We Are Delighted to Announce that we will Continue our Sponsorship of Projet Faunamar in 2024 with a new grant.

 

We are excited to announce that with this donation, we will be able to continue supporting Projeto Faunamar and Comissão Ilha Ativa this year. The funds will be used to purchase much-needed equipment for monitoring and the acquisition of fishing gear. Additionally, these funds will support environmental education activities.

Comissão Ilha Ativa 

 

Saving one turtle at a time

Congratulations to our 2024 Grant Winners!

Congratulations to our 2024 Grant Winners! We're so grateful to everyone who took part.

Congratulations to our 2024 Grant Winners! We’re so grateful to everyone who took part. And remember, if you didn’t win this time, you can always reapply next year!

  • #3 DIANI TURTLE WATCH

  • SOA Ecuador Hub Manabi CONSERVATION
  • Academia del Océano @proyectoakupara TO FAUNAMAR
  • Fundación Tourtugas O ILHA ATIVA
  • Diani Turtle Watch
  • Local Ocean Conservation @projeto_faunamar

Comissão Ilha Ativa

Saving one turtle at a time

Utría Natural National Park – Chocó, Colombia

theturtlemanfoundation We’re thrilled to share another beautiful mural we’ve donated! It’s located at Utria Natural National Park – Chocó, Colombia – South America. It was made from recycled material collected by park staff and painted by an amazing local artist, Akilles.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible!

  • Utría Natural National Park – Chocó, Colombia – South America @parquescolombia
  • CIMAD: @fundacimad
  • US Fish & Wildlife Service: @usfws
  • Artesanías Tortugas Sin Fronteras @artesanias_tortugas

Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards

Strengthening Sea Turtle Rehabilitation: Building a Permanent Outdoor Facility to Improve Immunity, Enhance Pecovery, and Capacity for Injured and Sick Sea Turtles

PROJECT HISTORY:

Proposal Summary: Research conducted by experts at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) suggests that increasing sunlight exposure in sea turtle rehabilitation facilities will strengthen immunity, increase critical vitamin D levels, and improve sea turtle recovery from injury or illness. To improve immunity, enhance recovery, and strengthen capacity to treat injured and sick sea turtles, Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards (GLCS) requests up to $10,000 from The Turtleman Foundation to support a one-year capital campaign to create an outdoor sea turtle rehabilitation facility at the Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex (GLEC). The Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility at GLEC is currently one of the few Fibropapillomatosis (FP) rehabilitation centers in southeast Florida, admitting sea turtles from across Florida. The newly constructed outdoor facility will help to strengthen rehabilitation efforts and will be adequately constructed following guidelines according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Marine Turtle Conservation Handbook.

Project History: In the 1970s, special efforts were made to preserve five miles of Florida coastline in Palm Beach County and create a hands-on program to connect residents to marine life. This spark ignited to become GLCS, a group inspiring change through stewardship of coastal and marine ecosystems. Today, GLCS has influenced generations, becoming the region’s premier coastal stewardship organization. We are leading efforts to restore and protect our ocean’s coastal and marine life through the opportunities of education, research, and conservation. We offer grants to support critical research on coastal systems and marine life conducted by prominent scientists, graduate students, and citizen scientists. And, we work tirelessly to protect and conserve marine life by supporting rehabilitation and restoration, as evidenced by our direct funding to advanced veterinary care for sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility at GLEC. Across Florida, our world-renowned veterinarian experts are known for treating vessel strike injuries, marine debris impacts, hook interactions, and FP found among a variety of sea turtles. Learn more by viewing PBS’s documentary which provides a birds-eye view into our efforts: httos://video.wIrn.ore/video/troubled-waters a-turtles-tale-9mivme/

In 2010, with support from the Friends of Gumbo Limbo, now GLCS, a Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility was opened at the GLEC. Sea turtle rehabilitation staff began treating sick and injured sea turtles, becoming the fifth sea turtle facility in the state to treat the infectious disease FP. Annually, the facility treats 175 – 220 sea turtles and continues to experience an increasing number of sea turtles in need of medical care and treatment. Major donors have included the Albert D. Firestone Foundation, Ajram Family Foundation, the Catherine O’Connor Charitable Gift Fund, Davenport Family Foundation, International Materials Foundation, JM Family Foundation, Krumholtz Family Foundation, Luggars Family Foundation, Marshall Family Foundation, Next Era Energy Foundation, REI, Sea Turtle Conservancy, Knopf Family Foundation, and the Krumholtz Family Foundation.

Background: Victoria Garefino 1 and Dr. Sarah L. Milton2 at FAU’s Department of Biological Sciences led the research,3 which compared vitamin D levels in green sea turtles with and without evident FP to determine if exposure to UV light (e.g., sunlight) would influence vitamin D levels and boost immunity in sea turtles brought to the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility at GLEC. Traditionally, rehabilitation centers are covered, limiting exposure to sunlight. This research suggests that increasing sunlight exposure in rehabilitation facilities will strengthen immunity, increase critical vitamin D levels, and improve sea turtle recovery from FP. Although this research was focused on green sea turtles with FP, the rehabilitation staff have also observed obvious health improvements with sea turtle patients expressing other injuries, when housed in natural sunlight. While advances in FP surgery have given sea turtles a post-surgery survival rate of over 90%,4 research suggests that improving immune function and restoring a sea turtle’s vitamin D levels using sunlight can strengthen and enhance individual rehabilitation to help spur recovery.

Project Description: The outdoor sea turtle rehabilitation facility will be constructed over a one-year period with funding from The Turtleman Foundation to help cover a portion of the costs for equipment (i.e., rehabilitation tanks, skimmers, and pumps). The goals of this project are to improve sea turtle immunity, enhance recovery, and strengthen the facility’s capacity to treat injured and sick sea turtles. To complete this project successfully, we are taking two main avenues to raise the funds necessary to complete the project. The first avenue is through securing grant funding. The organization has identified over $500,000 in private and family philanthropic grants that we are actively pursuing. Recently, we received S22,499 from the Sea Turtle Conservancy in support of the project.

For our second avenue, we will leverage this grant to spark a community fundraising campaign entitled “Operation Sunshine.” Currently, the organization is working on developing an external fundraising campaign, including engaging and prospecting past major donors using our CRM software to identify individuals with the ability and capacity to donate over $10,000. In addition, we are working with Advisory and Board members to launch a special “task force” to

provide guidance and leadership to the fundraising campaign. The task force will develop strategies (e.g., hosting intimate house parties, cultivating and identifying new major donors, engaging past donors, etc.) to reach our fundraising goal. All Board members of the organization have pledged to donate to the campaign. We are also engaging our compassionate community of volunteers to raise grassroots funding of small-to-medium size ($25 – $250) one-time and reoccurring donations to help us maintain the facility.

Success will be measured by 1. the construction of a new outdoor rehabilitation facility at Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex, 2. increasing the facility’s capacity to provide medical care and treatment to sick and injured sea turtles, and 3. enhancing sea turtle rehabilitation to improve immunity and spur recovery. Failure will be measured by following similar indicators, including keeping a pulse on the community’s engagement in the project, whether we are able to raise the required funds, any construction timeline barriers.

Once complete, the new outdoor sea turtle rehabilitation facility will have a greater capacity to provide top-notch, world-renowned veterinary care and treatment to a growing number of sick and injured sea turtles that are coming to the facility. The facility will provide enhanced veterinary care by exposing sea turtles to vitamin D-rich sunlight during rehabilitation. The facility will track the recovery timing and outcomes of the sea turtles placed in the outdoor facility and match data points against historic recovery data. As a result, we hope to spur quick recovery and better outcomes for sick and injured sea turtles through enhanced rehabilitation methods.

Below are renderings of where the new outdoor sea turtle facility will be constructed at the Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex.

The red circle denotes the proposed location of the new outdoor rehabilitation facility at the Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex.

The new outdoor facility will include one 20 ft., three 12 ft., three 9 ft., and nine 6 ft. rehabilitation tanks positioned to be exposed to the greatest amount of sunlight.

Goals:

  1. Construct a new outdoor rehabilitation facility at the Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex
    • Kickoff project with key stakeholders and distribute a press release announcing the project over social media and to traditional media outlets in the south Florida
    • Identifv and hire a building contractor to create the outdoor sea turtle rehabilitation
    • Devise and develop a project plan and timeline with the building contractor to ensure project
    • Order equipment for the
    • Launch construction on the outdoor sea turtle rehabilitation facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and community celebration following COVID
    • Engage in an earned media campaign to raise awareness and educate the community on the new outdoor sea turtle rehabilitation
    • Celebrate the soft launch of the new outdoor sea turtle rehabilitation facility with community leaders, VIPs, Gumbo Limbo trustees, funding partners, and volunteers that will follow COVID A plaque will be dedicated and unveiled showcasing those that provided resources to the project.

»    Inspire a full community launch of the new outdoor sea turtle rehabilitation facility following COVID protocols.

  1. Increase capacity to provide medical care and treatment to sick and injured sea turtles

e    Build rehabilitation tanks of various sizes to hold 50 additional sick and injured sea turtles, including special tanks to house sea turtles with infectious FP.

  • Once open, work with regional partners to raise awareness throughout Florida of the increased capacity at the facility to treat sea
  • Track the number of sick and injured sea turtles being treated at the facility, including their injury or illness, rehabilitation efforts made, and the outcome of these
  1. Enhance sea turtle rehabilitation to improve immunity and spur recovery
    • Track the number of successfully rehabilitated sea turtles that are able to return .
    • Provide a historical analysis of rehabilitation data to understand improvements in recovery
    • Provide opportunities to collaborate further with Florida Atlantic University to monitor immunity and recovery, and provide an analysis of the facility’s

 

John Holloway, President and CEO of GLCS, is a challenge-driven executive valued for cultivating relationships around a shared purpose. John has documented success developing and directing enterprise-wide change initiatives. Lauded for training programs, action plans, and coaching that result in ambitious revenue and growth, John’s visionary leadership inspires coastal stewardship. He is adept at convening groups and facilitating 

collaboration through the iterative engagement of teams. John is particularly fluent in leading authentic change readiness assessments, evaluating results, and presenting findings with a proactive lens. And, he is recognized for developing and directing inclusive, high-performing professional and volunteer teams while cultivating individual talent to achieve ambitious goals.

collaboration through the iterative engagement of teams. John is particularly fluent in leading authentic change readiness assessments, evaluating results, and presenting findings with a proactive lens. And, he is recognized for developing and directing inclusive, high-performing professional and volunteer teams while cultivating individual talent to achieve ambitious goals.

Maria Chadam, DVM, Veterinarian for GLCS at the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility at GLNC, has over 23 years of experience practicing medicine and surgery in private, corporate, and non-profits. Maria is world-renowned for her diagnostics, treatment, and surgery of sea turtles. She received her B.A. in Biology from The University of Chicago and DVM from Cornell College of 

Veterinary Medicine. She is a member of the Palm Beach Vet Society, International Sea Turtle Society, and serves as a consultant for Mizner Biosciences, a veterinary pharmaceutical startup company

Maria Chadam, DVM, Veterinarian for GLCS at the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility at GLNC, has over 23 years of experience practicing medicine and surgery in private, corporate, and non-profits. Maria is world-renowned for her diagnostics, treatment, and surgery of sea turtles. She received her B.A. in 

Biology from The University of Chicago and DVM from Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a member of the Palm Beach Vet Society, International Sea Turtle Society, and serves as a consultant for Mizner Biosciences, a veterinary pharmaceutical startup company

*Resources provided by The Turtleman Foundation will be used to help cover the costs of rehabilitation tanks, skimmers, and pumps needed to for the project.

Requests: We require that photos be taken of the grantee with the grand check, the new equipment acquired, and photos of the work being done and organization work and efforts done are taken and sent to us. We request copyright permissions of photos taken as well.

 

FaunaMar: Sea Turtles Conservation, Ceará State, northeast Brazil.

FaunaMar: Sea Turtles Conservation, Ceará State, northeast Brazil.

PROJECT HISTORY:

Proposal Summary: The Proposal Summary should be approximately one paragraph
containing 1-3 sentences and must include the amount of funds requested in addition to a
general description of the use that would be given to those funds.
The proposed project is to promote the conservation of sea turtles in Ceará state, northeast
Brazil, through research, education and community involvement. Activities: I- Keep record of
reproduction; II- Dead stranding registration; III- Rescuing stranded turtles alive; IV- Artisanal
fishing monitoring where animals are captured unintentionally; V- Implement community,
touristic, and general public educational activities, through the "Amigos de FaunaMar
Network".
Study Area:
3-Work area: The study area involves the municipalities of Barroquinha and Camocim, in the
far west of Ceara state, northeast Brazil. Located in four Environment Conservation Units.
One is federal (Environmental Protection Area-APA Delta do Parnaíba (States of Piauí/Ceará)
and the other three are municipalities: APA Municipal de Tatajuba (Ceará), APA Municipal de
la Playa de Maceió (Ceará) and APA Municipal Isla de la Testa Branca (Ceará).

Diani Turtle Watch (Local Ocean Conservation)

Community Engagement

PROJECT HISTORY:

Diani Turtle Watch is program of Local Ocean Conservation. Local Ocean Conservation, previously Watamu Turtle Watch began in 1997 as a community-based organization with their focus being on human impacts to the marine world. This included beach development that hindered sea turtle nesting and frequent poaching. A team of trained turtle monitors sourced from the local community patrol the beach protecting nesting females, their eggs, and hatchlings as the emerged from the nests. Later in 1998 the By-Catch & Release Programme was launched as a mitigation measure to solve the problem of accidental sea turtle net entanglement. This significantly reduced sea turtle mortalities in the area. In 2002 the name Local Ocean Conservation was adopted as a way of encouraging local community involvement in marine conservation.

Much later in 2012 Diani Turtle Watch came into being. This was because sea turtles were killed in numbers for food and their products sold on black market on the southern coast of Kenya. 

Presently Diani Turtle Watch oversees approximately 30km of the beach stretch. This is from Kongo River to Chale Island and further down to Funzi Island. 

We are based out of the Marine Education Centre at the Sands at Nomad Boutique Hotel.

Figure 1 Map of the area covered by Diani Turtle Watch

Organization Structure

Figure 2 Organization Structure

The organization structure is as follows. At the very top we have the Boards of Trustees who oversee the whole organization. They are advisory in nature and have the decision-making authority. Then we have the chief executive officer who runs the organization. The admin and accounts office conducts the administrative roles and engages in the financial budgeting of the various projects. We have the project manager who runs and oversees the projects on a day-to-day basis. Assisting the project manager, we have the project coordinator that is responsible for the turtle monitors on the field. The turtle monitors are responsible for carrying out the various tasks on the field.

Our Accomplishment

We managed to train and employ 13 turtle monitors from the community. They are tasked with responding to sea turtle related emergencies.  This includes sea turtle nest identification, relocation, monitoring, supervising hatching events, responding to sea turtle stranding, accidental by-catch and release and mortality cases. The training of the turtle monitors was sponsored by the hoteliers in Diani Beach. These were The Sands at Nomad, The Sands at Chale Island, The Maji Boutique Hotel and Almanara Luxury Resort.

In addition to this, given that only 10% of Diani Beach ismm suitable for sea turtle nesting largely because of development along the beach, hoteliers together with private cottage owners agreed to set aside part of the beachfront for sea turtle nesting. This has been possible through partnering with The Sands at Nomad, The Sands at Chale Island, The Maji Boutique Hotel, Afro Chic Boutique Hotel, Diani House Cottage and Almanara Luxury Resort. We currently have 7 of these sites Diani Beach that we refer to as sea turtle nest relocation sites.

Sands at Nomad have also been generous enough to host Diani Turtle Watch at the marine education centre where we are currently based.

Diani Beach is home to 3 of the 7 species of sea turtles. This are the endangered green turtles, the critically endangered hawksbill turtle and the vulnerable olive ridley turtle. Unfortunately, the green turtles have been frequently hunted down and killed for food and turtle oil that is thought to be a cure for asthma. Moreover, their nests have been raided and their eggs consumed as food among the locals.

Diani Beach is a popular tourist destination locally and internationally. By virtue of this it has attracted a lot of development along the beach. Hotels and private cottages have sprung up in the recent past. 

Regrettably, this has come with a hefty cost to the marine environment. Marine littering particularly plastic pollution is out of control.

Figura 3 Contaminación plástica

The setup of sea walls by both hotels and private cottages has greatly reduced the area suitable for sea turtle nesting to only 10%.

Because of this sea turtle nests end up being laid below the high tide mark predisposing them to being washed away during high tides unless they are relocated to safer higher grounds.

Figure 4 Beach Suitability Map of Kenya's South Coast
Figure 5 Sea wall hindering nesting of sea turtles

Sea turtle mortalities in Diani beach is also on the rise. According to 2021 end-year mortality report, the highest cause of death among sea turtles was vessel/boat strike, followed by boat engine propellers and lastly fishing hooks. It is worth pointing out that humans are the common denominator here.

Figure 5 Sea wall hindering nesting of sea turtles

The goal of Diani Turtle Watch is to involve all stakeholders in ensuring that both sea turtles and their habitat are protected guaranteeing their survival on the southern coast of Kenya. 

Equally important is the need to retrain our turtle monitors working on the field on sea turtle interaction procedures. 

This for sure is in line with the objectives of Turtleman Foundation of saving sea turtles and the conservation of the ocean.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The projects that will be prioritized here will be capacity development and community engagement.

Capacity Development

We intend to retrain our sea turtle monitors on sea turtle interaction protocols and proper data recording procedures as part of our capacity development efforts. 

Sea turtle interaction protocols will include identification of sea turtle nests, possible relocation, monitoring, hatching supervision, and finally nest excavation to determine success rates. We will also go over the procedures to be followed in the event of an unintentional bycatch and release, as well as a sea turtle stranding on the beach. The goal here will be to educate the turtle monitors on proper sea turtle interaction procedures in the field as well as proper data collection guidelines. 

Success or failure will be measured using key performance indicators, such as Q&A sessions with turtle monitors during training sessions and conducting mock surveys to aid in the correction of potential problems that may arise on the field. Data validation is used to ensure the accuracy and quality of data recorded and finally, the number of data points collected in a given year. 

Community Engagement

Then we will educate the locals about marine and sea turtle conservation. Our target groups for community engagement will be beach management units, fishermen, and boat/vessel operators. This will include PowerPoint presentations as well as the distribution of publications on marine and sea turtle conservation. The goal here will be to establish new relationships and strengthen existing ones, to use this platform for information sharing related to marine and sea turtle conservation, to address critical societal issues such as poaching, and to encourage multi-stakeholder decision-making. We will hold a Q&A session to solicit feedback from the community on the effectiveness of these meetings.

The projects’ duration will be 12 months, which will be sufficient to achieve long-term goals such as the submission of accurate data on sea turtle interactions and behavioral changes among locals as a result of community engagement. 

GOALS:  

Capacity Development

Diani Turtle Watch will conduct training for turtle monitors at the marine education center for free. The community’s 13 turtle monitors will be retrained. These monitors will be on the beach

Capacity Development

Diani Turtle Watch will conduct training for turtle monitors at the marine education center for free. The community’s 13 turtle monitors will be retrained. These monitors will be on the beach full-time, identifying sea turtle nests, marking geo-locations, relocating nests as needed, monitoring incubating nests, supervising hatching events, and being present during the excavation process. They will also investigate incidents of bycatch and release, as well as sea turtle mortality. Proper training on procedures and data collection will be provided. The quality and quantity of data collected will be used to assess success.

With over 2 years of experience in sea turtle interaction procedures, the project manager will be fully involved in both the preparation of the training module, training of the monitors, prior field supervision, and subsequent validation of data collected over the course of a year.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

For the community engagement, we will rent a conference room. There will 32 people in attendance at the meeting (the project manager, project coordinator and 30 invitees who are representatives from the community.)

The project coordinator, who is currently working on a master’s degree project that is community focused on marine environment issues and also oversees the education department, will assist the project manager in developing an awareness module for community engagement.

PROJECT TIME

 

Coriacea

Coriacea

Over the years the amazing Foundation Coriacea supports and helps the sea turtle conservation located in the area called “Golfo de Uraba”, located in Antioquia, Colombia, South America. Our name is a tribute to the world’s largest sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, the leatherback sea, which was the inspiration for the creation of this foundation. We are a private, non-profit civil organization that seeks to promote research and conservation of biological diversity through activities that promote knowledge and appropriation of the environment in local communities and the general population.
The Turtleman Foundation joins the Foundation Coriacea to contribute to support and promote the conservation of the sea turtles that nests in the Gulf of Urabá located in Antioquia, Colombia, South America. This is carried out locally by the Environmental Conservation and Ecotourism Association (Acaetur). Through direct interaction activities with members of the local town, and the children’s community, and local ambientalists many sea turtles received help and support in Colombia, South America. For this purpose, The Turtleman Foundation donated $ 4,000,000 pesos. Thank you Joseph Conde “The Turtle Man”.

Gulfarium Care Center

Our C.A.R.E. Center is extremely grateful to have received a grant from The Turtleman Foundation! The awarded funding of $6,700 will help us to purchase medical and hospital supplies to support the care of our turtle patients, as well as a new beach transport cart for turtle releases! This grant would allow for us to upgrade our microscope, invest in a new suction unit, restock commonly used items such as ceftazidime, an antibiotic, fluids sterline saline, lactate ringers, and dextrose, as well as, vitamin B-12, B-complex, and Meloxicam. These are routinely used fluids, antibiotics, and vitamins. We will also be purchasing items such as cryovials, to store plasma and serum samples, I-stat cartridges to process in-house blood samples, IV lines to administer IV fluids. We would also be using the donation to purchase and ultrasonic instrument cleanser as well as new surgical and necropsy packs. We currently have old, incomplete packs. The new packs would allows us to have the best equipment to provide care to our patients and the cleaner would extend the life of our instruments.

Additionally, we will be purchasing ETHA foam to pad the tubs for transporting animals. As well as a Gorilla cart to aid in transporting sea turtle from the transport vehicle to the beach for public releases. We are also in need of additional cleaning supplies to better treat and take care of our holding habitats. Therefore, we will be purchasing stackable container to put scrubbers in once cleaned to prevent cross contamination of algae for each tank. A more sturdy longer pool cleaner to aid in pool cleanliness. The Turtleman Foundation was founded with a goal to help save sea turtles, aid in ocean conservation, and give back to the ocean. Over the years, The Turtleman Foundation has been able to help local sea turtle research centers all over the world!

Mundo Marino

Mundo marino

The Mundo Marino Aquarium is a non-profit foundation created in 1999 by people who were interested in making known the wonders of the marine species and ecosystems near the city of Santa Marta, where it has its headquarters. The aquarium is an educational and scientific tool, a complement for students of schools, colleges and universities in the teaching of natural sciences and actively participating in the protection and conservation of the natural environment. Additionally, we conduct guided tours where we teach visitors the importance of organisms, their role within the ecosystem and their threats, with approximately 70,000 visits per year of national and foreign people. Mundo Marino Aquarium will be the pioneer in the implementation of interactive strategies for the development of environmental education and research programs, with emphasis on coastal ecosystems. It will promote training models on the correct use of marine resources for schools, colleges, universities and the general public. The Marine World Aquarium project will work to make its message known internationally through the support of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and similar entities.

With the generous donation of resources from The Turtleman Foundation, we will be able to improve the care, management and quarantine facilities. We will acquire important equipment and supplies for their management and care, such as a UV sterilizer to improve the filtration system in the care area. A refrigerator to preserve the food and supplemental jellies that are provided weekly. Additionally, we will be able to obtain the ideal supplement for them, which covers all the needs and requirements for these species when they are under human care. We also are in need for a new part of the hose that is used to pull water directly from the sea. Thanks to this donation we will be able to provide them with the best possible welfare during their stay in the aquarium.

Mundo marino