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6 Grants Awarded for Community-Based Sea Turtle Conservation

By Morrison Mast

Oceanic Society is proud to announce six small grants to sea turtle conservation projects in Malaysia, Indonesia, Gabon, Colombia, Nicaragua, and New York (U.S.A.). Oceanic Society has awarded the grants as part of our global State of the World's Sea Turtles (SWOT) Program. Since 2006, SWOT’s small grants have helped field-based partners around the world to realize their research and conservation goals. To date, 79 grants have been awarded to 56 applicants in more than 40 countries and territories for work addressing three key themes: (a) networking and capacity building, (b) science, and (c) education and outreach.

Community members release hatchling turtles in Juradó, Colombia. © Fundación Neotropical

The 2018 SWOT Grant recipients are:

  1. Harris Wei-Khang Heng for equipment to conduct surveys on green and hawksbill sea turtles and promote the expansion of conservation efforts in the remote Sibu-Tinggi Archipelago in Johor, Malaysia.
  2. Manengkel Solidaritas for assisting villagers in North Sulawesi, Indonesia in data collection on nesting turtles and fostering behavioral change away from sea turtle consumption.
  3. Aventures Sans Frontières to raise public awareness about the impacts of plastic pollution on sea turtles through beach cleanups and hatchling rescue and release efforts near Libreville, Gabon.
  4. Fundación Neotropical to launch a public engagement and sea turtle conservation program in a small community on Colombia’s Pacific coast.
  5. Cynthia J. Lagueux and Cathi L. Campbell for a “Fisher-to-Fisher” program to raise awareness among fishers on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast about the importance of turtles to healthy marine ecosystems.
  6. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation for the expansion of a lecture series and implementation of a Citizen Science Response Program in one of the hotspots for cold-stunned sea turtles on the east coast of the US.

Congratulations to all of the grant recipients, and thanks to all whom applied. For more information about their funded projects, about all of SWOT's past grantees, and for information on how to apply, visit https://www.seaturtlestatus.org/grants/.


Morrison Mast is an Oceanic Society naturalist and special projects manager, and has devoted his career to wildlife conservation and education. Morrison holds a dual B.S. in Biology and Environmental Policy from the College of William and Mary and is a U.S. Student Fulbright Scholar.


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