Sea Turtle Grant Program Awards $305,000 to Support Florida Research, Conservation and Education

Contact: Lexie Beach
352-373-6441 or lexie@conserveturtles.org
March 2016

The Sea Turtle Grants Program (STGP), funded by the sale of Florida's Helping Sea Turtles Survive specialty license plate, recently awarded $311,649.72 to 24 different projects benefiting Florida sea turtles as part of the 2016-2017 grant funding cycle.

Each year, the Sea Turtle Grants Program distributes money to coastal county governments, educational institutions and nonprofit groups through a competitive application process. The sea turtle specialty license plate is also the primary source of funding for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Marine Turtle Protection Program.

The following organizations received grants for their approved projects for the 2016-2017 cycle:

Alachua Conservation Trust: Beachfront acquisition strategies to protect and enhance sea turtle nesting habitat
University of Florida – Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research: Increasing the quality and quantity of Florida's beaches for sea turtles
Stetson University College of Law: Sea Turtle Law and Policy Course
University of Florida – Whitney Laboratory: Educational exhibits for Sea Turtle Discovery room
Inwater Research Group: Assessment of the Distribution of Large Immature and Adult Green Turtles Along Hawk Channel in the Florida Keys
Mel Fisher Marine Heritage Society: Sea Turtles and Us: Our Past, Present and Future Together
Nova Southeastern University: Carpenter House Marine Environmental Education Center lighting display
Inwater Research Group: Traveling Turtles: A Statewide Traveling Trunk Program
Conservancy of Southwest Florida: Sex determination for Immature Kemp’s Ridley Turtle in the Ten Thousand Islands
Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles: Promotion of sea turtle conservation in Walton County, Florida
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission: Reprint of educational handouts
Mote Marine Laboratory: Purchase of computer, endoscope and necessary attachments for Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital
University of Central Florida – CREATE: “Sea Turtles,” an animated film
Sea Turtle Conservancy: Archie Carr Refuge Education and Conservation Program
South Florida Museum: Sea Turtle Conservation exhibit
Clearwater Marine Aquarium: Sea turtle anesthesia and sterilizer equipment
Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation: ATV for Sanibel Island sea turtle surveys
Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife: Sea turtle diagnostic and therapeutic equipment
Florida State University: Assessing the effects of the recreational bay scallop fishery on marine turtles in the Big Bend of Florida
Florida Atlantic University: Breeding sex ratios of three imperiled marine turtles nesting in southern Florida
University of Central Florida: Diet characterization of green, loggerhead and Kemp's ridley turtles in Florida
Florida Leatherbacks, Inc.: Leatherback sea turtle research in southeast Florida
Hidden Harbor Marine Environmental Project (The Turtle Hospital): Surgical CO2 laser for FP tumor removal
Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program: Providing sea turtle educational experiences for students in coastal, low-income schools

The sea turtle plate is the number two overall selling specialty tag in Florida, and the number one environmental specialty plate. By purchasing the sea turtle specialty license plate, Floridians are voluntarily funding important programs to save endangered sea turtles and their habitats.

To learn more about the Sea Turtle Grants Program and the “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” specialty license plate, please visit www.helpingseaturtles.org.

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Background: The Helping Sea Turtles Survive specialty license plate was passed by the Florida legislature in 1997. The turtle specialty license plate costs $23.00 above the normal Florida license plate fee. Seventy percent of the proceeds support the Florida Marine Turtle Protection Program. The remaining thirty percent is routed through the nonprofit Sea Turtle Conservancy, which distributes the funding through the Sea Turtle Grants Program.

The Florida-based Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) is the oldest sea turtle research and conservation organization in the world. STC was founded as a nonprofit group in 1959 by the late Dr. Archie Carr, a zoology professor and natural history author at the University of Florida. For more information about STC, visit www.conserveturtles.org.