VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: COLETTE FORSYTH
By Megan Maynard
Colette Forsyth is this month’s STPS Spotlight Volunteer of the Month.
Colette and her husband, John, have been together for 27 years and have a 15-year-old daughter, Aubry. They are proud to share that she is a full-time member of the STPS nesting survey team along with Colette.
Being a true Florida native, Colette is originally from Jacksonville but moved to Brevard in 2002. She has worked in retail, owned a small business, and worked in insurance, but her current job is raising their daughter. When she has free time, she enjoys painting and making recycled art.
One of her daughter’s friends actually introduced them to STPS via beach cleanups. Soon, Colette and Aubry had a few beach cleanups completed, and they were looking for other ways in which their family could help. They found themselves at the STPS Volunteer Fair and promptly joined the nesting survey team. For two seasons – and now starting season three — they’ve been on the nesting team. Colette also helps sew straw bags and help out artistically when she can. She states perhaps her favorite activity is the nesting surveys since it is an activity she and Aubry can do together.
Calling Florida home, Colette has always lived near the beach. She appreciates nature and has concerns about our impact on the surrounding environment, which is what pushes her efforts with STPS. One of her greatest achievements has been passing her passion for the ocean to Aubry, who is becoming quite an advocate for sea turtles and environmental conservation.
Her biggest struggle to date is those 5 a.m. wakeup calls for nesting surveys. It speaks volumes to her love of sea turtles as she cherishes all of the learning, participating, and educating despite the early alarm bells.
Before volunteering, Colette was hesitant because she didn’t have a marine biology background but immediately felt welcomed, which quelled her fears. She is grateful to the strong friendships she has made through volunteering. For those who cannot volunteer, Colette reminds us that even membership helps the cause. To anyone interested, she would recommend visiting the website at seaturtlespacecoast.org or grabbing a brochure from the Turtle House in Indialantic.