Carolina Skiff Proudly Partners with the Sea Turtle Conservancy

 

By Amy Lignor

Celebrating their 60th year, the North Central Florida nonprofit, Sea Turtle Conservancy, continues its fantastic work. And now, they have another partner, Carolina Skiff, joining with them to help ensure the survival of sea turtles.

Carolina Skiff Proudly Partners with the Sea Turtle Conservancy Celebrating their 60th year, the North Central Florida nonprofit, Sea Turtle Conservancy,
Herren and his team christened their custom-made Carolina Skiff DLX-Extra Wide as “RV Lavinia,” seen above during its maiden voyage. “RV” stands for “Research Vessel.” Photo courtesy of the Sea Turtle Conservancy.

Carolina Skiff, creators of the most durable, versatile, stable and economical boat in the market, have donated a custom-built Carolina Skiff DLX-Extra Wide to the organization. The skiff was custom-designed to survey, capture and release sea turtles as part of a new study to examine populations, health, and habitats along Florida’s Big Bend region of the Gulf Coast.

For the Conservancy, this donation is a perfect fit. Headquartered in Florida, the organization carries worldwide programs to conserve and recover sea turtle populations through research, education, advocacy and protection of the natural habitats upon which the turtles depend upon.

What makes the Carolina Skiff DLX-Extra Wide ideal for their work is its wide beam, flat-bottom hull and a custom-made side entry door for easy waterline pickup and release of sea turtles. With a high payload capacity, it’s like the pickup truck of boats. It draws very little water while remaining stable in almost any circumstance, carrying more weight further and faster using less horsepower.

David Godfrey, Executive Director of the Conservancy, explained: “Carolina Skiff ultimately agreed to custom build the boat that we needed. They understood what we wanted to do, they saw a role with the company in supporting this marine research, and they donated the vessel to us.”

Leading this latest study and often times piloting the new Carolina Skiff is Rick Herren. A biologist, project manager and Ph.D. student at the University of Florida, he first joined the Conservancy four years ago. Herren and his team christened their Carolina Skiff DLX-Extra Wide as “RV Lavinia.” (“RV” stands for “Research Vessel.”)

Carolina Skiff Proudly Partners with the Sea Turtle Conservancy Celebrating their 60th year, the North Central Florida nonprofit, Sea Turtle Conservancy,

Herren with a sea turtle. Photo courtesy of the Sea Turtle Conservancy.

Herren has more than 26 years of experience working with endangered species. His team will first identify particular “hot spots” of turtle activity in the Big Bend; Herren, his team of graduate students, and volunteers will then plot courses that run perpendicular to the coast, slowly running transects back and forth in the Carolina Skiff DLX-Extra Wide in an effort to spot turtles and record populations.

“What I want to know is, why are certain areas so attractive to juvenile Green Turtles?” Herren said. “In those areas where we see a lot of turtles, we measure the habitat itself. We’re getting in the water, looking at the seagrass, determining how healthy it is and what other types of things are mixed in that sea grass, like sponges or algae.”

After completing the first phase of the study, the team will return to the more populated areas of the Big Bend to catch, document and tag sea turtles, which will then be released back into the wild.

Godfrey commented on a variety of significant risks sea turtles face: “Boat strikes on sea turtles are a significant and, unfortunately, growing problem. It’s growing simply because there are more boats in the water and because there are more turtles in the water.” He continues to encourage boaters and recreational marine enthusiasts to reduce speed, especially in areas known for high sea turtle populations, and to always keep a vigilant eye out for the creatures when under power.

“I firmly believe that people can coexist with wildlife,” said Godfrey. “Some beaches are completely developed with condominiums and homes and businesses, and sea turtles are nesting on that beach, growing in numbers, and doing very, very well. He added: “It’s also]about awareness and building this ethic of responsibility of the environment. It’s good for business; it’s good for our way of life and our enjoyment of the world.”

Carolina Skiff is not only a proud sponsor of the Conservancy and Herren’s project but also grateful for the work they’re doing to revive sea turtle populations, protect their habitats and educate the world. They will be following Herren’s project and posting regular updates to their blog and social media.

To learn more about sea turtles, how you can help, and for more information on the Conservancy, visit https://conserveturtles.org. And to learn more about this incredible craft, check out: http://www.carolinaskiff.com/boats/carolina-skiff/dlx-ew-series/2590-dlx-ew.  

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

 

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