Forty-nine WISTA members and guests attended the sea turtle hatchling release, which raised $1000 for the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program.
“As maritime professionals, WISTA members understand the significant role we can play to protect the habitats, nesting areas, and life cycle of sea creatures. Collaborating with the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program for this event gave us a personal experience with these magnificent turtles and a great education in what our community does and what we can do to help protect them,” said WISTA USA Florida Chapter co-president and STAR Center Medical Training Manager Lesley Karentz.
The hatchling release consists of an educational component at NSU’s Ocean Campus, located inside Port Everglades, and the hatchling release at the Marine Environmental Education Center (MEEC) at the historic Carpenter House on Hollywood’s North Beach. Thirty loggerhead turtle hatchlings were released by the group.
NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography manages the BCSTCP in partnership with Broward County. The program provides for the conservation of endangered and threatened sea turtle species within Broward County.
“Sea turtles are considered a keystone species in that their health is an indicator of the overall health of the ecosystem,” said Derek Burkholder, Ph.D., an NSU research scientist and the director of the BCSTCP. “It’s vital we look after these incredible animals, ensuring they are protected from hatchlings to adults for many generations to come.”
Florida accounts for approximately 70% of the nation's sea turtle nesting, and Southeast Florida, from the Space Coast to the Gold Coast, is the most important nesting area in the world for loggerhead sea turtles, hosting 40% of global loggerhead nesting. Broward County serves as a consistent nesting area of three specific species of sea turtles: the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle, the green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtle, and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtle. By monitoring nests and creating public awareness, the BCSTCP helps protect these imperiled creatures.
WISTA USA has more than 500 members in 10 regional chapters. WISTA USA Florida Chapter organizes workshops, seminars, conferences and professional development activities to support female executives in shipping and create business opportunities. In addition, WISTA USA Florida Chapter organizes community service events each year, including a Shoebox Christmas event to support Seafarers’ House at Port Everglades, and most recently collaborated with RESOLVE MARINE GROUP to host an event to benefit DRESS FOR SUCCESS and Florida Breast Cancer Association.
About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, NSU is ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s Top 200 National Research Universities and is a dynamic, private research university providing high-quality educational and research programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional degree levels. Established in 1964, NSU now includes 16 colleges, the 215,000-square-foot Center for Collaborative Research, a private JK-12 grade school, the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development with specialists in Autism, the world-class NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, and the Alvin Sherman Library, Research and Information Technology Center, which is Florida’s largest public library. NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is one of only 50 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification, and is also the largest private institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit www.nova.edu for more information.
About NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography: The college provides high-quality undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) and graduate (master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates) education programs in a broad range of disciplines, including marine sciences, mathematics, biophysics, and chemistry. Researchers carry out innovative basic and applied research programs in coral reef biology, ecology, and geology; fish biology, ecology, and conservation; shark and billfish ecology; fisheries science; deep-sea organismal biology and ecology; invertebrate and vertebrate genomics, genetics, molecular ecology, and evolution; microbiology; biodiversity; observation and modeling of large-scale ocean circulation, coastal dynamics, and ocean atmosphere coupling; benthic habitat mapping; biodiversity; histology; and calcification. The college’s newest building is the state-of-the-art Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center, an 86,000-square-foot structure filled with laboratories, offices, seminar rooms, an auditorium and indoor and outdoor running sea water facilities. Please visit cnso.nova.edu for more information.