Whale baleen and a mock manatee rescue were just some of the exhibits at Sunday’s Sea Turtle Festival.The festival was hosted by the Keepers of the Coast, a local conservation organization, in an effort to show people in the community the importance of conservation.

The goal of Keepers of the Coast is to “create an active community that will work together to ensure that the beaches of (Northeast) Florida will remain a beautiful part of (the) local environment and provide a safe place for coastal residents to recreate for future generations,” according to the group’s website.

The Sea Turtle Festival, which has been going on for nine years, used to be held at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina but was moved to the Riberia Street Marina this year to accommodate the growing number of people who attend every year, said Tara Dodson, president of Keepers of the Coast.“It started busting at the seams, so we had to move,” she said. “This year is the biggest event yet.”The same people usually attend the festival annually, but Dodson said she saw many new faces this year.“I’m pretty excited about that,” she said.And while sea turtle conservation is a major draw to the festival, there’s much more to it than just sea turtles, Dodson added.“We share the beach with a number of other coastal animals, so we want participants to learn a holistic approach for all coastal species management,” she said.

Source: Sea Turtle Festival brings local awareness to importance of conservation | StAugustine.com
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