Tour de Turtles to bring awareness of sea turtle plight

The Sea Turtle Conservancy will host its fourth annual Tour de Turtles – A Sea Turtle Migration Marathon, with two great events the weekend of July 30 and 31 at the Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach, at the heart of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.

Tour de Turtles is a fun and educational journey that uses satellite telemetry to track sea turtles on their marathon migrations and raises awareness to save sea turtles. All proceeds from the event support sea turtle conservation.

Festivities begin Saturday, July 30 with a Kick-Off Social and Auction from 6 to 8 p.m. featuring a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres, refreshments and live music by 23 Treez. Tickets are $15 in advance and $30 at the door.

The event continues on Sunday, July 31 from 7 to 10 a.m. with a Live Sea Turtle Release which is free and open to the public. Sea Turtle Conservancy and University of Central Florida researchers will attach a satellite-transmitter on a loggerhead sea turtle as part of the 2011 Tour de Turtles marathon. See the action live, including the turtle’s release under the Start Gate.

The morning also features a Kid’s Station with fun craft activities for all ages.

STC is the world’s oldest sea turtle research and conservation group founded by the renowned sea turtle expert, Dr. Archie Carr in 1959. It is the mission of STC to ensure the survival of sea turtles within the Caribbean, Atlantic and Pacific through research, education and advocacy to protect the natural habitats upon which they depend.

Each tracked turtle is swimming for a “cause” to raise awareness about a specific threat to sea turtles, such as commercial fisheries, native and invasive species predation, plastic debris in the ocean, light pollution, adult harvest for meat consumption, climate change, sea walls, oil spills, egg harvest for consumption and illegal sea turtle shell trade.

With a donation of $25 you can Adopt-A-Turtle through Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) to show your support for a sea turtle and its cause, and you can track its progress on the website. Included in the Adopt-A-Turtle is a personalized adoption certificate, a colorful logo decal, a colorful magnet, and STC’s Sea Turtle Conservation Guide, all presented in a beautiful full-color sea turtle folder.

You will also become a member of STC and receive a free one-year subscription to the Velador, STC’s award winning conservation newsletter. Your tax-deductible donation will help STC ensure sea turtles are swimming free in the oceans for future generations!

The Sea Turtle Conservancy is partnered with Brevard County’s Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program at the Barrier Island Center, located at 8385 South Highway A1A, about 2 miles north of the Sebastian Inlet.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 352-723-3556 or visit

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