sea turtle preservation society

Sea Turtle Preservation Society

"Helping Sea Turtles Survive"

Approximately 90% of sea turtle eggs in the US are laid in Florida. Because of the huge number of sea turtles that nest on area beaches and that forage the Indian River Lagoon, a group of concerned Brevard County citizens, in 1984, formed a grass-roots organization to help protect them. This group, the Sea Turtle Preservation Society (STPS) was incorporated in 1986 as a not-for-profit whose mission statement was simply: “Helping sea turtles survive.” .

Brevard County is a very important natural habitat for marine turtles. The county is unique because the Atlantic beaches and the Indian River Lagoon System span its entire 72 mile length. This strategic location serves as nesting and foraging sites for three species of sea turtles: the loggerhead, the green and the leatherback.

STPS has worked tirelessly to educate the public about how to protect the sea turtle population and help sick and injured sea turtles that arrive on area beaches throughout the year, particularly during nesting season, which usually runs from May through October.

While STPS serves the needs of the sea turtles throughout Brevard County, two locations are particularly important to sea turtles in our area: The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (ACNWF) and The Indian River Lagoon (IRL). Read more about the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.

STPS is a registered 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization. We are true to our ”grass roots” and are not associated with any parent company or supported by government funding. We rely on the donations from the public, our membership, and the efforts of our dedicated volunteers. Contributions are tax-deductible as allowable by law.

Our active volunteers are permitted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Bureau of Imperiled Species, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work with endangered and threatened sea turtles. Our Primary Permit Holders are responsible for our Turtle Walks, our Stranding and Salvage Network, and our Nest Surveys. STPS is not, however, an enforcement agency.

A primary focus of the organization is to educate the public about marine turtles. STPS reaches thousands of people each year through public presentations, exhibits at area events, and by our turtle watches during the sea turtle nesting season.

Floridians and tourists alike are now more aware of the threats sea turtles face and what can be done to help. We are proud of what we have become and although there are many challenges helping sea turtles survive, we know that we, with your continued support, are on the right track.

Our mission

  • The society’s goal is to help maintain the current sea turtle population and to prevent a potentially irreversible decline in that population through:

    • Maintaining the Sea Turtle House where visitors are always welcome to view and discuss our sea turtle displays and learn more about how to protect them. Sea turtle related merchandise is available for purchase. The proceeds are used to help fund our sea turtle programs.
    • Reducing disturbances and harassment of nesting sea turtles by public education about the hazards of nighttime beach activities, habitat destruction, and beach lighting.
    • Increasing the hatchling survival rate by educating the public about the impact of lighting, beach debris, habitat destruction, and marine pollution.
    • Rescuing hatchlings, post-hatchlings, and adult sea turtles and transporting them to permitted rehabilitation facilities.
    • Contributing data to the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network.
    • Participating in Keep Brevard Beautiful, Adopt-A-Beach program by performing monthly beach clean-up activities.
    • Conducting a nest survey project.
  • STPS is involved in many activities all because of our Mission Statement: Helping Sea Turtles Survive. STPS volunteers are a dedicated bunch!

Meet the Board

  • STPS is an all volunteer organization. If you need to contact a volunteer, their positions and email addresses are listed below. These are volunteers who serve in positions on the Board of Directors, Primary Permit Holders, and special positions for functions/activities as needed in the organization.

General Inquiries
Email

Vickie Openshaw
STPS Chairperson
Email

Kathy LeBresco
STPS Treasurer
Email

Vickie Openshaw
STPS Secretary
Email

Cindy Ullmer
Office Manager
Email

Nikia Rice
Education Coordinator
Email

Jax Maisto
Membership Coordinator
Email

Heather Baleen Pepe-Dillon
Ambassador at Large
Email

Vickie Openshaw
Turtle Krawl 5k Race Director
Email

Noelle Villanueva
Events Coordinator
Email

Sarah Tolson
Volunteer Coordinator
Email

Nikia Rice
Social Media Coordinator
Email

Dave Cheney
STERP Coordinator
Email

Roger Pszonowsky
Primary Permit Holder, Strandings
Email

Dave Cheney
Primary Permit Holder, Transport
Email

Craig Konkel
Primary Permit Holder, Turtle Walks
Email

Dori Hughes
Primary Permit Holder, Nest Surveys
Email

Jo-Ellen Mathews
Donations and Adoptions
Email

 

 

 

Meet Our Volunteer Staff

  • STPS is an all volunteer organization. If you need to contact a volunteer, their positions and email addresses are listed below. These are volunteers who serve in positions on the Board of Directors, Primary Permit Holders, and special positions for functions/activities as needed in the organization.

General Inquiries
Email

Sheila Harnois
Media Coordinator
Email

Philip Gurutu, Sean Moores and Anita Ziegner
Webmasters
Email

Gerry Burke
Beach Cleanup Coordinator
Email

Lori Spencer
Membership Monthly Meetings Coordinator
Email

 

 

 

 

Our location

111 South Miramar Avenue

Indialantic, FL  32903

Telephone: 321.676.1701





The Sea Turtle Preservation Society serves the community without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status or mental/physical disability.

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.  THE TOLL-FREE NUMBER OF THE DEPARTMENT IS 1-800-HELP-FLA  (435-7352) -- CALLING FROM WITHIN THE STATE OF FLORIDA, OR (850) 410-3800 -- CALLING FROM OUTSIDE OF FLORIDA. THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE IS
HTTP://WWW.800HELPFLA.COM