The Pieces Add Up: Marine Debris Outreach and Education Program for Sea Turtle Conservation in Volusia County, Florida

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2022-04-19

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Abstract

In the past several years, the negative effects of marine debris on wildlife have been increasing. The growing negative impact is evident at veterinarian clinics, wildlife hospitals, and in reports of turtles stranded on beaches. Even in small amounts, marine debris can severely injure or kill marine species. To increase awareness of this issue, I imported data from sea turtle stranding reports and treatment documents compiled by the Marine Science Center Sea Turtle Hospital from the years 2015-2020 into a database, and then analyzed the trends and relationships in the data. The top three trends revealed that most marine debris issues are from monofilament line entanglement, green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are the most impacted species, and there is growth in the threats from marine debris. I used these analyses to create a strategic plan for a marine debris education and outreach program, along with educational materials featuring an interactive simulation activity, in which the participant becomes a conservation team member who evaluates and collects data on stranded sea turtles impacted by marine debris.

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Cherry, Jennifer (2022). The Pieces Add Up: Marine Debris Outreach and Education Program for Sea Turtle Conservation in Volusia County, Florida. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/24837.


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