Sherman’s Lagoon sea turtle Fillmore shares messages through www.seaturtles.org/fillmore
The syndicated comic strip Sherman’s Lagoon has partnered with conservation researchers at SeaTurtles.org to merge data from a real sea turtle carrying a satellite-tracking device into the daily comic storyline at www.seaturtles.org/fillmore. The strip’s creator, Jim Toomey, hopes to connect hundreds of thousands of youth and adult readers to conservation efforts led by SeaTurtles.org at the remote Cocos Island National Park offshore of Costa Rica. Fillmore the green sea turtle in the comic strip shares anecdotes on illegal fishing, coral reef ecology, and actual scuba-diving spots that the real sea turtle encounters during its meanderings at Cocos Island.
“Cocos Island is the most amazing underwater habitats in the world, but even this protected area is under siege from illegal fishing that kills endangered sea turtles,” said Todd Steiner, director at SeaTurtles.org and one of the researchers who attached the satellite-tracking device to the real sea turtle they named Fillmore. “Fillmore in the comic strip can reach millions of kids who can be the next generation of sea turtle activists working to save these imperiled creatures from extinction.”
The partnership is the first of its kind to merge the actual movements of a real sea turtle with a comic strip storyline. Jim Toomey has used Sherman’s Lagoon to promote awareness of ocean and shark conservation efforts and last partnered with SeaTurtles.org to raise awareness of sea turtles trapped in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Visitors to www.seaturtles.org/fillmore are sent daily updates of the movements of Fillmore, facts about the remote Cocos Island, and are linked to daily actions that help efforts to protect sea turtles and their habitat. Today, followers can adopt a real sea turtle nest on a beach in Costa Rica under the protection of SeaTurtles.org’s partner project PRETOMA (www.pretoma.org). The conservationists also promote a pledge to eat seafood that is caught in ways that are safe to sea turtles.
Fillmore will be featured at Cocos Island the entire Thanksgiving week and for a few days afterward before he returns to his digs at Sherman’s Lagoon. Sherman, the title character of the comic strip, joins Fillmore on his Cocos Island adventure. The entire series of comic strips and actions are available at www.SeaTurtles.org
A press kit featuring unique Cocos Island Fillmore images, sea turtle research and conservation information, and background is available at http://wwwseaturtles.org/fillmorepresskit