Sea turtle conservation and research got a vital boost last weekend from 1,343 people who registered for Mote Marine Laboratory's 5K and 1-mile Run for the Turtles.
Whether they joined the April 2 Run at Siesta Beach, joined the virtual Run from afar, or simply registered to support a great cause, this incredible group went the extra mile to support Mote's Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program.
>> JOINED US AT THE BEACH? CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR PHOTO GALLERY!
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Thousands of sea turtles nest (lay eggs) each year on southwest Florida beaches. Mote scientists, aided by dedicated volunteers and interns, study and tag these endangered and threatened species to help protect their future on our changing planet.
Mote has been monitoring our local sea turtle nesting beaches (Longboat Key through Venice, Florida) for 40 years.
Soon, mother sea turtles will return to our shores to lay their eggs again, kicking off Mote's 41st year of monitoring and data collection to support conservation.
Run for the Turtles is Mote's longest-running fundraiser. Mote scientists and the sea turtles thank everyone who joined this important event in its 36th year.
Photos above, right: Mote mascots Shelley the Sea Turtle & Gilly the Shark; young participants in Run for the Turtles.
Below: 5K overall winners Heather Butcher and Will Hartvigsen.
All photos copyright Ⓒ Mote Marine Laboratory