VOLUNTEER WITH US - BECOME A SEA TURTLE TRACKER
Thank you for your interest in volunteering. No prior experience is required - you can learn as you go. The first step to becoming a volunteer is to click the above icon "I want to Volunteer" to be taken to Signup.com and register as a new volunteer. You will be contacted by our volunteer coordinator and invited to an orientation where you can learn more about the work we do. Prospective volunteers under the age of 18 should have permission from a parent or guardian. Any volunteers under 18 will need to have a parent or guardian accompany them on patrol.
TURTLE PATROL AND NEST MONITORING
This is the bulk of or work and where we are busiest during the months of April through October. You may start out by walking with one of our more experienced walkers or going over to Shell Key with other volunteers. Please note, only the volunteers named on the permit (aka "staff") will ever be allowed to directly engage with the nest, eggs, cages, or hatchlings. We have already filled all spots on the permit.
So, if you aren't going to be handling turtles, why do we still need your help as a new volunteer for morning patrol? Our walkers are often the first people to identify the location of turtle tracks, before the truck or ATV gets there on St. Pete Beach, and are the ones who will be investigating Shell Key looking for tracks. Only the permitted staff will locate a clutch of eggs (and only when necessary) but the other volunteers help with data collection, documentation, transportation of nest staking and caging materials, etc. Beach walkers are also important ambassadors, helping visitors and local residents learn about the work we do to protect nests and what they can do to help.
Our volunteers contribute to Ocean Conservancy's global database when they clean the beach on daily patrols and record the information in the Clean Swell app.
STRANDING AND SALVAGE
Sea turtle strandings can occur any time of the year but tend to increase during the winter months. There can be many causes of strandings - cold-stun (in the winter), injury, illness. When sea turtles strand alive, it is critical that we get to them quickly and secure them for transport to an authorized rehabilitation facility such as Clearwater Marine Aquarium or Mote Marine Aquarium. We also need to gather critical data to report to FWC. Even in the case of dead strandings, we capture and report the data. In some cases, we salvage the sea turtle and bring it to FWC. Other times, we may bury or otherwise dispose of the turtle, depending on the direction we receive from FWC.
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
We are very committed to the education and outreach portion of our mission. We participate in local fairs and festivals, host educational events on the beach for homeschool and other groups, visit schools, and visit with community groups. Our permit from FWC allows us to display specimens of sea turtle skulls and carapaces to help teach people about sea turtles. We tailor our talks to the age range of the group we're visiting, all the way from kindergarten to adult.
BEACH CLEANUPS AND CONSERVATION
Volunteer beach walkers clean the beach every day when they are out on patrol. Come join us! Remember to download and use the Clean Swell app from the Ocean Conservancy and choose Sea Turtle Trackers as your group when you start your cleanup activity. If you want to co-host a beach cleanup with Sea Turtle Trackers, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned to our Facebook Events Page to learn about opportunities to participate in bigger beach cleanups, dune plantings, and other conservation work.
OTHER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
There's a ton of work to be done and would graciously accept help. We need help in data management,event photography, public relations/marketing, nonprofit administration, fundraising, craft projects, and more.
If you have some time to help, we'll gladly bring you aboard. No need for prior experience or to a commit to a schedule. You can even help remotely! Email email@example.com if you are interested.
Any questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org