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SEE Turtles Joins Oceanic Society To Grow The Market For Sea Turtle Conservation Travel

By Brian Hutchinson

We are excited to announce that SEE Turtles, the world's first non-profit focused on supporting sea turtle conservation through ecotourism (founded in 2008), is joining Oceanic Society, America's first non-profit dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969. The new alliance will allow us both to grow our audiences and bring more people to experience ocean wildlife and conservation efforts worldwide.

SEE Turtles has had a big impact on sea turtle conservation. To date SEE Turtles has raised more than $500,000 for sea turtle conservation and local communities and has connected hundreds of people with local projects through a focus on:

  • Conservation Travel: Unique tours and volunteer trips that support community-based sea turtle conservation projects in Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, and El Salvador;
  • Billion Baby Turtles: An innovative fundraising program that partners with leading green businesses and others to save turtle hatchlings by supporting important turtle nesting beaches in Latin America; and
  • Sea Turtle Education: Field trips, classroom presentations, fundraising programs, workshops for teachers, and scholarships to bring kids to participate in important turtle conservation programs.

A pioneer in ecotourism, Oceanic Society's mission is to conserve marine wildlife and habitats by deepening the connections between people and nature. Over the past 40+ years Oceanic Society's international eco-expeditions and San Francisco Bay area whale watching programs have provided educational nature travel experiences for tens of thousands of people. Oceanic Society also maintains an active field research and conservation program at Turneffe Atoll, Belize through its Blackbird Caye Field Station, supports community conservation programs in Ulithi Atoll, Micronesia, contributes to global sea turtle research and conservation through management of the State of the World's Sea Turtles (SWOT) Program and the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group, and pursues an innovative communications strategy through its "Blue Habits" program that seeks to motivate ocean-friendly changes in human behavior.

The integration of SEE Turtles comes at an exciting time for Oceanic Society, as we prepare to launch a new website and have been expanding our travel offerings. The addition of SEE Turtles' programs will help to expand our impact on sea turtle conservation worldwide, and will enable us to collaborate on new destinations and trips that benefit sea turtle and ocean conservation.

We look forward to sharing more information about SEE Turtles' programs with you.

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.

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