Major Accomplishments

Major Accomplishments

As one of the longest continuously running sea turtle research and conservation programs in the United States, CRP has much to celebrate.

Research & Conservation

  • CRP’s research and conservation program on Wassaw Island has helped produce an 8-fold increase in loggerhead nesting since 1973 (see graph below). 
  • CRP has marked and studied over 1,700 individual turtles throughout their reproductive lives, providing critical information used in the development of the Loggerhead Recovery Plan in 2009, as well as other state and federal management plans.
  • CRP has protected and monitored over 4,300 nests, leading to the successful release of 302,895 hatchlings. Four and half decades of nest protection have provided the foundation for a now strong and recovering loggerhead population.
  • CRP has provided data, support and infrastructure for conducting scientific research on sea turtles, leading to the production of 45 scientific publications, including five Ph.D. dissertations and six Master’s theses.
  • CRP has authored 25 research presentations at 15 different regional and international scientific meetings, conferences and symposia.
Loggerhead nesting on Wassaw Island has increased 8-fold since CRP began in 1973.

Education, Outreach & Advocacy

  • CRP’s volunteer program on Wassaw Island has involved 3,500 people in hands-on sea turtle research and conservation. Participants have come from 44 different states and 6 different countries, ranged in age from 10 to 80 years old, and included 1,300 high school and college-age people exploring careers in marine biology and environmental science.
  • CRP has trained 23 interns that have subsequently pursued careers in biology, environmental science and education. CRP has become a breeding ground for the next generation of marine scientists, conservationists and advocates.
  • CRP has shared its mission with the public by participating in innumerable outreach initiatives through civics events and various news platforms, including television, radio, newspaper and magazine outlets.
  • CRP has successfully launched online media campaigns to advertise and celebrate its mission with the public, and advocate for initiatives that eliminate threats to sea turtles and their habitats.
  • CRP’s Adopt-A-Turtle program has connected over 300 people with the lives of nesting turtles on Wassaw Island, fostering love and appreciation for sea turtles and their plight for survival.