Sea turtles have been using our beaches as nesting grounds since the era of the dinosaurs. Today, these gentle creatures are facing the same fate as the dinosaurs – extinction.

The GTM Research Reserve Sea Turtle Patrol Program is a volunteer-based effort to monitor and evaluate sea turtle nests on the Reserve’s beach. The volunteers educate many people each year through direct contact on the beach and through lecture presentations.

Your support will enable these volunteers to increase awareness and continue their outreach and educational efforts.


Through our outreach and education programs, we hope to have a long-lasting and meaningful impact on the sea turtle nesting population by:

  • Reducing the disturbance and harassment of nesting sea turtles by educating the public about the hazards of night-time beach activities and the importance of responsible beachfront lighting.
  • Increasing the hatchling survival rate by educating the public of the dangers associated with beach obstructions on the beach and human intervention.
  • Aiding injured sea turtles and returning them to their natural habitat.
The Adopt a Nest program will be changing! If you wish to adopt a nest for the 2017 season, you must do so by APRIL 1, 2017.

Adoptions will begin for the 2018 season on MAY 1 and run through JULY 31, 2017. If you have not adopted your nest by then, you’ll have to wait for the next season, so mark your calendars and plan to become a Proud Turtle Parent.

If you have any questions, contact Ellen Leroy-Reed at or Shannon Rininger at

Level 1 $50

Free membership to the Friends of the GTM Reserve.
Mid/End of Season Updates on Nesting Activity at GTM Research Reserve.

Level 2 $100

Free Membership to the Friends of the GTM Reserve.
Mid/End of Season Updates on Nesting Activity at GTM Research Reserve.
Emailed photo of randomly assigned or requested nest with marine turtle tracks.
Sign on nest acknowledging family/individual’s adopted name.

Level 3 $250

All attributes listed under “Level 2”.
Ability for up to five people to witness an evening nest evaluation with a marine turtle specialist (done in late summer months during the evening). When the evaluation date is determined, adoptee(s) will be notified at least 3-5 days in advance.

Fill out my online form.