Turtle Talk: A Little Help From Our Friends
To paraphrase the Beatles, we can all use a little help from our friends sometimes. Whether it’s to support us, advise us, or just lighten the load a little, friends can be invaluable. And even the strongest and wisest among us turn to friends for help.
In that spirit, there’s a new friend in town!
The Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles is a new volunteer group that was created to work alongside South Walton Turtle Watch. The original Turtle Watch group has been around for about 20 years. The original group’s primary mission is to locate turtles and their nests and protect them. You may have seen the early-morning “turtle walkers” who are up with the sun in order to find crawl markings that indicate a new nest has been laid.
Over the years, the original SWTW group has found that education is key in keeping sea life safe. If the public knows that they should fill in the big holes they’ve dug in the sand, then that may save one lucky sea turtle who will be able to get where she needs to go. But education is a big task for a group that really needs to focus on the day-to-day finding and protecting of turtles.
That’s where Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles comes in.
This brand-new group’s mission will focus on education, fundraising, and social media. The volunteers that will make up Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles have backgrounds in teaching, marketing, and of course a love of turtles. This group plans to educate tourists and locals through social media campaigns and face-to-face informational meetings. You may see us visiting schools, at snowbird meetings, the library, and more.
Since educating the public on the importance of sea-life safety is a huge part of keeping turtles and other sea life safe, we feel the Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles has been tasked with a valuable job. And it frees up the SWTW folks to focus on finding those turtles and protecting them.
Because even sea turtles need a little help from their friends sometimes.
By Elaine Parrett