Last Stop & on the Road Home
Today marked the last workshop of the week at Naval Live Oaks near Pensacola, a workshop that was slightly delayed due to several participants responding to sea turtle nests and pressing environmental circumstances in the early morning hours – a subtle reminder of the endless dedication to their causes. The Navarre Beach Pier, the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier, and the Gulf Islands National Seashore Pier were all represented and each received educational signs and nets to be hung on their railings. Stories of sea turtle interactions were shared by all.
After the workshop, I was invited to visit the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC), a growing facility with big plans for the future. We have been working very closely with the staff to organize the RPI workshops in both Panama City and Pensacola and I have enjoyed seeing the energy that NBSTCC brings to the community each day.
Five days, three workshops, two time zones, and over 1,300 miles in the turtle ambulance – this road trip has been a great success for the Responsible Pier Initiative and a fantastic experience for me. I’ve toured some of the state’s most beautiful places and met some truly devoted people who tirelessly patrol the beaches, manage the piers, and head non-profit conservation organizations. It has been inspiring to listen to the voices of these different communities and have a hand in helping them create a safer environment for our endangered sea turtles. As I head back to LMC, I am filled with notes, ideas, and suggestions. Hopefully, much more from the Responsible Pier Initiative coming soon!