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 works 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 and Indian River Lagoon.
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.
Many of 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, Stranding and Salvage Network, Transport, and 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 walks 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.