For many years, the National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation has been committed to enhancing the education and research facilities at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, located in Boca Raton, Florida.
In the summer of 2014, Gumbo Limbo unveiled their new marine science research annex, operated and utilized by FAU professors and students. Renovations of this dated facility were funded by the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation, totaling in excess of $80,000. Renovations to the facility included kid-friendly viewing areas so that the research happening down below could be seen by even the smallest of future marine biologists. The research area on the ground floor received a complete renovation and overhaul with new rust-resistant lab tables, washer/dryer, storage cabinets, as well as cutting edge lab equipment such as scales and UV sterilizers.
“Because of rotting lights, we had rust dropping into our tanks," said Jeanette Wyneken, an FAU biology professor who works in the lab. "We don't have to worry about that anymore. Part of doing good science is being able to control your environment.”
The first phase of the Florida Oceanographic Society's new seasonal sea turtle exhibit is underway. This exhibit, which has been sponsored by the National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation, will provide warm conditions for the Society's resident sea turtles during the cooler months of the year, when they would otherwise be kept out of the public's view. This system will also serve as a 'farm' for growing sea lettuce, a natural and nutritious food for the Society's captive green sea turtles.
The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation is a strong supporter of the Environmental Studies Center located in Jensen Beach, Florida. Recently, the Foundation donated a beautiful 12- foot sea turtle educational display board to bring a more dynamic and hands-on learning experience to the children who visit the facility.
The display highlights the biology of sea turtles and focuses on conservation issues, such as pollution, and how they affect these endangered animals. The Center is part of the Martin County school district and serves as an educational facility for all the children in the County. Roughly 10,000 students pass through its doors each school year.
In addition, the Center's teaching boat, the River Scout, received a major upgrade funded through a grant from the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation. Most notably, the boat received new paint and an exciting hull wrap depicting an underwater scene complete with a sea turtle, fish, and coral reef. Safety equipment including a new VHF radio and Garmin navigation system were installed. New life jackets were purchased for all the staff and students. Before being put back in the water, the River Scout's motors were inspected and made ready for the new school year.
Educational Outreach Programs
The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation works closely with the Inwater Research Group (IRG) to promote quality educational programming. The Foundation recently donated $31,350 to IRG to continue their international education initiative for K-12 students.
The initiative is entirely free to teachers and includes tailor-made lesson plans, in-class outreach presentations, and new “traveling trunks” containing all the education material teachers would need to carry out four conservation-based lesson plans. Just this past year alone, the partnership has been able to reach over 20,000 students with these programs.
The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation brings awareness about sea turtle conservation to the visitors of the North Beaches Art Walk in the Atlantic/Neptune Beach areas of Jacksonville Florida. The goal is to meet, educate, and encourage people to help protect sea turtles. On a typical art walk night (third Thursday of every month), the local community and visitors pack the streets of Atlantic/Neptune Beach Town Center area to enjoy this fun event.
The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation has donated $60,000 to Florida Atlantic University in support of four $15,000 undergraduate scholarships during the 2019-2020 academic year. The scholarships will provide financial assistance to Charles E. Schmidt College of Science seniors enrolled at the Boca Raton Campus who demonstrate academic excellence, financial need, and a commitment to become scholars and ambassadors that represent the Marine Science program at Florida Atlantic University. As such, they are expected to develop as well-rounded, skilled, and committed individuals who are motivated to engage the public through education, research and outreach activities appropriate to both their specific interests in the field, as well as those of importance in the field of marine biology.
The ideal candidate is an undergraduate about to enter their senior year with interest in any aspect of marine biology research at the ecological, evolutionary, or behavioral level and educational outreach. Preference will be given to applicants in good standing in the biology department's Honors Thesis Program who demonstrate financial need, coupled with a commitment to community service, academic excellence, and a desire to enhance their ability to engage the public. These scholarships shall be awarded on the basis of need and merit without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, or disability.
For many years, the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida Atlantic University has been the recipient of numerous scholarships from the National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation. These funds are used to support graduate research at the Master of Science and Doctoral levels. While in the past the Foundation has provided funding for projects involving marine turtles, this year the decision was made to support broader topics of research dealing with the conservation, management, and/or basic biology of marine fishes as well as turtles. This topical expansion also better reflects the interests of the department, which in recent years has expanded by hiring of several new and outstanding faculty members in the various subdisciplines of marine biology. Their students can now apply and compete for these important scholarships. You can help support and expand this important program by becoming an Elite Member of the National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation.
Florida Environmental Outreach Magazine
Published quarterly, Florida Environmental Outreach Magazine is a full-color publication full of environmental news, current research, and National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation updates. A sure hit with readers of all ages! If you have an interesting topic or project you'd like our readers to know about, contact the Editorial Team at the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation to discuss your topic or submit an article.
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