Young Floridians: Sea Turtle Conservation at Mote Needs YOU!

Youth-powered Fundraising for Endangered Turtles Will Be Matched by
Positive Tracks Philanthropy Program

Oct. 31 marks the end of sea turtle nesting season in Southwest Florida — and the start of a new opportunity for young people to support sea turtles into the coming year.

Mote Marine Laboratory, a world-class marine science organization, Positive Tracks, a national, youth-centric nonprofit, and their southwest Florida funding partner, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, are inviting people age 23 and younger to raise funds for Mote’s sea turtle conservation and research efforts in Sarasota County. Positive Tracks will match youth fundraising dollars up to $37,000.

This special opportunity starts now and culminates with Mote’s annual 5K fundraiser, Run for the Turtles, which will take place on April 4, 2015, on Siesta Beach in Sarasota County, Fla. (Scroll down for details on how to get involved.) 

The best part? Young people will be supporting endangered turtles in Sarasota County during a time when every dollar matters.
Each year, Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program monitors 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches every day of nesting season (May 1-Oct. 31), documenting every sea turtle nest and protecting nests and hatchlings from natural and manmade threats. This year Mote documented a near-record total of 2,460 local nests, and 2015 might be another banner year. Funding for supplies and operating costs will be in high demand.
Enter Positive Tracks, which works with charitable athletic events across the country — like Mote’s Run for the Turtles — to help the next generation get active and give back.
“We want to help young people get moving and give back to the sea — to deepen the important impacts of Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program,” said Chris Pfahler, Positive Tracks Coordinator for the Mote partnership. “We’re empowering youths and communities to make a difference for endangered species using their own creativity and helping a worthy program in their own ‘backyard.’ Positive Tracks helps kids stay healthy, too, by linking exercise to civic action.”

“Mote works to foster the next generation of marine scientists, and together with Positive Tracks and Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we are championing the next generation of philanthropists too,” said Jennifer Vigne, Campaign Director at Mote. “Young people are amazing and they dream big — and these partnerships will help power the type of extensive sea turtle research and conservation Mote has been doing for 33 years.”

There are many ways for youths to join this effort. For starters, they can ask individuals or businesses to sponsor them as runners in Mote’s 2015 Run for the Turtles.
However, the sky is the limit, and the time to start is now. Young individuals or groups from schools, sports teams, clubs and community organizations can develop their own fundraising projects such as dodge ball tourneys, dance-offs, art and jewelry shows, auctions and other creative efforts.
To get involved, please contact Mote’s Positive Tracks Coordinator, Chris Pfahler, at:

To make a gift supporting Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program through the Mote/Positive Tracks partnership, please contact Jennifer Vigne at:

 Kristen Mazzarella of Mote checks on a sea turtle nest.
 A sea turtle hatchling rescued from a Mote-monitored beach.