group, to turn the attention and support generated by book into direct action to save endangered sea turtles.

Sea turtles have existed since the time of the dinosaurs, but a mysterious, tumor-causing disease is killing off countless numbers of these endangered creatures around the globe. Some biologists consider it to be the most serious epidemic now raging in the natural world. Fire in the Turtle House(PublicAffairs, 2001) tracks the fervent efforts of extraordinary scientists, marine biologists, veterinarians, and others racing the clock to unravel this complicated biological and environmental puzzle and keep the turtles from extinction.

In the book, Davidson explores, through vivid historical examples, the history of man’s relationship to the sea, opening a window onto the role humans play in marine die-offs and extinctions. Beautifully written, intellectually provocative, ultimately terrifying, Fire in the Turtle House reveals how emerging diseases wreaking havoc in the global ocean pose an enormous, direct threat to humanity.

“Fire in the Turtle House is an urgent call to action,” said David Godfrey, Executive Director of Caribbean Conservation Corporation. “Green turtles are important indicators of the health of the world’s oceans—if they are in trouble, then we are in trouble.”

In writing his book, Davidson wanted to leave a lasting legacy that would help improve the survival outlook for sea turtles. The Turtle House Foundation was established to receive a portion of royalties from the sale of the book, as well as special contributions sent by readers of the book who want to do something to help.

“The Caribbean Conservation Corporation is a world leader in protecting sea turtles,” said Davidson. “I’m thrilled that the Turtle House Foundation can contribute to the organization’s work.”

Under a new partnership, the Turtle House Foundation will now function as a Program of the nonprofit Caribbean Conservation Corporation. CCC and Davidson will work together to direct contributions generated by the book toward effective sea turtle protection Programs.

CCC, coincidentally, was formed in the 1950s as a direct result of another book about the plight of sea turtles. Dr. Archie Carr wrote “The Windward Road” in 1957 and, in doing so, first alerted the world to the indiscriminate killing of green turtles throughout the Caribbean. The book spawned an international movement to study and protect sea turtles and led directly to the formation of CCC, which now has been leading successful sea turtle conservation efforts for over forty years.

Osha Gray Davidson is the author of several books including The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and The Enchanted Braid: Coming to Terms with Nature on the Coral Reef, a finalist for the Natural World Book Prize. Fire in the Turtle House was recently released in paperback and a German edition will be published by marebuchverlag this fall. His work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones and The New Republic. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the IMAX© documentary, “Coral Reef Adventure.”