Date: February 15, 2002
Contact: Dan Evans
Phone: (352) 373-6441
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – The non-profit Caribbean Conservation Corporation is dedicated to the protection of sea turtles through out-reach, advocacy and education, will begin a new Sea Turtle Habitat Awareness Campaign this spring. As part of this campaign, CCC will provide coastal businesses with educational materials about Florida’s sea turtles, their habitats and protection issues. Educational materials include Do Not Disturb door hangers (pictured at right), table top tents and placemat coloring sheets. Working together, CCC and local environmental groups, CCC and local environmental groups hope to increase awareness about ongoing sea turtle issues, including the loss and degradation of Florida’s sandy beaches, which are important for both sea turtles and humans alike.
Florida’s natural coastal regions are being put under more and more pressure as the population in coastal cities and towns continues to grow in size and requires additional resources. Coastal areas provide vital nesting habitat for threatened and endangered sea turtles and contain some of the most fragile ecosystems in Florida. Inappropriate development and human encroachment on nesting beaches can disturb, or discourage, nesting female sea turtles and increase hatchlings mortality after emerging from a nest.
With the beginning of nesting season in March, 2002, CCC will begin the campaign to increase awareness about the threats to Florida’s sea turtle nesting habitat with a focus on seven counties, Sarasota, Collier, and Lee on the Gulf coast and Brevard, Volusia, Indian River and Martin on the Atlantic coast. This campaign is being funded through a grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Marine Turtle Grants Program, which receives revenue from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle Speciality License Plate. The Sea Turtle Habitat Awareness Campaign will include information on information about sea turtles, the coastal habitat’s that sea turtle depend upon, the importance of protecting Florida’s coasts and ways people can reduce their impacts on Florida’s coasts.
In addition to the educational materials, coastal businesses in the seven counties can be nominated for a “Sea Turtle Friendly Award.” Nominations can be submitted by anyone who knows of a coastal business that is working to protect sea turtles and their nesting habitat. The awards Program is designed to encourage more responsible management of coastal properties to benefit sea turtle nesting, and in the process, raise awareness about those establishments doing their part to protect sea turtles and coastal habitats.
STSL will be working in cooperation with local organizations in each county to distribute the materials to beach front hotels, condominiums, restaurants and businesses. These groups are the Sea Turtle Preservation Society in Brevard County, The Conservancy of SW Florida and the Collier County Sea Turtle Program in Collier County, Environmental Learning Center in Indian River County, The Nature Conservancy’s Blowing Rocks Preserve and Martin County Environmental staff in Martin County, Turtle Time, Inc. in Lee County, Mote Marine Laboratories in Sarasota County, and the Volusia/Flagler Turtle Patrol in Volusia County.
For more information about the Campaign, please contact Dan Evans, phone (352) 373-6441. For information about each local group, contact the following people:
Richard Winn, Sea Turtle Preservation Society in Brevard County
Tracy Zampaglione, The Conservancy of SW Florida in Collier County
Maura Krause, Collier County Sea Turtle Program in Collier County
Holly Dill, Environmental Learning Center in Indian River County
Andrea Povinelli, The Nature Conservancy’s Blowing Rocks Preserve in Martin County
Bev Ann Barta, Martin County Environmental Program in Martin County
Eve Haverfield, Turtle Time, Inc. in Lee County
Jerris Foote, Mote Marine Laboratories in Sarasota County
Beth Libert, Volusia/Flagler Turtle Patrol in Volusia County
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.