During the event, CCC announced that Dr. Llew Ehrhart was the recipient of the “Archie Carr Lifetime Achievement Award,” an award established by CCC to honor a select few individuals, who, like Archie Carr, have dedicated a substantial part of their lives to the cause of sea turtle research and protection. Dr. Ehrhart has been the guiding force behind a rigorous, 30-year-long sea turtle research program along the east coast of Florida and in the waters of the Indian River Lagoon. With his student researchers from the University of Central Florida, Dr. Ehrhart has provided the science and much of the passion that led to the establishment and ongoing protection of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Dr. Ehrhart is an educator in the tradition of Archie Carr—an inspirer of generations of young biologists and a champion in the conservation of sea turtles. The one-of-a-kind bronze sculpture presented to Dr. Ehrhart was made by renowned bronze artist Joseph Quillan, who created it specifically for the Archie Carr Award.
Over 600 people attended the festivities, which featured many prominent speakers to help educate visitors about Florida’s endangered sea turtles and barrier island ecosystem. Blair Witherington gave a presentation on “Florida’s Living Beaches,” titled after his recent book co-authored with his wife, Dawn Witherington. Dawn is also the artist who created all the artwork for the BIC exhibits. Dr. Llew Ehrhart gave a presentation on Florida’s sea turtles and the importance of the Archie Carr Refuge.
Children’s activities included a reading of “Do You Know Where Sea Turtles Go?” by Betty Lowery, wife of author Paul Lowery. Children also got to make-and-take fun crafts, including clay sea turtles, fish prints, hand-made kites, and sea bean necklaces and key chains.
The BIC also débuted two new videos, made possible through grants from the Royal Caribbean Ocean Fund. “Sea Turtles of the Archie Carr Refuge” and “An Introduction to the Barrier Island Center and Archie Carr Refuge” will continuously play at the BIC, giving visitors an opportunity to learn more about the BIC, the Refuge and sea turtles.
To learn more about the BIC and its educational and volunteer programs, visit www.conserveturtles.org/bic.