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 both organizations to reach a larger audience and bring more people to experience ocean wildlife and conservation efforts worldwide.
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, which is launching a new website and expanding its travel offerings. SEE Turtles’ programs will help to expand Oceanic Society’s impact on sea turtle conservation worldwide and will enable the organizations to collaborate on new destinations and trips that benefit sea turtle and ocean conservation.
SEE Turtles has been a project of The Ocean Foundation since 2009. We thank the staff of The Ocean Foundation for their tremendous support over the past 5 years; the project's success would not have been possible without their help.