Whitney Laboratory Sea Turtle Hospital Awarded Grant from Florida Sea Turtle Grants Program to Help Education Efforts
In April, University of Florida Whitney Laboratory Sea Turtle Hospital received a grant for $15,000 from the Florida Sea Turtle Grants Program, which is financed by the sales of the sea turtle specialty license plate. The grant will fund the development and creation of a modular, mobile exhibition at Whitney Laboratory to be used for educational purposes in regard to sea turtles. The exhibition will share about the threats sea turtles face, ways the community can be stewards of Florida’s sea turtles, and the work taking place at the Whitney Laboratory Sea Turtle Hospital. The exhibition will be complete by April 2017.
The creation of this exhibition will benefit Florida sea turtles through education. Whitney Laboratory was chosen for the award through a competitive application process that is open to coastal county governments, educational institutions and Florida-based nonprofit groups striving to improve the livelihood of sea turtles and conserve Florida habitats.
The exhibition will be used in multiple capacities. It will be on display at Whitney Laboratory in the Sea Turtle Discovery Room. It will also travel to nearby museums and educational facilities, such as the Florida Museum of Natural History, St. Augustine Lighthouse, tag! Children’s Museum of St. Augustine, and St. Johns River Center. Similarly, it will be on display at special events, such the Sea Turtle Hospital’s open house.
Launched in 1996, the “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” specialty license plate raises money for two important programs that benefit Florida sea turtles—the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Marine Turtle Protection Program and the Sea Turtle Grants Program, which distributes money back to the local level for turtle conservation projects.
The sea turtle specialty plate is currently number two in sales, having sold 66,696 plates in 2010 – second only to the University of Florida specialty plate.
“It’s rewarding to know that so many people share our concern for Florida’s sea turtles,” said David Godfrey, executive director at the Sea Turtle Conservancy. “What we do in this state has a dramatic impact on sea turtle populations around the world. By purchasing the sea turtle specialty plate, Floridians are voluntarily funding important programs to save these amazing creatures.”
To learn more about the Sea Turtle Grants Program and the “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” specialty license plate, please visit www.helpingseaturtles.org.