Kids Who Care About Sea Turtles
Wellfleet Bay’s sea turtle rescue program has inspired more than a few kids to do something to help turtles.
Donations Instead of Gifts
Ben Caldwell of Harwich became interested in turtles while home from school because he wasn’t feeling well. “He was watching TV and I wanted him to watch something educational since he was missing school!” says his mom, Andrea Silbert.
The program Ben happened to see was the documentary Saving Sea Turtles: Preventing Extinction, an account of the record-breaking 2014 cold-stunned sea turtle rescues on the Cape and rehabilitation at the New England Aquarium.
When Ben celebrated his bar mitzvah this year, he requested donations to help fund the sanctuary’s turtle rescue efforts.
Raising Awareness Year-Round
Two high school seniors from Wrentham—Abby Melanson and Alex Welch—have been working on behalf of sea turtles through a career development competition. For a second year, their nonprofit company, TideTogether—which sells sea turtle-themed necklaces, bracelets and hats—reached the international level.
During Thanksgiving breaks, the girls also visit the Cape to walk beaches for stranded turtles and help turtle staff at the sanctuary. And for the last two years, both Abby and Alex have presented generous checks to Wellfleet Bay to support turtle rescue.
Creating Nature Heroes Worldwide
News of the Cape Cod sea turtle rescues has even reached the other side of the Atlantic, where a group of British students has been holding bake sales and other fundraisers to help raise money for turtles.
Sanctuary Director Bob Prescott says that while turtles have always been popular with kids, he’s particularly impressed when young people make a special effort to make a difference for threatened and endangered species.
“Philanthropy is something that needs to cultivated and nurtured. It gives us older folks hope for the future!” he notes.