Reservations for Annual Sea Turtle Fundraiser Now Open

Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

Registration for the Sea Turtle Preservation Society’s annual fundraiser is now open as of September 9. Once registered online, participants will complete the event individually between September 12 to 15. The 2020 Turtle Krawl 5K virtual event offers participants the chance to come together to support sea turtle conservation while staying apart.

The Turtle Krawl is the largest 5k race in Brevard County which has one of the highest concentrations of sea turtle nesting in the entire world.

This year’s Turtle Krawl 5K has transitioned to a virtual race due to COVID-19 concerns.

Registration for the 2020 Turtle Krawl includes a race shirt with artwork by local artist James Michael “Nemo” Nemnich, and participants may choose to add a special 2020 finisher medal to their registration.

Each year, Nemo donates custom created artwork to be featured on the back of the Turtle Krawl race shirts, where most other races would list several sponsor logos.

The Turtle Krawl adoptions and donations program provides an opportunity to support local sea turtle conservation for those who do not wish to register for the race.

A man runs in the 2018 Turtle Krawl. Photo:

The Turtle Krawl was originally created in 2001 by Donna Lee Crawford, who worked for Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department at the time. She describes the original Turtle Krawl as a “family fun 10K Bike/Skate and 5K Run/Walk held in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.” From 2001 through 2008, the event “grew to nearly 300 participants and over 20 sponsors contributing up to $2,000 annually to benefit the STPS. 

There was no race in 2009 because Donna Lee left the Parks and Recreation Department to work for the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program at the Barrier Island Sanctuary Management and Education Center in 2008, bringing a temporary end to the Turtle Krawl.

In 2010, the Sea Turtle Preservation Society (STPS) Board of Directors voted to resurrect the Turtle Krawl, changing many aspects of the event but keeping the name the same. The STPS was astounded when more than 600 people signed up for the race in 2010, netting more than $8000 for the non-profit, volunteer-run organization. In 2011, nearly 1000 people signed up for the race, and the STPS was able to raise over $20,000. In 2012, more than 1800 people registered for the race, making it the largest 5k in Brevard County and raising more than $34,000 for the STPS. 

The race has continued to grow since then, attracting as many as 2,800 participants.

The 2019 Turtle Krawl raised more than $60,000 for sea turtle conservation efforts, and $25,000 was donated to the Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center at the end of the race. More than 2,300 people took part in the 2019 Turtle Krawl, with 1,877 people registered for the live event in Nance Park and the rest opting to compete virtually.

All race proceeds benefit the Sea Turtle Preservation Society’s mission to help sea turtles survive.

If you’re interested, you may sign up for the Turtle Krawl online at the Turtle Krawl 5k-Virtual Race website. For more information on the Turtle Krawl, please visit the Turtle Krawl official website.

About the Sea Turtle Preservation Society (STPS)

STPS is a registered 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization. STPS works tirelessly to educate the public about how to protect the sea turtle population and help sick and injured sea turtles that arrive on area beaches throughout the year, particularly during nesting season, which usually runs from May through October. 

Learn more about them on the Sea Turtle Preservation Society website.