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Turtle Friends Celebrate Wildlife Conservation at Paso Pacifico Beach Party

Children join race to save sea creatures

Young Turtle Friends chat with sea turtle rangers in Nicaragua with help from LetzChat founders Jordan Orlick and Matt Weisman. Click to view larger
Young Turtle Friends chat with sea turtle rangers in Nicaragua with help from LetzChat founders Jordan Orlick and Matt Weisman. (Courtesy photo)

Sea turtle eggs are one of the most trafficked wildlife products in the world, but a group of young Turtle Friends are leading the charge to change that. Paso Pacifico’s 2nd Annual Turtle Friend Beach Party Fundraiser was held recently at the Chase Palm Park Center in Santa Barbara.

Attendees were treated to a variety of turtle-themed activities, including a skit that told the story of how young Jonas and Matson came up with the idea for the Turtle Friend app, which allows users to watch, track and protect sea turtles right from their phones.

Visitors also had the chance to participate in a Q&A with turtle rangers in Nicaragua, view a demo of the InvestEGGator decoy sea turtle eggs, take photos with the Sammy the Sea Turtle mascot, and interact with sea creatures at the outdoor touch tank.

“We believe that children play a major role in wildlife conservation efforts across the globe, and are encouraged by the excitement and enthusiasm from the young Turtle Friends in attendance here today,” said Sarah Otterstrom, Paso Pacifico founder and executive director.

“We have already seen great progress from the children we work with in Nicaragua, where slingshots have been replaced with binoculars and other wildlife instruments,” she said.

“Our children are passionate about making positive change for our planet, and we can’t wait to see what they do next,” she said.

All proceeds from the event support Paso Pacifico’s sea turtle conservation efforts. Visit pasopacifico.org to learn more and support sea turtle programs.

The mission of Paso Pacifico is to restore and protect the Pacific Slope ecosystems of Mesoamerica. These habitats include the endangered dry tropical forest, mangrove wetlands, and eastern Pacific coral reefs.

Working with local communities, landowners and partner organizations, Paso Pacifico restores and protects the habitats that form building blocks for wildlife corridors.

Paso Pacifico also lends its expertise to help migratory wildlife on the Central Coast of California, including threatened migratory birds and whales that overwinter in Mesoamerica.

— Andy Silverman for Paso Pacifico.

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