Project Title: Florida Sea Turtle Educational Materials Warehouse Project
Project Manager: Lexie Beach
Organization: Sea Turtle Conservancy (Non-Profit Organization)
Grant Amount: $24,400.00
Completion Date: 2016-11-18
Summary: Florida’s sea turtle nesting beaches are being put under more and more pressure as the human population in coastal cities and towns continues to grow. These beaches provide some of the most important nesting habitat for marine turtles in the continental United States. Inappropriate coastal development, artificial lighting and human encroachment on nesting beaches can discourage sea turtles from nesting, and it decreases nesting and hatching success. It is of critical importance that Florida’s growing human population behaves in a way that minimizes impacts to sea turtles, and that all begins with education. Florida is fortunate to have a network of Marine Turtle Permit holders spread out among most of the state’s nesting beaches. Most of these permit holders are individual volunteers or groups dedicated to monitoring and protecting sea turtles. Unfortunately, few of them have the time or resources to develop and print high-quality public education materials that will achieve the kind of awareness-building needed in coastal communities. To alleviate this shortcoming, the Sea Turtle Conservancy will utilize its expertise to develop and distribute a “warehouse” of high-quality, accurate sea turtle education resources that are personalized for each participating permit holder group. Materials produced through this project will be widely distributed to Marine Turtle Permit Holder groups, as well as coastal businesses that request such materials.
Results: To date, STC has completed all tasks. Draft materials were previously submitted and approved. The front image of the door hang tags was changed to artwork of hatchlings crawling towards the ocean, replacing a photo of a nesting female. Both the door hang tags and table top tents still include a space for local groups, businesses, condos, hotels, etc… to attach an address size label with their local contact information onto the items. The dimensions of the “Dig the Dark” bumper sticker was redesigned to be shorter in length and higher in width to better accommodate fitting in standard mailing envelopes. A web page has been setup for people in Florida to request the different materials (http://conserveturtles.org/florida.php?page=educational_materials). In addition to mailing the materials when requested, STC bring the materials to events for distribution and will be bring many boxes of each item to the upcoming Florida Permit Holder’s Meeting.