With a turtle tag!
Thanks to the efforts of the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC, (formerly the Caribbean Conservation Corporation) and other Florida sea turtle groups including many Coastal Wildlife Club members, the Florida Legislature, in 1997, authorized the creation of the Sea Turtle Specialty License Plate to provide a permanent funding source for the state's Marine Turtle Protection Program. First offered for sale in February 1998, the turtle tag quickly became one of the most popular specialty plates in Florida, raising over $1 million annually.
Sea Turtle Specialty License Plate revenues directly fund sea turtle conservation. 70% of annual revenues support research and management activities of the FWC’s Marine Turtle Protection Program. The remaining 30% funds research, conservation, and education projects that benefit Florida sea turtles through the Sea Turtle Grants Program administered by the STC.
Replica Turtle Plate (see photo to the right) are available for the front of your vehicle. If you don't live in Florida, this is a great way to support sea turtles conservation. You can find that here
Lights, obstructions, and pets are threats.
Vessel strikes are a leading cause of sea turtle mortality.
A collision can be largely avoided by awareness.
Turtles can swim in bursts up to 25 mph but they are no match for speeding boats.
A sea turtle’s ribs and spinal cord are part of its living shell. Prop damage can kill or paralyze a turtle.
Turtles lucky enough to survive collisions often develop buoyancy problems. This occurs if the air a turtle was breathing is forced into its body cavity and becomes permanently trapped. The condition is called “bubble butt” syndrome.
These turtles cannot dive for food, escape predators, or escape boats and, as a result, they usually cannot be released and instead spend the rest of their lives in captivity.
TIPS FOR AVOIDING SEA TURTLE AND MANATEE COLLISIONS:
1. Wear polarized sunglasses to see better into the water.
2. Obey speed limits and no wake zones.
3. Appoint a wildlife spotter on your boat to keep watch for sea turtles and manatees.
4. Report struggling or dead sea turtles and manatees to;
FWC Wildlife Alert: 888.404.3922
Put this number in your phone for emergencies.
Be prepared: You will be asked for your position and possibly photos.