We are into our 2021 season! This page features all the nesting sea turtles that have been adopted over the past few years, along with their nesting summaries. We hope you enjoy learning about the individual turtles that call Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge home!
If you’d like to adopt and name a turtle or sponsor one of our satellite tagged leatherbacks in 2021, please visit I want to help! You can adopt a leatherback, green turtle or hawksbill turtle this year!
2021 Adopted Sea Turtles
These names will be assigned to nesting sea turtles as we find them and the page will be updated regularly during the year. Nesting summaries will be posted by 31 December 2021, after all the data have been compiled. We are looking forward to finding your turtles and giving them their names!
Satellite tracked leatherbacks – See all tracks here!
You can sponsor any of our tracked turtles through their travels! Visit our donation page and choose Sponsor a GPS tagged turtle in the donation designation. Be sure to include the name of the turtle you want to sponsor!
Nellie – Adopted by Vicki Nelson for her husband Steve Nelson. Nellie first nested on 10 April and then was fitted with a satellite tag on 4 May! Sponsor Nellie here!
Spot – Adopted by Ellen McCormack-Ament for the dedicated volunteers of her animal welfare store (SPOT) back in 2018. Spot returned this year and was observed on 20 April! Spot was given a satellite tag on 1 May during her third nesting event for the year. Sponsor Spot!
Cindy – Adopted by volunteer Joe Salomone for his wife, Cindy. Cindy nested first on 3 May and she got a satellite tag the same night! Cindy can be sponsored here!
Mona – Adopted by Andrea Schultz for her mother, Mona. Mona first nested on 4 May and was given her satellite tag the same night! Sponsor Mona!
Sunshine – This beautiful turtle was named by our research team during an early morning daylight nesting in 2017. She got her satellite tag on 4 May this year! Sponsor Sunshine here!
More leatherbacks adopted and named in 2021! These turtles have flipper tags and microchips that allow us to ID them when they return to nest each time. Turtle names in orange will be named next, as soon as they are identified!
Ariella Cassandra – Adopted by Vanessa Findiesen for her grandson Ben, who gave Ariella Cassandra her name in 2019! AC surprised some guests at Cottages by the Sea, when she came up to nest in the early evening hours of 7 March on Cottages Beach (unusual, they are normally out at Sandy Point).
Nathalie – Sponsored again this year (for a third time) by Avril Amato, Nathalie is named in memory of Avril’s daughter. Nathalie nested for the first time at Sandy Point in 2018, and she was our first observed turtle of 2021 night patrols on 31 March!
Bijou – Adopted by Craig and Patricia Hebert, in honor of their tortoise 😉 Bijou first nested on 2 April 2021.
Snickers – Adopted by 2017 volunteer and frequent supporter, Louisa Porter. Snickers first nested on 5 April 2021.
Ingenue – Adopted by Kirsten and Tris Higgins for k.d. lang 😉 Ingenue nested for the first time this year on 23 April.
Norma – Adopted by Casey Keefe and friends for our research assistant, Dana. Norma’s first nest was 23 April.
Rosie – Adopted by Nancy Byrnes, who loves St. Croix and sea turtles! Rosie’s first nest was 26 April. She is an old turtle, she first nested at Sandy Point in 1999!
Neisha – Adopted by Dave and Donni Benson for their daughter in 2019. That year she nested first on 28 May but this year she was early and nested on 30 April.
Sarah – Adopted by Joe and Paula Quintiliani for granddaughter Sarah in 2018. Sarah nested several times that year and this year her first appearance was on 2 May.
Tracie Fern – Adopted by Reed Maxson in memory of his mom and to honor the nickname his mother gave his wife 🙂 Tracie Fern was first found nesting on 6 April.
Kaitlyn – Adopted by Reed Maxson for his daughter. Kaitlyn’s first nest was 8 April.
Lydia – Adopted by Don and Melody Huenefeld, for a special lady (and sister to Milly – who they adopted in 2018). Lydia’s first nest of 2021 was on 27 April.
Jane – Adopted by Katie Marchand for her mom, Jane. Jane’s first nest was on 20 April.
Bourtney – Adopted by Mary Peck for her sister, Courtney. Bourtney’s first nest was 1 April.
Liberty Bell – Adopted by Linda Kaysen for her granddaughter Landry, who named Liberty Bell! Liberty Bell was first found nesting on 12 April.
Saffron – Adopted by Brett Greenleaf for his wife Amber, who named Saffron! Saffron first nested this year on 26 April.
Fran – Adopted by Ellen and Tony Drago. Fran was spotted on 11 May, but didn’t nest that night. She was checking out her options!
Lizzy – Adopted by Tracy Mahaffey for her mom, Mary Brunk, who named Lizzy!
Rylee – Adopted by Melanie Clark for Jay Clark.
Henrietta – Adopted by Sharon Faulkner for young friend Henry!
Green Turtles for 2021
Meeko – Adopted by Heather Klein for her daughter Meghan Krause. Meeko was found on 15 April and given her flipper tags! BBQ989. She nested successfully at Sandy Point.
Agnes – Adopted by Hayes Sanborn.
Gigi Rose – Adopted by Joan Myers in honor of her grandmother, and also in honor of her husband’s grandmother!
Happy – Adopted by Grandma Sally Hewitt for her granddaughter, Navie Bean!
Bronze – Adopted by Scott Hughes for Janell Hughes!
Name to be added! Adopted by Amy Frey for a school fundraiser in La Mesa, CA!
Hawksbill Turtles for 2021
2020 Adopted Sea Turtles (CLICK ON a name below to see nesting summary and turtle details)
You can see all 2020 turtles by clicking this LINK)
We had a very interrupted nesting season in 2020, so only a few leatherbacks were able to be named, because we were not able to see many. If you adopted a leatherback for 2020 and it doesn’t appear in the list below, your adoption has been carried over to 2021 (please scroll up). Or you can switch your adoption to a green turtle or a hawksbill, we still have a few of those available from 2020 that were not named!
Leatherback Turtles (all adopted)
#2. Leona – Adopted by James and Rhoda Stewart for their friend Leona. Leona is GPS Turtle #2! She first nested on 10 May and already had tags from Puerto Rico from 2016. She was named Nicole there by our partners at ATMAR, so now she’s Leona Nicole 🙂
#3. Kona – Adopted by Dee Berlinghoff, for her sons, Eric and Adam, in memory of their dog, Kona. Kona nested on 4 May 2020.
#4. Alice – Adopted by Alvena Tierney in honor of her mother. Alice nested on 19 May 2020.
Nathalie – Avril Amato adopted Nathalie again this year in memory of her daughter. Nathalie didn’t nest in 2020 but she might be back in 2021!
Green Sea Turtles
#5. Amelia – Adopted by Joe and Cindy Salomone. Amelia (tag: KKX014) nested on 8 August 2020.
#6. Tabitha – Adopted by Geoff Brown for his wife Dana. Tabitha (tag: UUK995) nested on 3 September 2020.
#7. Charlie – Adopted by Lorna Larsen for her grandson Charlie Larsen. Charlie (tag: TTH348) nested on 28 August 2020.
Hawksbill Sea Turtles
#8. Turtle – Adopted by Joanna, named in memory of her sea loving husband Dominic, using the nickname of her wonderful mother-in-law. Turtle (tag: MK57) was first spotted on 25 June 2020. Turtle’s nest was also adopted!
#9. Joe – Adopted by Joe and Cindy Salomone. Joe (tag: KKX007) nested on 6 August 2020.
#10. Caidie – Adopted by Lorna Larsen for her grandson Caiden Larsen. Caidie (tag: KKX083) nested on 2 September 2020.
2019 Sandy Point team members (not everyone is here!)
Leatherback turtles from the 2019 Season (CLICK ON names below)
In 2019, we found and named 24 individual turtles. Their summaries (nesting history, tags, adopted parents, etc.) are below. Thank you to all our supporters! All adoption funds go directly to our volunteer research assistants by providing funds for groceries!
#1. Lucky – Adopted by Sara Symons for her husband Bill. First nested on 25 March.
#2. Caroline – Adopted by Ellen and Tony Drago. First nested on 29 March.
#3. Erica – Adopted by Ellen and Tony Drago. First nested on 1 April.
#4. Ann – Adopted by volunteer Ann Mulder. First nested on 1 April.
#5. Ariella Cassandra – Adopted by Vanessa Findiesen for her grandson Ben, who gave Ariella Cassandra her name! First nest on 2 April.
#6. Maia Mia – Adopted by Vanessa Findiesen for her grandson Marcus, who gave Maia Mia her name! First nest on 3 April.
#7. Evy – Adopted by Anne Gonzales for her grand-niece Evy, who named the turtle. First nest on 5 April.
#8. Max – Adopted by Anne Gonzales for her niece Rachel, who named the turtle Max. First nest on 6 April.
#9. Kai – Adopted by Martha Henderson for her friend Ashley. First nest on 7 April.
#10. Kea – Adopted by Tawnya Merritt for her daughter Olivia, who named her turtle Kea in memory of her little dog. First nest on 7 April.
#11. Maggie – Adopted by Annabelle Orme for Tim Degraff. First nest on 13 April.
#12. Barbara Ann – Adopted by Gregg Tepe for our volunteer Tracy Cole. First appearance on 16 April (did not nest).
#14. Sadie – Adopted by Martha Henderson for Kara’s mom Sadie. First nest on 19 April.
#16. Madi – Adopted by Molly Murray. First nest on 26 April.
#17. Katrina – Adopted by Andy Simler for her granddaughter, Katrina. First nest on 28 April.
#18. Jenny – Adopted by our long-time and dedicated volunteer Amy Semple for her nature-loving mom, Jenny. First nest on 28 April.
#19. Jadie – Adopted by Sheila Wayne for her daughter Jade. Another of Sheila’s daughters – Margeaux – volunteered with us for two summers! First nest on 28 April.
#20. Nelson – Adopted by Genevieve Itamunoala for her six grandchildren. Genevieve also adopted Nelson’s nest for the season! First nest on 21 May.
#21. Tito – Adopted by Julie Flavin in honor of her daughter Tamara’s birthday. First nest on 26 May.
#22. Neisha – Adopted by Dave and Donni Benson for their daughter. First nest on 28 May.
#23. Stevie – Adopted by Dave and Donni Benson for their daughter. First nest on 1 June, in the daytime! On a remote beach that we don’t often patrol!
#24. Koda – Adopted by Tina Kovalik in memory of her dog. First nest on 9 June!
Nest Adoptions – Seven of our nests were adopted in 2019. Thank you so much to the following people who helped us take good care of our hatchlings! (Click on the nest name to see the nest results).
- Liz Tremblay adopted Lucky’s nest for her husband Shane!
- Mary Hodge adopted Evy’s first nest for Kenzie and Gracie Hodge 🙂
- Kasimir Skvorc adopted Carol’s first nest for Logan Combs.
- Peter and Jill White adopted Jenny’s first nest for the White Family.
- Ann Gonzales adopted Max’s nest for Bill, JulieAnn and the Fisher Family.
- Genevieve Itamunoala adopted Nelson’s nest for all her grandchildren!
- Ellen Maidman adopted Kea’s first nest for Bradley McPartlin!
Leatherback turtles from the 2018 Season (CLICK ON names below)
We found 38 individual turtles in 2018. You can find their summaries (nesting history, tags, adopted parents, etc.) below. Thank you to all our supporters! You make a huge difference to our volunteer research assistant program by providing funds for groceries!
#1. Agnes – Adopted by Dave and Debbie Bucholtz for Molly.
#2. Jillene – Adopted by Peter and Jillene White.
#3. MaryLisa – Adopted by The Mauney Family.
#4. Amy-Lee – Adopted by Mike McKay for Amy Semple – our 10-season volunteer 🙂
#5. Joasia – Adopted by Mike Stiell for Joasia Pyrz.
#6. Rose – Adopted by Dave and Debbie Bucholtz in memory of their friend Rose.
#7. Jumbie – Adopted by Molly Murray.
#8. Tassi – Adopted by Louisa (Scooter) Porter.
#10. Edith – Adopted by Olivia and George Korsun.
#11. Moana – Adopted by The Higgins Family (Kirsten and Tristan).
#12. YaYa – Adopted by The Scarfo Family for our research assistant Alyssa (YaYa).
#13. Milly – Adopted by The Huenefeld Family.
#14. Enid Fern– Adopted by The Freys and Knoells.
#15. Dawn– Adopted by Caretta Nature Tours.
#16. Culebra– Adopted by the STX Leatherback Team in 2016.
#17. Nathalie – Adopted by Avril Amato in memory of her daughter Nathalie.
#18. BB2– Adopted by Amy, Susie and Cathy in memory of dear Becky (BB2).
#19. Nikki – Adopted by Louisa (Scooter) Porter.
#20. Caicos – Adopted by Louisa (Scooter) Porter (super-adopter!).
#21. Dorothy – Adopted by Gail Joice.
#22. M&M – Adopted by The LaCasella Family for Maleia and Masen.
#23. Taffy – Adopted by Barbara Mogel.
#24. Lucy McGillicuddy – Adopted by Penelope Mabie for Barb Keogh.
#25. Isabella – Adopted by Angela Stoops for Isabella Scarfo, our youngest volunteer.
#26. Taipei – Adopted by Louisa (Scooter) Porter (super-adopter!).
#27. Sarah – Adopted by Joe and Paula Quintiliani for granddaughter Sarah.
#28. Jeanette – Adopted by Tiffany Farrell.
#29. Keelie – Adopted by Louisa Porter for a certain team member! (second from right).
#30. Spot – Adopted by Ellen McCormack-Ament for the dedicated volunteers of her animal welfare store (SPOT).
#31. Eliza – Adopted by Gail Joice for her friend Eliza.
#32. Winona – Adopted by students and staff of Winona State University’s St. Croix class. Winona returned on 14 May 2020 and got a satellite tag. We followed her nesting movements around St. Croix for the season.
#33. Miss Maple – Adopted by Emily and Wes Hogarth.
#34. Catherine Rose – Adopted by Amy Adkins.
#35. Gertie – Adopted by Sandi Schultz.
#36. Dana Rae – Adopted by Kyle Woudstra for our research assistant Dana Rae.
#37. Michelle – Adopted by SUPER Volunteer Donna Boles for her niece Michelle.
#38. Rie – Adopted by Bejai and Dan Higgins.
Thanks everyone! We had a great season!
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.