Sandy Point Leatherbacks

We have started our 2020 season! It’s been modified due to the pandemic but we will try to identify as many individuals as possible. We have several turtles adopted this season and we are tracking turtles using GPS! If you’d like to adopt and name a turtle or sponsor one of our GPS tagged turtles, you can do that on our How to Help page.

2020 Leatherback Turtles 

#1. Barb – Adopted by friends and family of Barb Keogh (in memory). Barb is now GPS Turtle #1! She first nested on 28 April and got her GPS tag on 8 May!

#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. Nellie – Adopted by Vicki Nelson for her husband Steve Nelson. Turtle name will be matched with a satellite tag ID in 2021! 

#4. Kona – Adopted by Dee Berlinghoff, for her sons, Eric and Adam, in memory of their dog, Kona.

#5. Alice – Adopted by Alvena Tierney in honor of her mother.

#6. Snickers – Adopted by our volunteer and supporter, Louisa Porter.

#7. Jane – Adopted by Katie Marchand for her mom, Jane.

#8. Bourtney – Adopted by Mary Peck for her sister, Courtney.

#9. Tracie Fern – Adopted by Reed Maxson in memory of his mom and to honor the nickname his mother gave his wife  🙂

#10. Kaitlyn – Adopted by Reed Maxson for his daughter.

#11. Ingenue – Adopted by Kirsten and Tris Higgins for k.d. lang 😉

#12. Liberty Bell – Adopted by Linda Kaysen for her granddaughter Landry, who named Liberty Bell!

#13. Saffron – Adopted by Brett Greenleaf for his wife Amber, who named Saffron!

#14. Mona – Adopted by Andrea Schultz for her mother, Mona.

#15. Cindy – Adopted by volunteer Joe Salomone for his wife, Cindy.

#16. Fran – Adopted by Ellen and Tony Drago.

#17. Bijou – Adopted by Craig and Patricia Hebert, in honor of their tortoise 😉

#18. Lizzy – Adopted by Tracy Mahaffey for her mom, Mary Brunk, who named Lizzy!

#19. Norma – Adopted by Casey Keefe and friends for our research assistant, Dana (bottom left in the photo!).

#20. Rosie – Adopted by Nancy Byrnes, who loves St. Croix and sea turtles!

#21. Name to be added! Adopted by Amy Frey for a school fundraiser in La Mesa, CA!


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).

#13. Carol – Adopted by the Benedict Family at Cottages by the Sea for their mom, Carol. First nest on 19 April.

#14. Sadie – Adopted by Martha Henderson for Kara’s mom Sadie. First nest on 19 April.

#15. Wahine Honu – Adopted by Renee and Megan Heil at ReefBox, and named by their subscribers! First nest on 20 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).

  1. Liz Tremblay adopted Lucky’s nest for her husband Shane!
  2. Mary Hodge adopted Evy’s first nest for Kenzie and Gracie Hodge 🙂
  3. Kasimir Skvorc adopted Carol’s first nest for Logan Combs.
  4. Peter and Jill White adopted Jenny’s first nest for the White Family.
  5. Ann Gonzales adopted Max’s nest for Bill, JulieAnn and the Fisher Family.
  6. Genevieve Itamunoala adopted Nelson’s nest for all her grandchildren!
  7. Ellen Maidman adopted Kea’s first nest for Bradley McPartlin!
5. leatherback_hatchlings
Little hatchlings head for the sea in the early evening.


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!

A few of our volunteer research assistants for the 2018 season!

#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.

#9. Laurel – Adopted by Carrie Althouse at Althouse Pottery.

#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.

#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 Leatherback 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.