David Godfrey, Daniel R. Evans and Gary Appelson
Caribbean Conservation Corporation, 4424 NW 13th Street Suite A-1, Gainesville, FL 32609, USA
In 1995, the non-profit Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC), working with many other Florida sea turtle groups, initiated a statewide effort to establish the Florida Sea Turtle Specialty License Plate. In 1997 the Florida Legislature unanimously authorized the creation of the turtle tag.
CCC’s intent in pushing for the tag was to provide a permanent funding source for the state’s Marine Turtle Protection Program (MTPP), which is now part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and to establish a source of grant funds to support sea turtle projects in Florida. There are over eighty specialty tags available for purchase in Florida. The sea turtle tag currently is the sixth most popular seller.
Annual sales and tag renewals generate approximately $1.2 million each year. Seventy percent of the funding goes to Florida’s MTPP. Thirty percent of the revenue goes to the Sea Turtle Grants Program, which is administered by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. Grants are awarded each year on a competitive basis to eligible entities working in Florida. Funding must be used to support research, education or conservation projects that directly benefit Florida sea turtles. Eligible applicants include Florida coastal governments, Florida-based non-profit groups, and research and educational institutions. Available funding has ranged from $200,000 to $260,000 per year since the program was launched in 2001.
Grant application guidelines, reports from grant recipients and other information related to the Sea Turtle Grants Program are available by contacting CCC or by visiting the following website: www.helpingseaturtles.org
Abstract of paper presented at 25th International Symposium, 2005