David Doubilet / National Geographic Creative
Of the seven species of sea turtle, four are endangered and two are listed as vulnerable.
Mission: Ensuring the survival of sea turtles in the Caribbean, Atlantic and Pacific through research, education, training, advocacy and protection of their natural habitats.
HQ: Gainesville, Florida
Year Started: 1959
Project: The Sea Turtle Conservancy is the world’s oldest conservation group of its kind; it works to protect these ancient reptiles through local initiatives and global expeditions in the areas of the world where turtles are most in need.
1. ADOPT A TURTLE
Not to worry, you won’t need to find space in your house for this kind of adoption. But for $30 or more, you can symbolically adopt a sea turtle for yourself or a friend to help ensure that turtle’s survival. Once you’ve adopted your turtle, you’ll receive a host of gifts, including a personalized adoption certificate, a guide to sea turtle conservation, a window cling and other turtle-related memorabilia.
2. GET TRASHY
The abundance of plastic garbage in the ocean is detrimental to all marine species, but this waste plagues turtles in particular. Reduce, reuse and recycle plastic materials topside — especially balloons, which sea turtles often eat by mistake — and encourage your community to do the same. Divers have the opportunity to take this a step further by removing trash and plastic waste found below the surface.
3. BE ADVENTUROUS
Need an excuse to travel? Reserve a spot on an Eco-Volunteer Adventure to Costa Rica! By participating in one of the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s volunteer programs, you’ll have the unique opportunity to locate, tag and record data on leatherback or green sea turtles during a session that lasts between one and three weeks. Prices for these all-inclusive trips range between $1,439 and $2,549 per person.
For more information, visit http://conserveturtles.org/