Love a Sea Turtle

Love a Sea Turtle is an organization dedicated to environmental stewardship. It engages the youth in leadership development opportunities. The organization is involved in marine and ocean conservation.

The organization is involved in marine and ocean conservation. It aims to inspire others to gain an interest in year-round service to the community. It provides outdoor programs that are nature-based and suitable for underrepresented youth.

The organization’s mission is to innovate programs and initiatives. These programs are aimed at:

· Providing experiential learning

· Providing student leadership opportunities

· Exposing the youth to real-world situations

· Overcoming fears

· Sparking new ideas

· Developing an appreciation, understanding, and desire to protect our environment

Water Discovery Lab

This is the first permanent EarthEcho water testing site globally. It is located at River Park North Nature and Science Center.

The EarthEcho Water Challenge was previously known as the World Water Monitoring Challenge. The program is by EarthEcho International. It takes place every year from March to December. The program gives participants the skills and information required to protect water resources.

The Water Challenge informs the public about protecting water resources globally. It cultivates involvement by citizens. It encourages them to monitor their local water bodies.

Being able to protect the quality of water is critical. It ensures the overall health of the environment and communities. The EarthEcho Water Challenge is part of the solution to worldwide water issues.

Programs

Youth leaders initiate, develop, and lead projects and programs. They are passionate about creating positive change.

1. River Guardians; This is a water monitoring program. It is part of the EarthEcho Water Challenge.

2. Paint The Drain; This program creates stormwater awareness. It is a storm drain stencil program.

3. The Green Team; The team spotlights businesses that are environmentally conscious. It involves the youth who help to protect and preserve the community and planet.

4. Plastic Free NC; It creates awareness to help reduce and remove plastic waste. It also suggests alternatives to single-use plastics, like metal straws.

5. CycLAST; This program promotes healthy outdoor activities. It is focused on cycling and bike collection drives to repair and donate bikes. Participants do trail and greenway clean-ups.

6. The Floating Island; This project utilizes recycled materials. It creates filtering islands and increases natural habitats.

7. Sustainable Hunger Initiative; This is a Community Garden & Orchard. It focuses on Food Distribution and has a Nutrition Education program.

8. Keep Your Bottom Clean; The awareness program for marine debris.

9. Stow It-Don’t Throw It; This is a recycling project.

10. Upstream Downstream Connection; These are outdoor programs that are nature-based.

11. We Stand; This program celebrates community leaders from minority groups. It also highlights historical change-makers.

12. Youth Leadership Development

Plastic Free North Carolina

Plastic Free NC is a youth-led initiative dedicated to environmental conservation. It created awareness towards reducing and providing alternatives to single-use plastics.

Plastics release harmful toxins and have a negative effect on the environment. There are 78 million tons of plastics produced annually. 32% of this total is thrown into the ocean which in turn negatively affects public health.

The goal of Plastic Free NC is to reduce the amount of plastic waste. This is by advocating for alternatives. These include reusable water bottles, biodegradable bags, and metal straws. The group also holds conversations about the environment. The group is involved in rallies, city council meetings, and community events. These are for the benefit of the North Carolina environment.

Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center

A group of dedicated volunteers found an injured sea turtle in 1996. The sea turtle was later named Lucky. He was who showed there was a need for a rehabilitation center for sick and injured sea turtles. After Lucky was cared for and returned to the sea, Topsail Island began talks of a sanctuary for sea turtles.

The town of Topsail Beach leased a small piece of land on Banks Channel to the group. Plans for the turtle rescue and rehabilitation center began in 1997. Volunteers cared for injured sea turtles and monitored the beaches. They checked for nests to ensure baby sea turtles went into the water safely at night. The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center began construction.

They were supported with donations from local businesses. The 900 square feet facility was completed in October 1997. There was equipment to keep air and water temperatures warm enough for the sea turtles.

The facility is dedicated to conserving and protecting all marine species of turtles. It looks after turtles both in the water and on the beach. It also aims at turtle rescue and rehabilitation. The volunteers release the sea turtles after rehabilitation.

Recycled Art

Love a Sea Turtle offers young people the chance to be creative with recycled art. The youth are able to use plastic and other non-biodegradable materials. These create beautiful art pieces. They continue to find new uses for single-use plastics. They channel their creativity to create and showcase interesting and beautiful art.

Some of the pieces that have been created include:

· Spirals

· Plastic Bottle Art

· Rain Barrels

Youth Scuba Club

The Youth Scuba Club is located at Rum Runner Dive Shop. The young divers explore the wonders of the sea in this program. They are taught by experts and guided during diving sessions. The Club offers diving equipment and lessons for those that may need it.

Love a Sea Turtle provides opportunities to the youth and community at large. It allows them to be involved in environmental matters. The organization creates awareness of a number of issues. These include global warming and ocean conservation. It encourages a healthy lifestyle. It teaches how best to protect and preserve the environment and natural resources. It depends greatly on volunteers from local communities. The community works together for their benefit. This fosters great communication and creates a better relationship within the community. Love a Sea Turtle works with a number of donors and sponsors to rescue and rehabilitate sea turtles. It works towards ocean conservation and the reduction of plastic use.