For the past two years we have released turtles with satellite tags as part of Sea Turtle Conservancy’s Tour de Turtles (www.tourdeturtles.org). Pine Tyme in 2014 and Aaron 2015. Both were sub-adult loggerheads that stranded in the Keys (Big Pine Key and Key Largo respectively). They were both released at Sombrero Beach in Marathon but didn’t travel very far (see map below).
While this may be the most exciting journey, it does provide with good information. Both turtles were looking for food, which for loggerheads is crabs, lobster, and conch. All of which is found en mass past Key West, so their tracks make sense. This year we are hoping that we can release a green sea turtle, to see where they go.
While most of the funding for the Turtle Hospital comes from the visitors to the hospital, we also receive help from the Sea Turtle Grants Program. If you have ever been to Florida, you might have seen the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate:
These license plates are the primary source of funding for Florida’s Marine Turtle Protection Program. It also supports the Sea Turtle Grants Program, which has awarded more than $2.5 million for sea turtle research, conservation, and education in Florida since 2001. Over the years, these grants have allowed us to purchase an ambulance, redesign our education center, and provide brochures and educational materials.
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