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SEE Turtles, a conservation tourism project, has surpassed the milestone of $100,000 generated for sea turtle protection efforts and local communities. The goal of the project is to benefit sea turtle conservation efforts through ecotourism and volunteer projects, as well as raising funds to protect important habitat. To celebrate this milestone, SEE Turtles will be giving away a free spot on a turtle ecotour to Costa Rica or Baja.
Since the project’s launch in early 2008, sea turtle organizations in Costa Rica, Baja Mexico, and Trinidad have received a total of approximately $50,000 from tourism fees, donations, grants, and in‐kind volunteer labor. In addition, communities near important turtle habitat have earned roughly $55,000 in income from tourist spending in locally owned hotels, restaurants, and other businesses. To date, more than 200 travelers have visited nesting beaches and foraging areas and volunteers have covered more than 500 work shifts, saving the projects thousands of dollars.
“Every dollar spent visiting a turtle conservation project helps to improve conditions for sea turtles and proves that these amazing creatures are a valuable resource to protect.” Adds co‐founder and noted ocean conservationist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, “Connecting with a wild animal as ancient as a sea turtle on its terms can be transformative, for the visitor, for the residents and for the sea turtles.”
Building on this success, SEE Turtles is offering a free trip to visit a turtle conservation project in Costa Rica or Baja California Sur, Mexico. One winner will receive a free spot on an upcoming tour run by ecotourism companies EcoTeach or Baja Expeditions. To enter, visit SEEturtles.org and sign up for the monthly enewsletter. The contest runs through August 31st, 2010 and the winner will be chosen at random in early September. Full contest details available on the website.