WildHope Digital Magazine Spring 2013 : Page 5

BEYOND TRAVEL Since Dr. Wallace J. Nichols and I started SEE Turtles in 2008, one of our primary goals has been to encourage tour operators to go beyond travel to directly support wildlife conservation efforts in the destinations they visit. The for-profit tour operators and non-profit organizations we work with do a lot more than just take people to beautiful destinations; they advocate for responsible development, provide critical funding for conservation programs, and educate travelers on how to contribute to wildlife protection. These companies and groups have a direct interest in the protection of the animals they take people to see and can have a dramatic impact on their destinations. As SEEtheWILD and SEE Turtles grow, we are taking this mission to heart by expanding our programs beyond travel to include education, advocacy, and fundraising. Our new Billion Baby Turtles project aims to raise enough funds to save more than 100,000 sea turtle hatchlings in 2013 at community-based projects around Latin America. We are already more than halfway there! Meanwhile, our educational program is expanding with a new emphasis on building capacity for teachers near turtle nesting beaches and bringing local students to visit conservation projects. And our new ActWild initiative will help us inspire travelers and others to take a more active role in wildlife conservation efforts. With these new programs, SEEtheWILD will not only help our partners by bringing in travelers and volunteers, but also support their programs through fundraising, education, and advocacy. We aim to help the industry move towards a more sustainable business model, and with your help, we can do it! LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Director & Co-Founder, SEEtheWILD & SEE Turtles Brad@SEEturtles.org photo: Neil Ever Osborne/SEE Turtles 5

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