SEA TURTLE PRESERVATION SOCIETY IN THE BEGINNING …
“Helping sea turtles survive.” That’s how it all started … and how it continues today. It all began because of our location and the huge numbers of sea turtles that nest on our area beaches or forage in our lagoon. In 1984, a group of concerned citizens formed a grass-roots organization in Brevard County and later, in 1986, incorporated as a not-for-profit organization to help protect sea turtles in our area. Their mission statement was: “Helping sea turtles survive.” This organization became known as the Sea Turtle Preservation Society (STPS).
STPS saw a need to educate the general public about ways to help protect the sea turtle population that rely on this location for their survival. We also realized we needed to help the sick and injured sea turtles that arrive on area beaches throughout the year and during nesting season particularly.
Brevard County is a very important natural habitat for marine turtles. The county is in a unique location because both Atlantic beaches and the Indian River Lagoon System span its entire length. This strategic location serves as nesting or foraging sites for three species of sea turtles: the loggerhead, the green and the leatherback.
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.
SEA TURTLE PRESERVATION SOCIETY TODAY …
STPS has grown and evolved into what it is today. Our location is still ideal for nesting sea turtles and foraging juveniles. And we still get them by the thousands! Locals and tourists alike are now more aware of the threats sea turtles face and what they can do to help – thanks to our efforts.
We are proud of what we have become and know that there are still obstacles we have to overcome to help our sea turtles survive. We know that we are on the right track.
Today, 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.
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, our Stranding and Salvage Network, and our Nest Surveys. STPS is not, however, an enforcement agency.
The purpose of our organization is still 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 watches during the sea turtle nesting season.