SEE Turtles 2021 Annual Report

President’s Letter

After the incredibly challenging year of 2020, for both society as a whole and for our organization, we at SEE Turtles are thrilled about our impact in 2021 and for the future. In 2020, we had our most challenging fundraising year to date, with about $220,000 raised, most of our trips canceled, and dramatically increased need for support from the sea turtle community. From that low, 2021 was an extraordinary success in both our fundraising and results. We more than doubled our funds raised $500,000, our best year to date and expect an even better 2022.

This increased in support had a big impact on our sea turtle conservation efforts around the world. We helped save a record number of hatchlings through our Billion Baby Turtles program, we’re finishing up a groundbreaking new technology to address the tortoiseshell trade, and we launched two new programs, Sea Turtles & Plastic and the Sea Turtle Inclusivity Fund. While our fundraising was up across the board, our biggest areas of growth came from increased corporate sponsors for Billion Baby Turtles, as well as our initial forays into the emerging world of cryptocurrency philanthropy.

In 2021, we took Billion Baby Turtles to new heights, with 36 grants supporting more than 40 beaches, helping to save an estimated 1.89 million hatchlings, including several new partners. With Too Rare To Wear, our focus was on the SEE Shell app, which is a groundbreaking new tool to fight the tortoiseshell trade.

We gave out our first three scholarships for the Sea Turtle Inclusivity Fund from three early career researchers in Costa Rica, Brazil, and Venezuela. Finally, our new Sea Turtles & Plastic program funded efforts to clean and recycle plastic from turtle nesting beaches in Curacao, Colombia, and Kenya. In addition, the Sea Turtle Week effort continues growing, with more than 170 participating organizations and more than 12 million people reached in June 2021.

We owe this growth to our supporters, including our highest donation totals from individuals, business sponsors, and foundations. We also began raising funds from the world of cryptocurrency, which is quickly becoming one of our biggest areas of support. These funds are also helping to grow our team so we can reach bigger audiences and help save more sea turtles. We have brought on a group of three early career researchers and conservationists who are helping to improve and grow our social media marketing and individual donations, as well as help to get more media coverage for our and our partners work. In 2022, we plan to add two new full-time positions to help us expand our reach and save more turtles.

We hope you enjoy this update. None of this progress would be possible without support from people like you. Thank you for joining us in this effort, we are only just getting started!

Brad Nahill, President, SEE Turtles