A Look Back at 2014

We began 2014 with a huge sea turtle release. About 1,000 people attended to cheer on 
the rehabilitated sea turtles as they returned to the wild. Sea Turtle, Inc. Archive photo.

2014 was a big year for us, we added two new staff positions — an educator and a part-time marketing assistant — and expanded one part-time position to full-time. Now we have a total of nine employees!

We welcomed three new staff members, Megan Chilcutt, Teresa Shumaker, and Caitlin Bovery, and said goodbye to a several key people at STI, David Cromwell and SPX moved to the Pacific Northwest, and Guy Blatnik and Mary Mitchell sadly passed away, two big contributors to STI.

In addition to changes to our staff, we had about 150 volunteers assist us in a variety of ways throughout the year. About 90,000 people visited our facility and we were able to reach over 12,500 students on field trips and outreach programs.

Financially, we performed better than 2013 and raised about $200,000 toward the Capital Campaign program. We were also able to allocate another $150,000, bringing our expansion fundraising efforts even closer to the $1.2 million goal set for the next phase: the Education Center. Which we will break ground on this year!

And of course the best news has to be saved for last! 302 sea turtles were brought to the facility last year (261 from cold-stunning, a form of hypothermia, 41 for a variety of other reasons) and we were able to release almost 300 of them! We had a small nesting season with only 23 nests, but we had a very high success rate and released 1,935 hatchlings - a whopping 91 percent of all the eggs laid! What a year!

Of course, not even a small portion of these successes could have been attained without the help and support of our donors, contributors, supporters, and everyone who spreads the word about sea turtles in need. Thank you for doing your part to help us grow and succeed. As always we will work diligently to continue saving sea turtles and will not let you down. Here's to an exciting new year!!