Last week, Sea Turtle Conservancy staff participated in the 33rd Annual International Sea Turtle Symposium in Baltimore, Maryland. More than 1,000 experts from 60 countries gathered to discuss and share the latest news regarding sea turtle research, conservation, and policy.
Each year, the president of the symposium recognizes one individual for their outstanding contributions to sea turtles. This year, STC’s Marydele Donnelly, Director of International Policy, received the ISTS President’s Award for her 25 years of effective work in recovering the world’s sea turtle populations.
Marydele’s accomplishments are too many to list, but there are three career highlights that helped earn her the President’s Award.
–Marydele was instrumental in the establishment of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, site of the largest nesting beach in the United States.
–Marydele played a vital role in lobbying for Turtle Excluder Devices to be required on shrimp boats.
–She was also a major player in the establishment of the Marine Turtle Conservation Act by congress, which provides funding for sea turtle conservation internationally.
At the award banquet, Marydele accepted her award with some emotional comments about her life’s work and her friendships within the sea turtle community. Marydele noted that she first fell in love with sea turtles when she visited Tortuguero, Costa Rica, explaining that for this reason it is particularly rewarding for her to be with Sea Turtle Conservancy during this phase of her career.
Congratulations Marydele on behalf of Sea Turtle Conservancy. We are proud and lucky to have you on our team!
From left to right: Laura Forte (STC Board President), David Godfrey (STC Executive Director), Marydele Donnelly (Director of International Policy), Dr. Ray Carthy (ISTS President)
From left to right: Daniel Evans (STC Research and Technology Specialist), Dr. Emma Harrison (STC Scientific Director), Marydele Donnelly (Director of International Policy), David Godfrey (STC Executive Director), Merna Wimsatt (STC Membership Coordinator), Laura Forte (STC Board President), Claire Atkinson (former STC Research Coordinator)