Date: May 20, 1998
Contact: Dan Evans
Phone: (352) 373-6441
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – In June 1998, the Caribbean Conservation Corporation will begin offering an exciting new Florida Sea Turtle and Coastal Habitat Education Program based on the successful Migration-Tracking Education Program. The new Program will include new sections on coastal habitat ecology, beach dynamics and the importance of protecting Florida’s beaches. The Program will also include a limited number of guided turtle walks specifically for Florida teachers and students. This is an open invitation for Florida based educators to use this exciting and free education Program during the upcoming school year.
Florida’s beaches, especially along the east central coast in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, provide nesting habitat for more nesting loggerhead turtles than any place in the Western Hemisphere, possibly the world, and more endangered green turtles than any place in North America. In addition, the huge endangered leatherback turtles also nest on Florida’s beaches. The STSL, in partnership with researchers satellite tagging sea turtles, will continue to use the stream of data sent back by satellite in an education Program distributed through the World Wide Web.
In addition to a full range of information about sea turtles, the Archie Carr Refuge and a new section focused on Florida’s beach and dune ecosystems, the Web Page will include maps that are regularly updated with the most recent migratory movements of the tagged sea turtles. The migrations will start from different locations in Florida and cover hundreds or even thousands of miles. Where the turtles will go is anyone’s guess. Students will have an opportunity to post questions to our electronic bulletin board and have their questions answered by researchers and the STSL.
Teachers wishing to include this Program in their curriculum can sign up one of four ways: (1) over the phone by calling 352-373-6441; (2) through a registration form on our website; (3) by emailing Dan Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org; or (4) by writing STSL at the address shown below. Participating educators will be sent a free Florida Educator’s Guide and an invitation to join a guided sea turtle walk this summer. The Educator’s Guide includes an array of information and diagrams about sea turtle biology, information and diagrams about Florida’s beach and dune ecosystems, information about the Archie Carr Refuge and other major nesting beaches, a description of the satellite research, classroom activities and new lesson plans targeted to a wide range of grade levels. The Guide is also designed so that relevant sections, activities and lessons can be easily photocopied for distribution to students.
Through this Program, Floridians, especially school children, will learn as researchers learn about the migration of turtles, the global range of the species and the importance of protecting all coastal waters and habitats. In addition, the STSL hopes that providing teachers and their students with the opportunity to participate in a guided sea turtle walk will help inspire future naturalists and sea turtle advocates.
The education Program and the optional turtle adoptions will help children and adults will take a personal interest in sea turtle preservation, learn about the natural history of sea turtles and coastal habitat and become aware of numerous issues impacting the marine turtles and their habitat. In addition, because the Program will be available on the Internet, this fun new communications tool will be used and promoted in the schools and to the general public.
This Program is being funded through a grant from the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission Advisory Council on Environmental Education and through a grant from the Orinoco Foundation.