There are many ways you can get involved with helping us protect turtles.
Give us a thumbs up! By liking our Facebook page and following our updates on Instagram, you provide us with great encouragement and inspiration. We are excited to share with you our discoveries and information!
Volunteer with us – Each year we encourage volunteers to help us with nesting surveys, hatchling protection and education programs. Positions vary based on experience and interest. Some volunteers help by walking on a soft-sand beach for hours overnight looking for turtles, while others help protect emerging hatchlings during the early evening hours. Please fill out this form to express your area of interest and to get on the list for volunteer meeting and training notifications. We will hold periodic training sessions but may email for occasional help, for example beach cleanups.
Get a great T-shirt! A great way to show your support of our project is to wear one of our project t-shirts! We have many colors and sizes to choose from, and all proceeds support our volunteer team (and are partially tax deductible). These shirts are a big hit with family members and with our own team! T-shirts ($20 donation) can be picked up at public events and festivals around St. Croix or at Cottages by the Sea (March through September). Ask for the Turtle Team at the Cottages office!
Sponsor a satellite tracked turtle! In 2020 we launched our GPS tracking program for leatherbacks in St. Croix! We followed Barb and Leona Nicole as they made their migration north to foraging grounds after a successful nesting season.
To sponsor a satellite tagged turtle, simply make any donation amount at this link and mention in the comments which turtle you’d like to sponsor! We will add your name to the sponsorship list for your turtle. Sponsorships will help pay for satellite time for data collection so we can understand more about the nesting site choices made by our turtles.
Name a nesting turtle – Each season we see dozens of individual female turtles and while they have flipper tags, we like to give them names to remember them better as the season goes on. For example, SPP056 is one of our special leatherback turtles. She nested twice in 2016 and one of our team members, Dana, named her Rapunzel. After her second nest though, she was attacked by a shark as she got back in the water and we didn’t see her again that season. We thought we may have lost her. But to our surprise (because it’s unusual for leatherbacks), she nested again in 2017 and was one of our champion nesters! No lasting impacts from the shark attack.
For a $100 donation to the St. Croix Sea Turtle Project, you can name a nesting sea turtle. You can choose your species – leatherback, green or hawksbill! You’ll receive a certificate of adoption that you can print, a project T-shirt, a sticker, recognition on our website, and a summary at the end of the season with your turtle’s stats (# of nests, dates seen, etc.). (See an example of a turtle summary here!). To name a turtle, go to the following link, enter your information, and in the Comments box, add the name you’d like for your turtle, the species you’d like, and who you are naming the turtle for. Name your turtle!
Adopt a nest – Our team often protects sea turtle nests as they are hatching and conducts nest inventories after hatching to rescue any babies left behind. Any rescued hatchlings are released!
For a $50 donation, you can adopt a nest. You’ll receive an adoption certificate that you can print, a project sticker, recognition on our website, and the stats about your nest at the end of the season (date laid, nesting mom, how many hatchlings emerged, etc. See an example here!). To adopt a nest, go to the following link and enter your information. In the Comment box, please mention that you are adopting a nest. Adopt a nest here!
Your donations for naming turtles or adopting nests ultimately support our volunteer team, who spend their summers dedicated to protecting turtles. Donations are fully tax-deductible (you will receive an email and tax letter instantly upon donating) and are so much appreciated! Thank you for your support!
The St. Croix Sea Turtle Project is supported by the Sea Turtle Census Initiative, which is sponsored by The Ocean Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) organization, based in Washington, D.C., but working globally to protect our oceans.