The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center received a grant for $24,746.15 from the Florida Sea Turtle Grants Program, which is funded by the sales of the sea turtle specialty license plate. The C.A.R.E. Center received the grant to help purchase a vehicle to aid in the transport of rescued and rehabilitated sea turtles. "This vehicle is going to help us accommodate the growing needs of our sea turtle rehabilitation efforts," said Terra Throgmorton, Gulfarium's Medical and Stranding Coordinator.
The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center was chosen for the award through a competitive application process that is open to coastal county governments, educational institutions and Florida-based nonprofit groups striving to improve the livelihood of sea turtles and conserve Florida habitats. Additionally, the Florida Sea Turtle Grants Program also awarded the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Foundation $15,178.83, which will help to purchase both an endoscope and a gas sterilizer for the sea turtle hospital.
Launched in 1996, the "Helping Sea Turtles Survive" specialty license plate raises money for two important programs that benefit Florida sea turtles - the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission's Marine Turtle Protection Program and the Sea Turtle Grants Program, which distributes money back to the local level for turtle conservation projects. The sea turtle specialty plate is currently number two in sales, having sold 66,696 plates in 2010 - second only to the University of Florida specialty plate.
"It's rewarding to know that so many people share our concern for Florida's sea turtles," said David Godfrey, Sea Turtle Conservancy Executive Director. "What we do in this state has a dramatic impact on sea turtle populations around the world. By purchasing the sea turtle specialty plate, Floridians are voluntarily funding important programs to save these amazing creatures." To learn more about the Sea Turtle Grants Program and the "Helping Sea Turtles Survive" specialty license plate, please visit www.helpingseaturtles.org
The Gulfarium CARE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is proud to act as a beacon for coastal conservation through marine animal rescue and rehabilitation. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made online on the C.A.R.E. Center's page.