Grant helps keep STPS mission on the road
Volunteers from the Sea Turtle Preservation Society continue to transport injured and sick sea turtles to facilities for care thanks in part to a grant received from the Sea Turtle Grants Program.
The Sea Turtle Preservation Society’s new vehicle has been on the road for just about six months now. The easily identifiable minivan featuring a unique artistic sea turtle wrap is used by volunteers to transport sea turtles to rehabilitation facilities throughout Florida. In 2018, STPS volunteers drove sea turtles more than 13,000 miles after rescue for rehabilitation.
In May 2018, STPS received a matching grant of $9,900 for its program: Rescue, Rehabilitation, Release. This was funded in part by a grant awarded from the Sea Turtle Grants Program. The program is funded from proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. Learn more at helpingseaturtles.org.
The grant assisted in the purchase of a used minivan to replace an aging truck that the Sea Turtle Preservation Society had been using for its activities. The grant shared the cost 50/50 up to $10,000. The grant requirement of $20,000 total was met after outfitting the minivan with the necessary rescue equipment. The vehicle’s vinyl wrap was designed by David Cruey, a local artist with an eye for sea turtles.
In addition to transport activities, the education and events teams use the minivan to take displays to area festivals and outreach programs.
The sea turtle design is the second overall selling specialty tag in Florida, and the top environmental specialty plate, according to the Sea Turtle Grants Program. By purchasing the specialty plate, Floridians help fund programs to save endangered sea turtles and their habitats.
The Helping Sea Turtles Survive specialty license plate was approved by the Florida Legislature in 1997. Seventy percent of the proceeds support the Florida Marine Turtle Protection Program. The remaining 30 percent is routed through the nonprofit Sea Turtle Conservancy, which distributes the funding through the Sea Turtle Grants Program. In 2018, $349,943 was awarded to nonprofits, government programs, and educational groups for sea turtle projects throughout Florida.