Sun Club Stories: Sea Turtle, Inc.

Editor’s Note: The  Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™ is a program through Green Mountain Energy Company that makes donations on behalf of its members and employees to non-profits to help fund the purchase and installation of solar technology. We’ve asked some of those recipients to share their Sun Club success stories.

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Sea Turtle, Inc.‘s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles, educate the public, and assist with conservation efforts for all marine turtle species. Based in South Padre Island, Texas, this non-profit turtle rehabilitation center first applied for a Sun Club donation in 2013, and was chosen to become a 2014 recipient of unique solar lighting. The lights will accompany the non-profit’s new center build-out, and are the first amber solar lights – a special color to prevent turtles from becoming distracted and swimming toward shore – to be installed on South Padre Island! Jeff George, Executive Director of Sea Turtle, Inc., shares more of this story below.

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1. Briefly describe your mission and why environmental conservation is so important to your organization.

Sea Turtle, Inc.’s mission is to rehabilitate injured sea turtles for return to the wild, educate the public about sea turtles and their marine environment, and assist with conservation efforts for all marine turtle species. We feel that marine conservation is vital to our oceans’ health. Protecting the marine food chain is a cornerstone to earth’s future health.

2. What first made you want to apply for a Sun Club donation?

I was approached by a volunteer about the Sun Club application and immediately thought of our new facility.  We had already planned to utilize alternative energy, and this seemed like a perfect fit.

3. How does your Sun Club donation fit into your mission?

As a conservation organization, the Sun Club donation supports our mission to educate the public about our environment and leads by example.

4. What’s the biggest change you expect to see as a result of your Sun Club solar project?

We expect very big things from this donation. Not only will we lead by example in utilizing solar energy as a message to conserve our precious resources, but we will use these solar lights to push other businesses and civic leaders to adopt conservation practices and alternative energy for South Padre Island. Utilizing LED and amber-colored light will also lead the entire state of Texas in awareness of light ordinances adopted in Florida and the Carolinas that protect nesting and hatching sea turtles from light pollution.

5. How can people help you with your mission?

People can assist with our mission in many ways.  Simple things like not using plastic bags, not releasing balloons into the sky, and using less energy will ultimately have an impact on our oceans. Monetary donations to our organization have a direct impact on our programs.  Sea Turtle, Inc. is a 501 C3 organization and is funded solely by donations from the private sector.