The Georgia Sea Turtle Center opened on June 16, 2007, making this Saturday, our 5th Anniversary! In the past five years, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center has accomplished quite a bit while working towards our mission of using sea turtle rehabilitation, research and education programs to increase awareness of habitats and wildlife conservation challenges, promote responsibility for ecosystem health and empower individuals to act locally, regionally and globally to protect the environment.
In the last five years, over 1700 turtles, including over 300 sea turtles, and over 100 birds have been treated at the GSTC. We have treated sea turtles from seven different states and transferred four non-releasable sea turtles to aquariums throughout the country. These transfers showcase the Georgia coast as part of the exhibit and allow the message of sea turtle conservation to reach areas of the country that would not otherwise be possible. In addition to sea turtles, our diamondback terrapin road mortality study and conservation program has saved the lives of hundreds of nesting female terrapins and allowed us to release hundreds of terrapin hatchlings into the marshes of Jekyll Island. Our research department has expanded to include studies on American alligators, box turtles, rattlesnakes and wildlife baseline assessments.
Along with rehabilitation and research efforts, the center has focused on educating and spreading the message of conservation. Over 500 schools have come to the center for in house programs reaching over 34,000 children. In addition, over 500,000 citizens have been educated in environmental education and stewardship through visiting the center. There are currently 38 different environmental education programs offered by the GSTC.
None of these achievements would have been possible without our dedicated staff, over 80,000 hours of service to the center from our AmeriCorps members and over 200 volunteers who have contributed more than 27,000 hours to the center.
Thanks to everyone that has played a role in the last five years of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center! We are looking forward to many more years of sea turtle conservation, research and education!
Caitlin Sampson Volunteer Program AmeriCorps Member