provided to Santiva Chronicle
The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) recently received a grant for $10,258 from the Florida Sea Turtle Grants Program, which is funded by the sales of the sea turtle specialty license plate.
With hundreds of miles of shoreline, Lee and Collier Counties’ barrier islands provide an abundance of important coastal habitat for juvenile sea turtles and beaches for nesting adult turtles. As the only licensed sea turtle rehabilitator between Sarasota and the Florida Keys, CROW plays an important role in helping preserve the health of sea turtles in Southwest Florida. In recent years, CROW has helped pioneer research to develop treatment for sea turtles affected by red tide poisoning, significantly increasing their survival rate.
CROW was awarded the grant to support the purchase and installation of a new hoist, gurney, and scale for use in treating sick or injured sea turtles. The new equipment will be especially helpful in aiding the treatment of loggerhead sea turtles which can weigh 200 pounds or more.
The funds were awarded through a competitive application process that is open to coastal county governments, educational institutions and Florida-based nonprofit groups striving to improve the livelihood of sea turtles and conserve Florida habitats.
Launched in 1996, the “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” specialty license plate raises money for two important programs that benefit Florida sea turtles—the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Marine Turtle Protection Program and the Sea Turtle Grants Program, which distributes money back to the local level for turtle conservation projects.
The sea turtle plate is currently the number two overall selling specialty tag in Florida – second only to the University of Florida specialty plate, making it the number one environmental specialty plate.
“It’s rewarding to know that so many people share our concern for Florida’s sea turtles,” said David Godfrey, Sea Turtle Conservancy Executive Director. “What we do in this state has a dramatic impact on sea turtle populations around the world. By purchasing the sea turtle specialty plate, Floridians are voluntarily funding important programs to save these amazing creatures.”
To learn more about the Sea Turtle Grants Program and the “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” specialty license plate, please visit http://www.helpingseaturtles.org.