To Truly Love the Ocean

by Stefani on 4-June-2008

I am a firm believer that you can't teach a child to care for the earth without helping him fall in love with it's wonders.

Well, let me tell you, my boys love for the ocean grew a little deeper yesterday, after a visit to the NOAA Sea Turtle Facility.

The Turtle Barn

Basically, it's just a big steel barn (they actually do call it the turtle barn), where they raise a whole bunch of sea turtles.

The Yearlings

It's part of a decades long effort to increase the dwindling population of sea turtles. Most specifically, the Kemp Ridley, which makes its home in the Gulf of Mexico.

They raise new hatchlings until they are two years old (big enough to no longer be prey for crabs and other sea critters)

Then, they each participate in a test. 

See, one of the major killers of sea turtles is shrimping nets. The turtles get caught in them and are unable to come up for air, so they die. 

Scientists like the ones that work at NOAA are always looking for ways to help the fishermen do their job in a way that doesn't harm the turtles. 

The turtles from NOAA help them test their ideas. Each turtle participates in one test before it is released into the wild. 

So they're smart, not just good looking. 🙂


Sweet Face

We learned all about where they nest, and how they are rescued and cared for and rereleased.

Mostly though, we just stared at them and wished we could stuff a few in our pockets.

As you might imagine, the boys' journal pages were FILLED yesterday with little drawings of sea turtles, brochures from NOAA and scrawled words like, "Sea Turtles ROCK!"

(oh, and as an aside, a few of you asked for more information about our journal "word bank" – click here for a better photo, and a few more details)

Hello Babies

If your little sea lovers would like to learn more about sea turtles you can visit these great sites:

We also picked up a really sweet book that would make a great beach blanket read: Into the Sea 

Speaking of beach blanket… there's one calling my name!

Happy Wednesday, folks!

Natalie June 4, 2008 at 8:11 am

This is so uplifting and your photos are dear. thank you for the links.

betsy June 4, 2008 at 8:18 am

This is really wonderful. What an amazing homeschooling adventure.

Allison Fouse June 4, 2008 at 9:02 am

A turtle farm!? So cool.

gonzomama June 4, 2008 at 9:59 am

I love sea turtles! Your photos are great, those turtles are beautiful! and what an amazing learning experience. Thanks for the links!

Relyn June 4, 2008 at 10:00 am

Oh, I love sea turtles. Now I have some new places to visit to add to my list for our next Texas trip. What a great day. Thanks for all the inspiration. You’re a terrific teacher. I am always learning something from you. Happy rest of your vacation.

Anne June 4, 2008 at 11:02 am

Oh, those are so cute I want to take one home.

Amber June 4, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Wow – how cool for you guys! I’m sure it made a big impact on the boys. Seeing things in person is always better!

erin June 4, 2008 at 12:16 pm

so cute! hang out on that beach blanket as long as you can.

kristin June 4, 2008 at 1:25 pm

wonderful. can i be your kid? really great wonderous stuff you do. true inspiration.

Molly June 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm

You always blow me away. I’m in love with that little turtle nose. We learned about the dwindling population on that favorite series of ours, Planet Earth… wow! Get ’em while they’re young, those boys, and they’ll live life with a sense of permanent wonder. Love it.

Got your package, by the way! One will be sent down to you very shortly! 🙂


Jessica June 4, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Those little turtles are darling. I, too, agree that you cannot teach a child to care for or love the earth unless he or she experiences it…I had a long rant and rave about that with the preschool teacher I work with this morning about the very subject.

OMSH June 4, 2008 at 10:53 pm

I know one of our Galveston stops when we head that way in July!

Meri June 5, 2008 at 2:18 am

Boys, your “Mommy ROCKS” for taking you there!

sarah June 5, 2008 at 5:20 am

thanks for the link. what a great visit. my youngest would have loved it!

Our Green Nest June 5, 2008 at 7:30 am

Oh my goodness – I *heart* turtles so much! Did u ever hear about or have the pleasure of seeing “the turtle lady” in South Padre…she was the cutest old lady who LOVED turtles and saved so many!! We would always go and see her little exhibits/shows every summer at Padre when I was little…she died unfortunately but she was amazing!!! Here’s the link to her and the wonderful org that is helping save sea turtles of Texas…

Berlinswhimsy June 5, 2008 at 11:45 pm

Oh, we would LOVE to visit this place! So amazing…

Em June 6, 2008 at 4:33 am

Wow, you are amazing! What a great trip, and I love how you’re putting learning opportunities into it. We are just out on Summer break, and my daughter is complaining that I want her to practice some things over the summer. It doesn’t look like your boys mind at all… I’m sure it’s ‘normal’ for them.

marcia June 6, 2008 at 6:38 am

I fell in love with your blog…your pictures and your words ! Inspiring and right to the heart of things!

I found it after posting about a special book to me, Roxaboxen, and found your Roxaboxen entry!

I’ll be visiting back often.
We’re unschoolers from MA

Maureen June 6, 2008 at 11:17 am

Wow! They are sooooo cute!!! What a great thing to do. I will defintely follow the links for more. Thanks!

Jennifer June 6, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Where is this place located? The link you provide says they’re located in Forest Knolls, CA. That’s really near me. Is that really where you went?

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