Summer Sea Turtle Sustainability Grant of 2021

Thank you for voting! 

The organization that received the most votes is Friends of Hunting Island!

Through the Summer Sea Turtle Sustainability Grant of 2021, Turtle Island Restoration Network seeks to support sea turtle research and conservation projects in the United States.

How it Works

Organizations will nominate themselves to receive a $5,000 grant. If they meet the eligibility requirements, the public will be able to vote for them to receive the grant. The organization that receives the most votes will be awarded the grant! 

Eligible Organizations

The following organizations are eligible to receive the grant. Click here to vote!

Coastal Connections – Florida: The mission of Coastal Connections is to protect coastal habitats by educating and connecting people to the environment. Grant funds will be used to further sea turtle conservation through a variety of programs for community members, visitors, and businesses to partake in free of charge to ensure that there are no limitations of the demographic of visitors, residents, and businesses that can participate in an activity or program that helps protect sea turtles.  

Friends of Hunting Island State Park – South Carolina: The mission of The Friends of Hunting Island State Park, Incorporated, is to support Hunting Island State Park in the conservation, protection and interpretation of its natural and cultural resources. Grant funds will be used to engage underserved communities in the area to provide more access to the park and more education about sea turtles and conservation in general.

Gulf World Marine Institute, Inc. – Florida: The mission of Gulf World Marine Institute, Inc. (GWMI) is to lead, assist and manage the recovery and rehabilitation of stranding, sick or injured marine mammals and sea turtles, serve as an environmental educational tool for the local and national community, and help facilitate marine and oceanographic research on a local and national level. Grant funds will be used to educate and connect with the community through outreach events, help fund the critical blood work sample analyses for all sea turtle patients requiring rehabilitation, support the treatment and recovery for critical care patients including any that require surgical attention, and support the antibiotic care needed for debilitated and cold-stunned sea turtles.

Gulfarium C.A.R.E Center – Florida: The Gulfarium C.A.R.E Center acts as a beacon for coastal conservation through marine animal rescue and rehabilitation, encouraging awareness with public education and opportunities for active participation. Grant funds will be used for outreach and education purposes, as well as support for the rehabilitation of sea turtles that will be admitted throughout the year. 

Mote Marine Laboratory Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program – Florida: The mission of Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program (STCRP)’s is to provide high-quality data to enhance understanding of the biology, requirements, and habitats of these endangered species; inform conservation and management decisions; demonstrate professional leadership among scientific peers and students; and disseminate information to scientists, conservationists, and the general public. Grant funds will be used to support the summer nesting season, as well as distribute additional educational materials to beach-front properties to further education about beach furniture and lighting issues that can impact nesting turtles and hatchlings.

New York Marine Rescue Center – New York: The mission of The New York Marine Rescue Center (NYMRC) is to provide sustainable response efforts for marine mammal and sea turtle strandings throughout New York; operate the only facility in New York permitted to rehabilitation marine mammals and sea turtles; collect sound science to help identify stranding trends, highlight viruses and continue to protect endangered and threatened species; and encourage conservation and stewardship of the marine environments through scientific research and public educational programs. Grant funds will be used to further educational and community outreach and implement a Citizen Science Cold Stun Response Team in less represented areas.

Sea Turtles 911 – Hawaii: The mission of Sea Turtles 911 is to support the advancement of marine conservation by inspiring and empowering the next generation of young people to protect wildlife and safeguard the health of our ocean; and to continuously advocate for the peaceful co-existence between turtles and people by ending the global exploitation of endangered turtles. Grant funds will be used to identify the level of green and hawksbill sea turtle conservation awareness and knowledge for different ethnic groups, gender, age and socio-economic groups, in order to determine where outreach, education and knowledge is most needed in Hawaii. 

Sea Turtle Oversight Protection – Florida: The mission of Sea Turtle Oversight Protection is to protect and rescue sea turtles and preserve their critical habitats, while remaining free of political influence for the benefit of conservation. Grant funds will be used to support hatchling rescues, coastal lighting projects, collect data related to inappropriate lights or illegal stormwater runoff, and further educational and community outreach. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Nominated organizations must be a non-profit organization. Non-profit organizations are eligible if recognized for public charity status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or are fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Nominated organizations must use funds within one year to conduct projects relating to sea turtle conservation, research, and/or effective solutions.
  • Nominated organizations must have an annual operating budget of $1 million or less.
  • Nominated organizations must conduct sea turtle projects in the United States.


Nomination Period. Nominations will be accepted starting May 24, 2021. Organizations must nominate their group on the entry form by June 28, 2021 for consideration and participation.

Nominees Announced. Organizations that meet the eligibility requirements will be notified of their voting status via the e-mail address provided on the entry form.

Voting Period. Voting will begin on July 1, 2021 and end on July 18, 2021. Nominees are encouraged to let their supporters know to vote for their organization by announcing it at meetings, on their website, on social media, in an email newsletter, or to local media. Voting will take place online at

Winners Announced. Winners will be announced by July 23, 2021 and funds will be sent out within 14 business days following a signed grant agreement. The winning organizations will be promoted through TIRN media outlets and through press releases. The winner will be notified via e-mail to the e-mail address provided on the TIRN entry form. The highest number of votes in the final round of the contest will determine the winner. Disqualification, forfeiture and the selection of an alternate winner may result from any of the following: (1) failure to respond to email notification within two days of transmission; (2) the return of an email notification as undeliverable; (3) failure to provide Turtle Island Restoration Network with satisfactory proof of non-profit status.

Application Guidelines

In your application, please be able to answer the following questions/requirements. (Please note you will be unable to save this application and return to it. We recommend preparing your answers before starting the application.)

  • Organization Name
  • Organization Location
  • Mission Statement
  • Organization Website
  • Organization EIN
  • Number of Employees
  • Number of Volunteers
  • Number of Members
  • Annual Budget
    • Less than $100K
    • $100-250K
    • $250-500K
    • More than $500K
  • Briefly describe the history of the organization.
  • Is your organization fiscally sponsored? If so, please provide fiscal sponsor name and EIN, if applicable.
  • Description of network, community, or individuals that the sea turtle project targets. Please indicate if the project addresses environmental justice (including racial and/or socio-economic injustices).
  • Sea turtle species conserved.
  • Please list at least three past successes
  • Why is this work needed to improve sea turtle conservation or management in the U.S.?
  • How will grant funds be used to protect sea turtles in the U.S.?
  • Please list at least three anticipated results expected during the grant term (one year).

Questions? Contact Elizabeth Purcell at