AUGUSTA, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Over the past six years, the Sea of Change Foundation has supported endangered species conservation projects and promoted ocean pollution awareness. Now, in partnership with the Science Exchange, the Foundation is pleased to initiate an exciting new project that directly addresses both while engaging citizen science. The “Build A Better Box” Contest invites students and the general public to propose improved designs for sea turtle nesting boxes using sustainable materials.
Why is this important? Worldwide, many vulnerable sea turtles’ nesting beaches are carefully managed to protect nests from poaching, rising sea levels and other threats. Part of that important management process often includes incubating eggs in Styrofoam® coolers to increase protection and temperature regulation. While these coolers can be effective as nest boxes, they aren’t environmentally sustainable. Studies reveal that Styrofoam® (expanded polystyrene foam or EPS) is a pervasive and persistent marine pollutant. Some researchers estimate that petroleum-based plastics, such as EPS, degrade into smaller and smaller pieces, but never disappear. Unfortunately, these small pieces then float in the ocean and are ingested by fish, seabirds and marine mammals. EPS also has a very low recycling rate, especially in many of the countries working to protect sea turtle nesting beaches.
The design contest will be open March 2 to June 1, 2020, and the creator of the selected design will win $700 USD and a sea turtle conservation experience in Mexico. Successful designs should:
♦ be sturdy, but lightweight while allowing gas exchange
♦ maintain a constant temperature while keeping predators out
♦ be easy to assemble and low-cost ($5 USD each)
♦ be non-toxic or biodegradable, or use natural or post-consumer material
Applicants can find the complete contest requirements and rules here.
“At the Sea of Change Foundation, we believe in empowering students and the public to participate in conservation,” said Samantha Whitcraft, Director of Conservation and Outreach for the Foundation.
“Through the Foundation, 100 percent of donations go directly to innovative conservation projects to help ensure future generations can also experience the natural world and its wonders,” concluded Wayne Brown, CEO of Aggressor AdventuresTM and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation.
About the Sea of Change Foundation: The Sea of Change Foundation funds conservation and research initiatives that directly impact the natural world we all love to enjoy and explore. Our mission is to create positive change. You can learn more about and help support the Sea of Change Foundation’s work around the world here.
Samantha Whitcraft, Director – Conservation & Outreach
[email protected], +1-706-229-7388, 352-697-2113