Take a turtle-saving eco-vacation
Admit it. Just admit it.
Your favorite character from “Finding Nemo” was Crush the Sea Turtle.
It’s okay, you can fess up. Sure, you loved Ellen DeGeneres’ voice singing to jellyfish and speaking whale, but you were a complete and utter sucker for the painfully-stereotypical-surfer-brah sea turtle.
And for those of you that would really like to show your love for “takin’ on the jellies,” there is a way for you to do so while enjoying your summer vacation. Enter SEE Turtle.
An off-shoot project of eco-tour SEEtheWILD, SEE Turtle is one of many nonprofit groups that connects globe-trotting sea-creature-enthusiasts with opportunities to get hands-on with the conservation of many endangered species.
What KQED dubs in a recent article as “voluntourism,” SEE Turtle volunteers have the opportunity to aid researchers in Mexico, Central America and Trinidad & Tobago in finding nesting sea turtles and getting their eggs to hatcheries in an effort to keep the species thriving.
And depending on the time of year that volunteers take their tour, they could also be involved in releasing baby sea turtles.
And turtles aren’t the only endangered species that have grabbed the attention of these eco-tour organizations. Nonprofit Global Vision International takes whale and dolphin enthusiasts on week-long boat tours to monitor habitat, while EarthWatch launches more than 20 tours all over the world to aid a variety of sea creatures.
Eco-tours normally last for about a week — depending on the project and organization — and can cost from $20 a day up to thousands of dollars per week.