Like many of you, I was crushed to hear the news about Cecil, the famous African lion killed by a sport hunter in Zimbabwe. The internet roared in response to this senseless act, proving how much we really do care about protecting wild animals.
The following report is a different example of how we can—and do—make a difference, but this time supporting the natural world around us.
One Million Sea Turtles? Yes!
As of July 2015, Groupo Ecological de la Costa Verde with support from volunteers, supporters, and the Las Olas alumnae are just 39,200 shy of releasing their… drumroll please… one millionth hatchling! Impressive numbers considering that in 1992, the Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtles in our area were dangerously close to extinction.
Over 20 years ago the Groupo Ecological organization headed by Frank Smith built their first turtle nursery to begin the large scale protection of the dwindling turtle population. In that time, the population increased from just 200 nests to over 1000 today!
Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women is honored to continually support Groupo Ecologico during our special Sea Turtle Surf Safaris. Our past donations helped repair the dune buggy, buy incubators for the hatchlings, and provide revenue for operations.
But our relationship with the baby turtles goes deeper. We know paddling can be a frustrating part of learning to surf, but knowing these newborns are swimming thousands of miles in the open ocean puts things in perspective. It makes paddling for a wave seem a whole lot easier.
We’ll visit Frank and his team during our November sessions and help him send off more tiny travelers. And when we release the millionth turtle, I’ll feel like we’ve won the lottery. All in all, it’s been a powerful reminder that we can—and do!—make a difference.
Bev Sanders is founder and president of Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women and editor-in-chief of Jennifer’s Journey, the online travel portal for women adventurers. She started surfing at 44 continuing her lifelong pursuit of introducing women to sports. You’ll find her and husband Chris on the beach in Mexico throughout the surf season.
Photos: Sea turtles on the beach: Camilla Fuchs, Sea turtle in hand: Evynn LaValley