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Announcing Six Grants To Sea Turtle Conservation Projects

By Brian Hutchinson

Oceanic Society is excited to announce six small grants to sea turtle conservation projects in Cape Verde, Cook Islands, Ecuador, Grenada, India, and Mexico. The grants are being awarded as part of our global State of the World's Sea Turtles (SWOT) Program, which has hosted an annual small grants competition since 2006. In total, 49 grants have been awarded to sea turtle research and conservation projects in 29 countries.

The 2013 grant recipients are:
  1. SOS Tartarugas (Cape Verde) for their efforts to foster careers in sea turtle conservation through a hands-on internship program that provides practical and theoretical training to students from the University of Cabo Verde.
  2. Dr. Michael White (Cook Islands) for establishment of a community-based sea turtle monitoring program in the northern Cook Islands (villages of Omoka and Tetautua), including training of local community members in the collection of biological data and monitoring of threats.
  3. Equilibrio Azul (Ecuador) for their “Guardians of Nature Ecoclub" program, which engages children in the coastal town of Puerto Lopez in hands-on activities that build awareness and appreciation of marine resource conservation. Activities include field trips to see nesting sea turtles, crafts, and presentations.
  4. Ocean Spirits (Grenada) for their educational youth summer camp programs and environmental school clubs that target students near Grenada's northern coast where leatherback and hawksbill turtles nest.
  5. Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter (India, regional) for the production and distribution of the Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter, a key resource for information sharing and networking among sea turtle research and conservation projects throughout the Indian Ocean.
  6. Vida Milenaria (Mexico) for establishment of a mark-recapture study of Critically Endangered Kemp's ridley turtles in Tecolutla, Mexico (Gulf Coast). The research will help provide key information about the Tecolutla Kemp's ridley population, such as population size, recruitment, connectivity, nest-site fidelity, and survival rates.

Congratulations to all of the grant recipients, and thanks to all whom applied. We look forward to reporting on the grantees' progress in the next volume of the State of the World's Sea Turtles Report in April 2014.

Learn more about the State of the World's Sea Turtles Program and see an overview of projects previously funded at www.seaturtlestatus.org.

Author

Brian Hutchinson is Oceanic Society's vice president of outreach, co-founder of the State of the World's Sea Turtles Program, and program officer of the IUCN-SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group. Brian holds a B.A. in zoology from Connecticut College, and has been working to advance global marine conservation for more than a decade.