We are thrilled to recognize local St. Croix student artists who entered our art contest from earlier this summer! We had over 100 entries and all art pieces were terrific representations of sea turtle conservation in the USVI. Here are our winners for the 2023 Sea Turtle Calendar! You can order yours here ($20).
Kimaya J – Grade 8, Good Hope Country Day School
Kimaya had this to say about sea turtle conservation, “Sea Turtles are important to the USVI because they help our coral reefs as well as they help make our island look 10 times better than it already does. Our sea turtles also help the younger ones be more loving, caring, and interact more with the wild life. As a kid I would always help out with taking and protecting the sea turtles on our island. Our sea turtles are also just so important to our island. It is our duty to protect our turtles just like it is to protect the island. This island is one of the reasons why leatherback turtles are not extinct yet. Our sea turtles bring a lot to our island and are one of the reasons why people love the USVI so much. There are multiple ways that we can protect the sea turtles that we love. For example we have so many fishermen fishing for fish using fishing lines. When the line breaks off that’s it; it will not decompose until the next 600 years. That is way too long because during that time period they are strangling the sea animals especially turtles. Just all the waste and other things are just damaging our land and now it is getting to our water. We have been sitting for way too long. There shouldn’t be a reason the humans are dominating the world and hardly anyone is doing anything for the ones that were here first, the animals. I think if we can reduce the use of plastic and foam and etc. with stuff that takes long periods of time to decompose. We would be able to protect and save our ocean if we also get things that don’t take that long to decompose. So I think the less things we put in the ocean, the more animal lives we would save.”
Ahmaric R – Grade 4, Ricardo Richards Elementary School
Ahmaric had this to say about sea turtle conservation, “Here in the Virgin Islands we have many types of turtles. Such as green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles. These turtles can grow very big. We have to stop littering, if a turtle sees a plastic bag, they will mistake it for a jellyfish, eat it and die. Turtles need a clean habitat to survive. If we don’t protect our turtles our future generation would not be able to see how big, beautiful and amazing turtles are.”
Aleyshaniz E – Grade 2, Claude O. Markoe Elementary School
Alejandro Q – Grade 6, Alfredo Andrews Elementary School
Ridley S – Grade 5, Good Hope Country Day School
Sarai J – Grade 6, Claude O. Markoe Elementary School
Khloe R – Grade 2, Ricardo Richards Elementary School
Khloe had this to say about sea turtle conservation, “I love turtles. We can keep the beaches clean to protect the turtles. Put away all our trash in the garbage. Do not leave plastic in the ocean. This can kill our sea turtles. When we swim in the water, keep away from them to keep them safe. Be careful when driving, you might kill baby turtles. Don’t you love turtles? I do.”
Peyton S – Grade 8, Good Hope Country Day School
Peyton had this to say about sea turtle conservation, “Sea Turtles are important to the USVI because they maintain healthy coral reefs as well as transporting nutrients from the oceans to the beaches. Each sea turtle species is helpful to our oceans and beaches. Sea turtles can help manage the population of jellyfish and the hatchlings left on the beach help with coastal vegetation. To protect sea turtles you can stop littering in the ocean and you can spread more awareness and use red street lights.”
Kaylyn R – Grade 4, Ricardo Richards Elementary School
Kaylyn had this to say about sea turtle conservation, “Sea turtles are important in the U.S. Virgin Islands because leatherbacks eat and control the number of jellyfish. The hawksbill helps preserve the coral reef by eating sponges. This increases biodiversity which means a variety of life on the reef. Turtle hatchlings that don’t survive, leave behind nutrients to provide an important source for coastal vegetation. Seagrass beds provide habitat and food for many species. The green sea turtle keeps seagrass healthy. We can avoid polluting the ocean to protect our sea turtles.”
Tristyn B – Grade 5, Claude O. Markoe Elementary School
Tristyn had this to say about sea turtle conservation, “We can protect the turtles by saving their babies hiding place. The USVI is more popular and makes them special.”
Zuleyka R – Grade 6, Claude O. Markoe Elementary School
Lydell M – Grade 3, Ricardo Richards Elementary School
Lydell had this to say about sea turtle conversation, “I can help save sea turtles by not throwing trash or plastic in the ocean or around the beaches. We should be aware of the sea turtles nesting areas and avoid the hatching areas. We can harm turtles by not cleaning up after ourselves so we can try to pick up things around us that are harmful to turtles and we can volunteer to keep our island beaches clean.”
J’Nyra H – Grade 3, Lew Muckle Elementary School
THANK you so much to our judges – Shakir Smith, Donna Boles, Danica David, Dwydale Dariah.
Order a 2023 Sea Turtle Calendar for $20 each! Please add $5 if shipping off St. Croix. Pickup locations on St. Croix will be announced (by email). All proceeds support Outreach and Education at Sandy Point. Order Here!
*Calendars will be mailed during the first week of December 2022 and pickup locations around St. Croix will be announced.
The St. Croix Sea Turtle Project is sponsored by The Ocean Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, in cooperation with US Fish and Wildlife Service at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.