sea turtle preservation society

About us

Sea Turtle Preservation Society in the Beginning …

“Helping sea turtles survive.” That’s how it all started … and how it continues today. It all began because of our location and the huge numbers of sea turtles that nest on our area beaches or forage in our lagoon.  In 1984, a group of concerned citizens formed a grass-roots organization in Brevard County and later, in 1986, incorporated as a not-for-profit organization to help protect sea turtles in our area. Their mission statement was: “Helping sea turtles survive.” This organization became known as the Sea Turtle Preservation Society (STPS).

STPS saw a need to educate the general public about ways to help protect the sea turtle population that rely on this location for their survival. We also realized we needed to help the sick and injured sea turtles that arrive on area beaches throughout the year and during nesting season particularly. 

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

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.

Sea Turtle Preservation Society Today …

STPS has grown and evolved into what it is today. Our location is still ideal for nesting sea turtles and foraging juveniles. And we still get them by the thousands!  Locals and tourists alike are now more aware of the threats sea turtles face and what they can do to help – thanks to our efforts.

We are proud of what we have become and know that there are still obstacles we have to overcome to help our sea turtles survive. We know that we are on the right track.

Today, 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.

The purpose of our organization is still 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.

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 Our Volunteers

  • 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

Dave Cheney
Media Coordinator
Email

Vickie Openshaw
Membership Coordinator
Email


Web Administrator
Email

Heather Baleen Pepe-Dillon
Ambassador at Large
Email

Sarah Tolson
Volunteer Coordinator
Email

Sarah Tolson
Events Coordinator
Email

Nikia Rice
Social Media Coordinator
Email

Gerry Burke
Beach Cleanup Coordinator
Email

Roger Pszonowsky
Primary Permit Holder, Strandings
Email

Dave Cheney
STERP Coordinator
Email

Craig Konkel
Pimary Permit Holder, Turtle Walks
Email

Dori Hughes
Primary Permit Holder, Nest Surveys
Email

Dori Hughes
Membership Monthly Meetings Coordinator
Email

Vickie Openshaw
Turtle Krawl 5k Race Director
Email

 

 

 

 

Our location

111 South Miramar Avenue

Indialantic, FL  32903

Telephone: 321.676.1701