Project Title: Sea Turtle Transport Vehicle for Gumbo Limbo Nature Center Sea Turtle Rehabilitation & Conservation Programs
Project Manager: Whitney Crowder
Organization: Gumbo Limbo Nature Center (Non-Profit Organization)
Grant Amount: $30,000.00
Completion Date: 2020-10-07
Summary: The Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility and Sea Turtle Conservation Program at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center (GLNC), in Boca Raton, FL, respond annually to dead and live sea turtle strandings across Palm Beach and Broward counties. Additionally, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center sea turtle programs routinely assist Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in the transport of live sea turtles to and from rehabilitation centers throughout Florida. Less than 33% of the sea turtle patients rehabilitated at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center are stranded within Palm Beach County, meaning most cases must be transported long distances to the facility by FWC or GLNC staff. Currently, GLNC sea turtle programs rely on the use of shared vehicles maintained by the City of Boca Raton, yet these vehicles are not equipped to accommodate large animals, and are often occupied by other departments, leaving no vehicle available for use in emergency stranding situations. Frequently, when available vehicles are too small to meet our needs, we are forced to transport turtles in one vehicle and medical equipment and staff in another. In order to continue to support stranding response efforts, Friends of Gumbo Limbo sea turtle programs will purchase a dedicated sea turtle transport vehicle that would be available specifically to respond to strandings, safely transport sea turtles for surgeries, and allow staff to assist FWC in transferring sea turtles among rehabilitation.