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May 2021 Program

April 14, 2021 7:54 PM | Rick Dayan (Administrator)

The Turtle Hospital

Hello My name is Christine Watt.

My love of turtles began at the early age of 14 in NY, when I found painted turtles in my back yard.

In my twenties, I moved to Florida where I saw an advertisement in the local paper, ‘make a reservation to watch a female loggerhead nest at night!’ Interested, I called to reserve a spot; but the guy in the office was a newbie, it was his first day working and so he serendipitously registered me for a turtle nesting educational guide training by mistake! Ever since that pivotal moment, I’ve served as an active member of the Sea turtle Preservation Society as a permitted guide for night time turtle nesting watch and was on the stranding team. That was for almost 16 years, and since then I’ve continued to work in the Sea Turtle world as an educator, a permitted guide, and turtle nest surveyor.

While attending a Sea Turtle Symposium in 2002 I met Richie Moratti, the founder of The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL one of the largest and first Sea Turtle Hospitals in the world. I would also see him regularly at FWC permit holders meeting. 7 seven years ago, I asked him if I could volunteer at the Turtle Hospital during the summers as I was working in a school and had summers free. Richie said “we couldn’t have volunteers at this time, but we are looking for someone to work in our educational department.”

The rest is history, I left the school systems after 14 years to become an educator here at The Turtle Hospital and I’ve never looked back.

I currently hold a nesting position here in the Keys as a nesting Surveyor in Marathon. 2021 Nesting season will be my 6th year.

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