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CROW receives grant to enhance sea turtle care

By Staff | Jul 15, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED New equipment purchased with grant funds from the Sea Turtle Grants Program will assist CROW staff in treating endangered sea turtles, particularly large loggerhead sea turtles.

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife 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 turtles and beaches for nesting adults. As the only licensed sea turtle rehabilitator between Sarasota and the 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 turtles affected by red tide poisoning, significantly increasing their survival rate.

The grant will support the purchase and installation of a new hoist, gurney and scale for use in treating sick or injured turtles. The equipment will be especially helpful in aiding the treatment of loggerheads, 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 programs that benefit sea turtles – the Florida Fish and 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’s specialty plate.

“It’s rewarding to know that so many people share our concern for Florida’s sea turtles,” Sea Turtle Conservancy Executive Director David Godfrey said. “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.”

PHOTO PROVIDED The Sea Turtle Grants Program is funded from proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate.

For more on the grant program and specialty license plate, visit www.helpingseaturtles.org.