Sandy Point Sea Turtles

We are having a great 2021! 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 sea turtle or sponsor one of our satellite tagged leatherbacks in 2021, please visit I want to help! We still have green turtles and hawksbill turtles available to adopt 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!

August begins our fall season for green and hawksbill sea turtles – here’s our adoption lineup! Turtle names in orange are next to be identified!

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. Agnes first nested on the evening of 9 August. Tag: KKX121.

Gigi Rose – Adopted by Joan Myers in honor of her grandmother, and also in honor of her husband’s grandmother! Gigi Rose was first tagged in the early morning hours of 10 August! Tag: KKX044.

Happy – Adopted by Grandma Sally Hewitt for her granddaughter, Navie Bean! Happy’s first nest was on 11 August. Tag: KKX053.

Maya Papaya – Adopted by Virginia Holeman for her first born granddaughter ❤️ Maya Papaya was found nesting by Claudia on 11 August. Tag: KKX051.

Bronze – Adopted by Scott Hughes for Janell Hughes! Bronze made her first appearance on the night of 11 August. Tag: BBQ996.

Minnie – Adopted for Jacob Gleason by his family. Minnie is a tiny turtle, and her first nest was 11 August. Tag: KKX095.

Troy – Adopted and named by Zach Moskowitz. Troy first nested on 12 August. Tag: KKX125.

Gwendolyn Elizabeth – Adopted and named by Nikki Cicero in memory of dear friend Gwen, for happy memories, hurricane spaghetti and friendship ❤️ Gwendolyn was found nesting for the first time on 17 August, and tagged by the real Gwen’s friend Kelly. Tag: KKX041.

Roxie – Adopted and named by the Leigh family. Roxie’s first nest at Sandy Point was 12 August. Tag: KKX159.

Mesita! Adopted by Amy Frey for a school fundraiser in La Mesa, CA! Mesita’s first nest was 13 August. Tag: KKX111.

Skye Pelikaokeanuenue – Skye P. was adopted and named by Gayle Enriquez for her granddaughter. Skye first nested and got her tags on 12 August. Tag: KKX116.

Valentina – Adopted and named by Cheryl Dolloff for her granddaughter, Valentina first nested on 16 August. Tag: BBQ976.

Dotsie – Dotsie was adopted in honor of Bill Weeks mom, Dorothy. Dotsie first nested on 13 August. Tag: KKX075.

Leela – Leela was adopted and named by Caresse Hansen. She first nested on 17 August! Tag: KKX160.

Paula P. – Turtle KKX162 was adopted and named by Suzanne Delucia in honor of her aunt Paula! Paula P. got her tags on 13 August. Tag: KKX162.

Bonnie – Bonnie was adopted and named by Brian Wicks and Jen Matchey in honor of Jen’s mom! Her first nest this year was 19 August. Tag: UUK954.

Genevieve – Genevieve was adopted and named by Kelly Stewart for her aunt, Genevieve. Her first nest was 18 August. Tag: KKX117.

Nixie – Nixie was adopted and named by Kelly Stewart for her friend, Nikki Cicero. Her first nest was 25 August. Tag: KKX195.

Schatzi – Schatzi is German for “sweet” and this sweet green turtle laid her eggs in the forest right at the tip of Sandy Point on 26 August. She was adopted and named by Jill Swartz and her husband! Tag: MK183.

Merwin – Merwin is a roaming St. Croix green turtle! She was adopted and named by Mary and Jim Black. Her first nest was 28 August, and she’s a special green turtle – she was first tagged in 2012 all the way over at Jack and Isaacs Bay beaches! Tag: EEF057.

Kolika – Kolika was first seen on 17 September, and was instantly adopted and named by Danielle Young and Patrick Kocovsky! Tag: SP019.

Anna – Anna was adopted and named in memory of Anna Herda, by the Manns Family❤️ Her first nest was 22 August. Tag: TTH379.

Princess Leia – Princess Leia was adopted and named by Kelly P, who volunteers at Sandy Point. Princess Leia’s first nest was 23 August. Tag: UUK989.

Stephanie – Stephanie was adopted and named by Paul Mercurio. Stephanie’s first nest was 18 August. Tag: KKX132.

***ADOPT – Turtle KKX065 needs a name and adoption family! First nested 13 August! Tag: KKX065.

***ADOPT – Turtle KKX175 needs a name and adoption family! Her first nest was 17 August. Tag: KKX175.

***ADOPT – Turtle KKX069 needs a name and adoption family! Her first nest was 19 August. Tag: KKX069.

***ADOPT – Turtle KKX058 needs a name and adoption family! Her first nest was 19 August. Tag: KKX058.

***ADOPT – Turtle KKX139 needs a name and adoption family! Her first nest was 19 August. Tag: KKX139.

Hawksbill Turtles for 2021

Blue – Adopted and named by Cara Pascal at St. Croix Blue House 😀 Blue nested for the first time on 5 August at Sandcastle on the Beach! Tag: KKX043.

Arline – Adopted for Vanessa Peifer by her family for her birthday. Vanessa chose the name Arline for her turtle! Arline first nested on 17 August. Tag: KKX150.

Gwen – Adopted and named by Sharon Grimes in honor of our friend Gwen Skeoch. Gwen was found nesting on 20 August under a sea grape tree. Tag: TTH303.

Kitty – This little hawksbill was adopted by Brian Wicks and Jen Matchey. Kitty’s first nest was on 28 August. Tag: KKX199.

Yesca – Yesca was adopted and named by Cody and Gretchen Graham. Her first nest was 19 May. Tag: YYL898.

Sancha – Sancha was adopted and named by Cody and Gretchen Graham. Cody and Gretchen helped rescue nearly a hundred hawksbill hatchlings that came out of a nest at Cottages by the Sea one night in early September 😍 Sancha’s first nest was 21 August. Tag: SPP863.

Konane – Konane was adopted and named by Danielle Young and Patrick Kocovsky. Her first nest was 18 September. Tag: KKX168.

Sammy – Sammy was adopted by Patsy Davis for her daughter Harriet Kendall, who volunteered at Sandy Point years ago! Sammy’s first nest was 27 August. Tag: BBQ819.

Benji – Benji was adopted and named by Todd and Angela Kuehn for their grandson Benji! We will be finding Benji soon.

Adopt your turtle today!

Leatherback Turtles for 2021

Satellite tracked leatherbacksSee 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!

Ann – Adopted by volunteer Ann Mulder, in 2019! Ann returned this year and first nested on 10 April. 🙂 Ann got her satellite tag on 20 April. Sponsor Ann!

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!

Tito – Adopted by Julie Flavin in honor of her daughter Tamara’s birthday, back in 2019. She returned this year and got a satellite tag! You can sponsor Tito here!

Carol – Adopted by the Benedict Family at Cottages by the Sea for their mom, Carol. She last nested in 2019, and arrived the night of 4 May. We gave her a satellite tag! Sponsor Carol 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 in 2022, 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! Lizzy’s first nest was on 12 May.

Scoots – Adopted by the Mangum family with thanks to Grandma Diane! Scoots first nested on 19 April.

Leatherback Turtles for 2022 (turtles will be identified starting in March 2022)

Molly Be – Adopted by the Lombard Smith family for Marsha and named by Marsha 🙂

Rylee – Adopted by Melanie Clark for Jay Clark.

Henrietta – Adopted by Sharon Faulkner for young friend Henry!

Adrienne – Adopted and named by Ellen and Tony Drago for their daughter.

Martha – Adopted and named by Sean Furniss in honor of his wife, Martha. Thanks Sean, for all your hard work on behalf of Sandy Point!

Charlotte – Adopted and named by Sharon Grimes for her granddaughter Charlotte, who helped us at a nest hatching event!

Ted – Adopted and named by Annelise Quinn, in honor of grandfather Ted, husband to grandmother Mona. Now we’ll have a Mona and Ted leatherback swimming the seas together ❤️❤️

Micah – Adopted and named by Angela and Todd Kuehn for their grandson Micah. We’ll identify Micah early next year!

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)

#1. Barb – Adopted by friends and family of Barb Keogh (in memory). Barb was GPS Turtle #1! She first nested on 28 April and got her satellite 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. 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.

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2019 Sandy Point team members (not everyone is here!)

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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.

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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!

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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. 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.