Grant: 08-028E
Project Title: Living With Sea Turtles
Project Manager: Mark Hostetler
Organization: University of Florida - Dept of Wildlife & Conservation (Research and Educational Institute)
Grant Amount: $10,500.00
Completion Date: 2009-10-16

Summary: This project will produce and distribute a half hour video that educates the public about the challenges facing sea turtles in Florida and what people can do to help. We plan to film success stories featuring public involvement and conservation initiatives around the state, discussing the challenges, solutions, and benefits of managing beaches for nesting sea turtles. The University of Florida's WUFT TV, Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (FCFWR), and the Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation are collaborating to produce this video that ultimately will be broadcasted through PBS affiliates and local cable access channels through a popular TV series called Living Green. In addition, the educational video will be utilized by University Extension programs in Florida and other states. Viewers will come away with a deeper appreciation and understanding of sea turtle ecology and behavior and knowledge about how to manage beaches to improve nesting success.

Results: We successfully produced a 12 hour show on Living with Sea Turtles (see enclosed dvd). The program has been accepted by the National Educational Telecommunications Association and had a satellite feed for PBS stations on July 19th, 2009. As of September 1, 2009, 3 stations have scheduled or have aired the program (WUFT-TV; KQEDW; WXEL) and we expect the program to be aired on a variety of PBS stations in the near future. Living Green has a 39% carriage rate of all PBS stations, reaching over 114,000,000 people in 44,740,000 households. We also have provided dvds to air on 45 local cable stations that are currently airing Living Green shows. About 30 dvds are being distributed to Florida Sea Grant Extension agents. We have created the sea turtle portion of the Living Green website which includes a link and acknowledgement of Florida Sea Turtle License Plate Grants Program. Since July 1,2009, this Sea Turtle Web Page receives, on average, 40 hits per week. (Author: Mark Hostetler)