Tomorrow is a day to celebrate our FAVORITE creatures from under the sea….The Turtles 🙂 And, I have a few ideas about how you can SHELLebrate World Sea Turtle Day 2022!
Today, June 16, is a day that we use to honor and adore the sea turtles all over the world. Sea turtles have been around for millions of years and the Hawksbill, Green and Leatherback species of this enchanting creature have been calling the shores of St. John their home for LONG before any of us. World Sea Turtle Day was created to not only honor these incredibly important and mesmerizing beings, but also to honor a man who dedicated his life to spreading awareness about the preservation and protection of sea turtles. Dr. Archie Carr, founder of the Sea Turtle Conservancy and known as the “father of sea turtle biology” celebrated his birthday on this day. And, to honor his work and his memory, World Sea Turtle Day shares his birthday….
World Sea Turtle Day is celebrated the same day as Dr. Carr’s birthday, June 16th. Dr. Carr will forever be remembered for the enhancement of the sea turtle conservation movement and the legacy he has left behind. His research and advocacy brought attention to the threatening conditions that continue to impact sea turtles today. His work highlighted the issues and helped create the community that continues to strive for a better life and future for sea turtles around the globe.- SeaTurtleWeek.com
So, in order to properly commemorate this day, here are a few ways that you can SHELLebrate whether you are on island or not!
On Island Activities-
- This one’s a given- Go swim with some turtles. Head out to Maho or Francis and take a swim alongside some of your bestest buds. Keep a safe distance of at least ten feet, take only photos and leave only bubbles!
- Go to The Tap Room– Yes, that’s right. St. John’s only brewery will be donating a portion of their proceeds on Thursday, June 16 in support of the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park Sea Turtle Conservation Program. Grab yourself a delicious Juicy Booty or Love City Seltzer on tap and toast to the turtles!
- Participate in a Turtle Talk- Every Tuesday and Thursday, Friends VINP sea turtle experts host a sea turtle information table at Maho Bay from 9AM-11AM.
- And, if you are on island long term, this is an opportunity of a lifetime! Friends VINP is currently looking for volunteers for their sea turtle nesting program! “Volunteers for the 2022/23 season need to be residents of St. John and able to commit July-November for at least one early morning patrol per week on a set schedule. New volunteers must attend one training session. Beach monitoring will begin July 1st.” If you are a St. John resident and will be on island from July-November, please email Friends VINP for more information and to sign up for this incredibly satisfying volunteer program. Turtle (and volunteer) Power!
Off Island Ways to Support and Participate-
- Adopt a Turtle! That’s right…You can adopt a sea turtle for only $30! And, that small donation goes to support the Friends’ turtle conservation programs on St. John. Last year, this AWESOME non-profit made sure that over 2,000 baby endangered Hawksbill turtles made it safely into the sea after their birth. In exchange for your donation, you will receive a adoption certificate and a special species information care card. This would make an awesome Fathers’ Day gift if you know of a special guy who appreciates our sea turtles!
- Attend a Virtual Turtle Talk- Friends VINP Sea Turtle Program Leaders, Willow Melamet and Adren Anderson, will provide a virtual update on the current sea turtle program and provide insight on challenges the turtles will face as we enter the nesting season. This talk will cover sea turtle life history and the work being done to protect these endangered species. It’s free to attend, but you need to register ahead of time on the Friends VINP website.
- Educate yourself and others about sea turtles- If you are an educator, a curious spirit or you have little ones who just LOVE the turtles of St. John, head over to the Friends VINP sea turtle resource library for some amazing information and educational materials on our little green buddies.
- Join a Coastal Cleanup- International Coastal Cleanup has a wealth of ways to get involved with cleaning up our seas. But the one I want to touch on for this purpose is their interactive map that allows you to find a coastal cleanup to participate in near you. If you don’t see one within driving distance, you can start your own cleanup as well and get others involved via their network.
Well, I don’t know about all of you, but I sure am looking forward to the SHELLebration tomorrow 🙂 I know, I know it’s cheesy. But I also think it’s hilarious. 🙂 I hope that you all enjoy the rest of your Wednesday and, whatever you do tomorrow in honor of the sea turtles, I hope you have a great time doing it!
The cover photo and many of the photos in this article were taken by the incredibly talented Scuba Maxsta.