Top Sea Turtle Charities

Top Sea Turtle Charities  

We have researched the efforts of various registered charities who are directly involved with the preservation of Sea Turtles. Based on our research we have opinioned what we feel to be the Top 10 Sea Turtle Charities based on various merits. In addition we have given 1 honorable mention in the field of Sea Turtle preservation.

Our Summary below notes: details about each charity and their respective condensed mission with respect to Sea Turtle Conservation. We hope you enjoy this resource when considering donating to this very worthy cause. With so many amazing charities and causes there are no top or bottom charities but rather opinions based on personal methodology.

Top Sea Turtle Charities 

  • SEEturtles
  • Turtle Survival Alliance
  • Virginia Institute of Marine Science
  • Turtle Conservancy 
  • Loggerhead Marinelife Center
  • Virginia Institute of Marine Science Foundation
  • Turtle Island Restoration Network
  • Environmental Justice Foundation Charitable Trust
  • Sea Turtles 911
  • Sea Turtle Conservancy
  • World Wildlife Fund  * Honorable Mention *




✔️ SEETURTLES        seeturtles.org

About: SEE Turtles 

SEE Turtles was launched in 2008 as the world's first effort to protect these species through ecotourism. Originally fiscally-sponsored by the Ocean Foundation and most recently Oceanic Society, SEE Turtles is now an independent 501c3 non-profit based in Beaverton, Oregon. All donations are tax deductible. Our EIN is 81-4325149 


SEE Turtles protects endangered sea turtles throughout Latin America and the world by supporting community-based conservation efforts. Our Billion Baby Turtles program provides support for important turtle nesting beaches and has helped save more than 1 million hatchlings. Too Rare To Wear is a campaign working to end the demand for turtleshell products. Our conservation trips provide volunteer and financial support for conservation efforts and our school programs help teachers and students learn about these incredible animals and how to protect them. Our latest program, Divers For Turtles, inspires divers and the dive industry to support turtle conservation efforts.


✔️ TURTLE SURVIVAL ALLIANCE         turtlesurvival.org 

About: Turtle Survival Alliance
Secured nonprofit 501(c)(3) status (2005) 
The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) was formed in 2001 as an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) partnership for sustainable captive management of freshwater turtles and tortoises, and initially designated a Task Force of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. The TSA arose in response to the rampant and unsustainable harvest of Asian turtle populations to supply Chinese markets, the Asian Turtle Crisis.

Since forming, the TSA has become recognized as a global force for turtle conservation, capable of taking swift and decisive action on behalf of critically endangered turtles and tortoises. Although the TSA was organized in response to the Asian Turtle Crisis, the group has been expanded as our understanding of the scope of turtle and tortoise declines has become better understood. The TSA has been particularly involved in recovery efforts where a managed breeding component is part of an overall survival strategy. The TSA employs a comprehensive strategy for evaluating the most critically endangered chelonians that identifies whether a species is prioritized for a captive program or through range country efforts, or a combination of both.

In the past 13 years, TSA secured nonprofit 501(c)(3) status (2005) and has centralized its base operations in South Carolina by opening the Turtle Survival Center (2013). The Turtle Survival Center, which now has AZA certification (2018), is home to a collection of more than 700 turtles and tortoises, representing 30 of the world’s critically endangered species. The TSA has also grown internationally, with significant field projects or programs in Madagascar, Myanmar and India, and additional projects in Belize, Colombia, and throughout Asia.

Today, the TSA is an action-oriented global partnership, focusing on species that are at high risk of extinction, and working in turtle diversity hotspots around the world. Widely recognized as a global catalyst for turtle conservation based on its reputation for swift and decisive action, the TSA has made a bold commitment to zero turtle extinctions in the 21st Century. The TSA is a recognized force for turtle conservation globally. TSA’s conservation actions utilize a three-pronged approach:

1. Restoring populations in the wild where possible;
2. Securing species in captivity through assurance colonies; and
3. Building the capacity to restore, secure and conserve species within their range country.MISSION  

"Transforming passion for turtles into conservation action"


✔️ TURTLE FOUNDATION UNITED STATES   turtle-foundation.org

About: Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Legal form: Non-profit foundation under US law; tax-exempt; under the supervision of the Inland Revenue Service Register number: UBI 602642586 Registered office: 2615 Jefferson Street, Bellingham, WA 98225, USA


The Turtle Foundation is committed to protecting sea turtles worldwide. It deliberately focuses on individual and therefore manageable projects so that personal and financial commitment can be as targeted as possible.

Our vision is a future in which sea turtles and their habitats are sustainable protected, healthy and safe from extinction and destruction.
Our mission is to help protect sea turtles in our own project areas by working with the local population to create a future in which both humans and sea turtles have a secure livelihood.

The endangerment of sea turtles is increasing. In Cape Verde, Bali and elsewhere, a large number of adult animals are still slaughtered in a bestial way. In other areas, complete looting of the nests is the worst.

Species conservation is usually hard bread - especially if it has chosen developing countries. But we must not fool ourselves: if something does not happen in many places now, then some animal species will not survive the next few years.

The wealthy countries are challenged more than ever. You have to recognize that many exotic countries are more than cheap travel destinations. These countries are often a last refuge for endangered species that need our help.

The Turtle Foundation takes action where the animal world is in need - where a wealth of life forms that has grown over millions of years could be lost "overnight" forever.

Our employees on site could not perform their tasks without your support!

If you don't want these magnificent creatures to disappear silently and soundlessly from our planet after 150 million years of development, you have to do something about it.


✔️ TURTLE CONSERVANCY    turtleconservancy.org

About: Turtle Conservancy 

The Turtle Conservancy is a 501c(3) non-profit organization to which gifts are tax-deductible. EIN: 20-2899240


Global Assurance Colonies

The TC is laying the foundation for assurances colonies all across the globe. Many of the species we hatch out cannot be returned to the wild due to political unrest, concerns over habitat destruction, and the ever constant threat of poaching.

By partnering with individuals and organizations, we have begun sending new generations of turtles and tortoises to other semi-wild facilities. This is done to establish additional assurance colonies in case disease, environmental disaster, or poaching should compromise one of the existing populations in the wild or captivity. So far we have experienced amazing success with our partners, including Kadoorie Farms (Hong Kong) and Necker Island (Caribbean). We are looking to expand these assurance colonies to include more species due to the extraordinary reproductive success of our current collection.

865-Acre Geometric Tortoise Preserve

The diminutive Geometric Tortoise (Psammobates geometricus) is one of the world's most beautiful chelonians with its domed carapace and stunning egg-yolk and black radiating pattern. It is the Fabergé Egg of the tortoise world. Fully grown, it reaches only five to six inches.

In South Africa, the Turtle Conservancy, along with its partner organizations, has purchased over 865 acres of the last remaining habitat for this critically endangered tortoise, which we are calling the Geometric Tortoise Preserve. We need to preserve this critical habitat to save this beautiful tortoise from extinction.



About: Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit education and ocean conservation facility


Over 30 years ago, long-time Juno Beach resident Eleanor Fletcher started what is now Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Eleanor and her husband Robert had a real estate business in Juno Beach. Eleanor began to notice the abundance of sea turtles nesting on our shore in spring and summer. She was curious about why so many hatchlings headed landward after hatching, rather than back to sea, and as a result, began some of the earliest research on sea turtles in our area. Juno Beach is now recognized as one of the most active nesting beaches in the world! Eleanor became known as “The Turtle Lady” throughout the area.

As Eleanor Fletcher learned more and more about the sea turtles, she began to see that the turtles were threatened by the encroachment of man as he moved and built closer and closer to the shoreline. She decided that educating children about the sea turtles and the need for conservation and protection was the best hope for the sea turtles to survive over the long term. She began giving classes, first in her home, then above the real estate office as more and more children enjoyed her programs.

In 1983 the Children’s Museum of Juno Beach was incorporated, moving into what had been an old home in Loggerhead Park, thanks to the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Reflecting an expanded mission, the name was changed to The Marinelife Center of Juno Beach in 1990.

The center now hosts thousands of school children each year through field trips, outreach programs, summer camp and other educational experiences. In addition, more than 350,000 visitors come to the center each year to see the exhibits and the sea turtle hospital – the only sea turtle hospital between Orlando and the Florida Keys!

In April 2007, the organization relocated to a new 12,000 square foot certified "green" facility and changed its name to Loggerhead Marinelife Center. The new facility includes a state-of-the-art full service veterinary hospital, exhibit hall, outdoor classroom, research lab, and resource center. A visit is not complete without a stop in the marine-themed gift store, featuring an excellent selection of children's educational books and unique gift and craft items. Park amenities include a guarded beach, nature trail, playground and picnic pavilions.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit education and ocean conservation facility located on the Atlantic Ocean in Palm Beach County, Florida. The facility houses a variety of exhibits, live sea turtles and other coastal creatures. Exhibits include a massive prehistoric Archelon sea turtle replica, salt water aquaria and displays of local wildlife, as well as educational displays about South Florida's marine environment.



About: Virginia Institute of Marine Science Foundation

Incorporated in 2000 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Foundation was created to support the mission of VIMS and the School of Marine Science. It does so by building endowment funds to support institutional needs, professorships, and student fellowships. The Foundation also holds funds to support current program needs at VIMS, and holds unrestricted annual funds to support VIMS’ greatest needs in the current year. It provides a means for those interested in marine science and education to support these fields through direct gifts or to leave a legacy through bequests and planned giving vehicles.

While a young foundation, the VIMS Foundation has more than $10,000,000 in assets to support the mission of VIMS and the School of Marine Science. Be a part of the future of marine science by helping to build this resource for research and education!


Sea Turtle Stranding Program

There are only 7 sea turtle species worldwide. All are either threatened or endangered. Five of these species occur in Virginia's waters.

Each year, between 5,000 and 10,000 sea turtles enter Chesapeake Bay in late spring when waters temperatures rise. The majority of these turtles are either juvenile loggerheads (Caretta caretta) or Kemp's ridleys (Lepidochelys kempii) using the Bay seasonally as a feeding ground. Green (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtles are less common. The hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) is the least common sea turtle in the Bay. Only two hawksbill strandings have been reported in Virginia; both of these are considered "strays" from the tropical waters they normally inhabit.

Two sea turtle species do not occur in Chesapeake Bay—the Australian flatback (Natator depressus) and the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea). The diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) is not considered a sea turtle as it is restricted to the brackish waters of Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

All sea turtle species are protected under the Endangered Species Act. The Kemp's ridley is the most endangered sea turtle and one of the most endangered animals in the world.



About: Turtle Island Restoration Network

Turtle Island Restoration Network is a nonprofit 501c3 organization.

The genesis of Turtle Island Restoration Network began when, in 1987, young biologist and wildlife activist Todd Steiner traveled to Nicaragua to learn more about a cutting-edge sea turtle conservation program that sought to engage local coastal communities in long-term preservation efforts to save sea turtles.

In Nicaragua, Steiner found a group of dedicated biologists and community activists camped on one of the world’s most important olive ridley nesting beaches. These environmentalists were living under a tarp and working with almost no resources or access to the larger international conservation community.

Steiner started an all-volunteer grassroots effort to raise funds to purchase basic field supplies and research materials, and by 1989 launched the “Sea Turtle Restoration Project” under the umbrella of the non-profit Earth Island Institute. About the same time, sea turtles tags placed on turtles on Nicaragua’s nesting beaches started being returned by fishers in southern Mexico, and Steiner traced these back to a “legal” turtle slaughterhouse along the coast of Oaxaca.


Today, Turtle Island remains true to Steiner’s original vision and is able to respond rapidly to environmental threats to our oceans, streams and marine wildlife.

Programs now span the globe from the coastal waters of the Galapagos Islands to the sandy beaches of Galveston, Texas and include projects to protect sharks, marine mammals, and seabirds from a myriad of threats from industrial overfishing, destruction of coastal and riverine habitat, and the threat of climate change from fossil fuel projects. Each gives the public a chance to get involved in efforts to protect our blue-green planet. 



( Not Turtle Exclusive however a very notable Charity for Sea Life )

About: Environmental Justice Foundation Charitable Trust

(EJF) is a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 1088128). Environmental Justice Foundation Limited is a not-for-profit trading company limited by guarantee registered in England (no. 0385 3159)

Overfishing and illegal fishing is leaving our oceans on the edge of total collapse, and as operators look to plunder our exhausted oceans further, many resort to slave labour - enforced by violence - to keep costs down.

EJF is working to protect the oceans, end illegal fishing and stamp out the human rights abuses driven by this illicit activity. By doing so we aim to protect the millions of people that depend on our oceans and for the magnificent and varied wildlife that call them home.


On World Turtle Day, EJF is celebrating the extraordinary creatures that we protect in West Africa, where we work closely with local communities, turning turtle poachers into coastal custodians.

When we began our turtle programme in Grand Cess ­– a coastal town in south-eastern Liberia – the sea turtles that came to nest on its beaches were being killed at an alarming rate, poached for their meat and eggs.

These unique animals – Olive Ridley, Leatherback, Green and Hawksbill turtles – all sit on a desperate spectrum from vulnerable to critically endangered.

A sea turtle’s life is troubled by human action at every stage; the hatchlings that make it to adulthood contend with the ruinous effects of ocean heating, habitat loss, the careless nets of fishers, and, when nesting, the targeted attentions of poachers. We need to negotiate a new kind of relationship with these magnificent reptiles.

To lay the foundations for a purposeful programme in Liberia, EJF campaigners knew it was essential to engage the local community. Speaking to people in Grand Cess, we found that widespread poverty, combined with a lack of information about the value of turtles and the laws protecting them, were key factors driving the trade in turtle meat.


✔️ SEA TURTLES 911              seaturtles911.org

About: Sea Turtles 911

To support the advancement of marine conservation by inspiring and empowering the next generation of young people to protect wildlife and safeguard the health of our ocean; and to continuously advocate for the peaceful co-existence between turtles and people by ending the global exploitation of endangered turtles.Ocean Rescue Foundation DBA Sea Turtles 911 is a 501(c)(3) organization


To support the advancement of marine conservation by inspiring and empowering the next generation of young people to protect wildlife and safeguard the health of our ocean; and to continuously advocate for the peaceful co-existence between turtles and people by ending the global exploitation of endangered turtles.

Ocean Rescue Foundation DBA Sea Turtles 911 is a 501(c)(3) organization that uses grassroots action to spread awareness and appreciation through education, contribute to local empowerment through sustainable fisheries and ecotourism, and to successfully achieve sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation. Sea Turtles 911 works at every level of the danger spectrum, armed with the 5 R's: rescuing illegally captured sea turtles; rehabilitating injured turtles; raising public awareness through education programs and events; releasing turtles back into their natural habitat; and researching conservation techniques to help give these endangered animals a fighting chance at survival.

Our focus on stopping restaurants and fishermen from selling sea turtles aims to curb the supply, where stopping the demand by convincing people to abandon seeking sea turtle products for their medicinal, aphrodisiac, or aesthetic value is a much more daunting task which would require more time than the sea turtles may have. While we have not abandoned the effort to discourage demand, we direct our efforts to where they will have the most potent impact, such as severing the supply of sea turtles available for purchase. We believe that through public education, we can help break the cycle of sea turtle poaching and consumption around China and give these awe-inspiring creatures a better chance at survival.

Sea turtles have existed on this planet for tens of millions of years, making them some of the oldest species alive today. Along comes mankind, superiorly intelligent, civilized, and insolent. We have hunted and killed these magnificent sentient beings, for a mere meal or some material object made from their bodies - or the cash to be made thereby - which we savagely and ignorantly treasured above their life, above their very existence. With nonchalance we have recklessly polluted and devastated the delicate ecosystem which is their home. With brutally idle apathy, we have turned a blind eye to their tragic plight. Today, because of our ignorance and carelessness, these beautiful creatures are nearing extinction. Today, we must salvage the self-respect of our race. Today, we must save the sea turtles before it is too late. 


 ✔️ SEA TURTLE CONSERVACY                    conserveturtles.org

About: Sea Turtle Conservancy

The Turtle Conservancy is a 501c(3) non-profit organization to which gifts are tax-deductible. EIN: 59-6151069

The Sea Turtle Conservancy is the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organization in the world! STC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) membership organization based in Gainesville, Florida. STC was founded in 1959 by Mr. Joshua B. Powers in response to renowned ecologist Dr. Archie Carr’s award-winning book, The Windward Road, which first alerted the world to the plight of sea turtles. Dr. Carr served as Scientific Director of STC from 1959 until his death in 1987. Since our founding, STC’s research and conservation initiatives have been instrumental in saving the Caribbean green turtle from immediate extinction, as well as raising awareness and protection for sea turtles across the globe with nearly 60 years of experience in national and international sea turtle conservation, research and educational endeavors. The organization began its work in Costa Rica, but has expanded its research and conservation efforts throughout Central America and the Wider Caribbean.


STC’s advocacy program is addressing the threats that face U.S. and International sea turtle populations. Drawing on STC’s five decades of international sea turtle conservation experience, our Policy Initiatives work to improve the survival outlook for marine turtles in the United States, especially in Florida, by raising national awareness, advocating for protection of sea turtles and their habitat and by empowering small, local sea turtle groups. Representatives from STC regularly provide testimony to Congress, federal agencies and state officials on issues affecting sea turtles and their habitat. STC closely monitors all issues related to the survival of sea turtles and informs conservationists, the media and STC members about steps that should be taken to ensure sea turtle survival. STC also engages in direct advocacy designed to influence legislation or other policy decisions that will affect sea turtles.

STC works to enact protective laws and establish refuges for the preservation of sea turtle habitats and coastal environments. The organization was instrumental in creating the Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica. In the United States, STC worked with other groups and agencies to establish the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge and continues to lobby Congress and government agencies to purchase the lands necessary to complete the refuge. STC’s international efforts include advocating for sea turtles at the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and protecting one of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches in the world by helping prevent off-shore oil-drilling in Costa Rica.



About: World Wildlife Fund

Adopt a Sea Turtle Hatchling ( note symbolic adoption )

For almost 60 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. One of the world’s leading conservation organizations, WWF works in nearly 100 countries and is supported by more than 1 million members in the United States and more than 5 million globally.

Your donation provides general support to World Wildlife Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization , and makes you a WWF member. 81 percent of WWF's spending is directed to worldwide conservation activities.


Over the last 200 years, human activities have tipped the scales against the survival of these ancient mariners. Slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin, and shells, sea turtles suffer from poaching and over-exploitation. They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture—known as bycatch—in fishing gear. Climate change has an impact on turtle nesting sites; it alters sand temperatures, which then affects the sex of hatchlings. Nearly all species of sea turtle are now classified as endangered, with three of the seven existing species being critically endangered.

WWF is committed to stopping the decline of sea turtles and works for the recovery of the species. We work to secure environments in which both turtles and the people that depend upon them can survive.

During sea turtle nesting season, a female can lay up to 180 eggs at a time, as often as six times. Temperature determines the gender of the turtle; warmer nests produce female hatchlings and cooler nests result in males. To lay their eggs, female sea turtles return to the same beaches where they were born. Once the female completes the nest and lays her eggs, she returns to the ocean. The hatchlings are left to fend for themselves and make their way to the water on their own.

Seven different species of sea (or marine) turtles grace our ocean waters, from the shallow seagrass beds of the Indian Ocean, to the colorful reefs of the Coral Triangle and the sandy beaches of the Eastern Pacific. While these highly migratory species periodically come ashore to either bask or nest, sea turtles spend the bulk of their lives in the ocean. WWF's work on sea turtles focuses on five of those species: green, hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback, and olive ridley.


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