Project Title: Bay and Gulf County Sea Turtle Education Program
Project Manager: Nancy Evou
Organization: St. Andrew Bay Resource Management Association, Inc (Non-Profit Organization)
Grant Amount: $2,327.00
Completion Date: 2017-01-27
Summary: The Bay and Gulf County Sea Turtle Education Program will expand existing outreach throughout the Counties and improve upon teaching materials. The project will purchase a fiberglass adult loggerhead sea turtle model, and produce (in cooperation with the Sea Turtle Conservancy) and distribute “lights off” light switch stickers. The project will involve three Marine Turtle Permit holders in Bay and Gulf County: Panama City Beach Turtle Watch, Tyndall Air Force Base Natural Resources, and Gulf and East Bay Sea Turtle Patrol. For all three permit holders, our ability to teach people about sea turtles is visually limited to marine turtle carapace shells and skulls. Using a full-size replica of a turtle will be more effective in describing turtle biology and behavior when we can show children a “whole” sea turtle. Because Tyndall Natural Resources is the only permit holder with a facility open to the public, the fiberglass turtle will be on display in the lobby with other wildlife displays. The fiberglass turtle will be shared between the permit holders and regularly taken out for outreach events throughout Bay and Gulf County. Transferring the fiberglass turtle will be easy because Tyndall is centrally located and routinely works with both Gulf and East Bay Sea Turtle Patrol and Turtle Watch throughout the year, even sharing some volunteers.
Results: The major accomplishment was to procure a turtle model for use in educational outreach. A local taxidermist, Mr. Coyt Jordan, constructed a 5-ft long model of a loggerhead turtle made of fiberglass. The light-weight material ensures that the model is easily portable, enabling its use in classroom presentations in the local school system. Figures 1 and 2 show pictures of turtle model which is currently located at 325 CES/Natural Resources, 119 Alabama Avenue, Tyndall Air Force Base, FL 32403. The model is being kept here, because Tyndall AFB is centrally located within the focus area of this grant, providing convenient access for volunteers using the model for educational events in Bay and Gulf Counties.