The students of the REAL school, with assistance and guidance from staff, generate an idea to address the environmental impact of the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The students chose one of the most threatened animals in the oceans today, the Sea Turtle. Specifically the Loggerhead, Green and Leatherback turtles. 

We recently returned from our trip to Florida/Georgia. What an amazing adventure we had! 
We were a small motley crew but we have big hearts----

Our trip started in Portland with temps in the 70s. As we arrived in Jacksonville, FL we were greeted with a steamy blast of temps in the 90s. Resigned to the fact that we would not see anything below 85 even at night we began our travels. First we needed to set up camp at Fort Clinch State Park. We finished setting camp and made a trip to the beach to test out the water and clean garbage that can harm the turtles. As we strolled down the beach, Gina spots a Hawksbill sea turtle in a tide pool, 1st day and we see a turtle!

Next day we head up to Georgia to visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, amazing day exploring Jekyll Island, cleaning beaches and cutting strips of red cellophane. The cellophane is used to cover flashlights of night time beach goers. White light can confuse turtles and discourage them form nesting. We take another beach walk and notice dolphins swimming near shore, Page and Paul take a swim, the dolphins were within inches of us. We tried to  do a nighttime turtle walk but were thwarted by weather.  

After a late night with little rest we hurry to the Cumberland Island national Seashore. Our accommodations are spectacular as we visit with a friend, TC, who's family owns a beautiful house out there. Thanks so much to him  and his family for their generosity! We take an incredible and night walk to the beach, truly memorable as we see fiddler  crabs racing across the beach at light speed. We spend a much needed restful night in comfort.

Next day we travel to Atlantic beach in Jacksonville to visit a new friend, Bill Mccullum. He's a volunteer with the Sea Turtle Beach Rescue group in Florida. He gives us a real treasure trove of info about sea turtles and shows us a number of nest being protected on the crowded beach. After a nice meal at a local restaurant we head up to our last campsite on Little Talbot island. Beautiful site and another beach to clean. As we take our last night walk on the beach we reflect on what we have learned and how we can continue to protect these endangered animals back in our own neck of the woods.

The Sea Turtle service trip was an amazing experience for all of us!  learned so much about the lives of sea turtles and how their existence is linked to ours in so many ways. We experienced first hand the threats that these amazing creatures have to navigate just to survive and how these threats  are made worse by human activity. We also learned that with the efforts of some amazing people dedicated to protecting wildlife humans can coexists with turtles and other sea life.

 
 
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