Sea Turtle Grants Program Awards Funds Conservation Research

Saturday, Apr 29, 2023

Congratulations to Jeanette Wyneken, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences and Director of FAU’s Marine Lab at Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex, and her Ph.D. student, Samantha Trail, for being selected to receive grant funding from the Sea Turtle Grants Program (STGP), during the 2023-2024 grant cycle. The program, funded by the sale of Florida’s “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” specialty license plate, recently awarded more than $490,000 to 30 different projects benefiting Florida sea turtles.

Their project, “Swimming Kinematics to Understand Neonate Sea Turtle Dispersal,” will help researchers comprehend how young sea turtles disperse to offshore nursery areas and address a long-standing data gap in their knowledge of how neonate sea turtles contend with currents in their offshore environments. To do so, they will combine biomechanical and performance-level measures of swimming in neonate leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles using synchronized high-speed video analysis and force measurements.

Funded by a portion of revenues from Florida’s Sea Turtle Specialty License Plate, the STGP distributes funds each year to coastal county governments, educational and research institutions and nonprofit groups through a competitive application process to support sea turtle research, conservation and education programs.

Thanks to the efforts of the non-profit Sea Turtle Conservancy and other Florida sea turtle groups, in 1997, the Florida Legislature authorized the creation of a Sea Turtle Specialty License Plate to promote the conservation and protection of Florida’s sea turtles by providing a permanent funding source for the state’s Marine Turtle Protection Program.

Since its inception, the Sea Turtle License Plate Grants Program has awarded more than $7 million to conservation projects.

Help support sea turtle conservation in Florida and purchase or renew your plate today! The specialty sea turtle license plate is available in Florida through your local Tax Collector’s Office or County Tag Agency. Click  here  to renew your current sea turtle license plate online.

To learn more about the benefits of supporting Florida’s sea turtles, view a short video  here.

Tags: science

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