On the beach with the Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy, for a taste of freedom
Two loggerhead sea turtles were release back to the sea from a beach of Attica on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, after having completed their treatment at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of ARCHELON in Glyfada, near Athens. A special guest in the moving moments of this double release was the Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy Mr. George Amyras, who helped transport the turtles to the sea together with the experienced team of the Rescue Centre. Also present, were the President of ARCHELON Mr. Thomas Arapis, as well as staff members, volunteers and members of the Board of the organization, which is a nonprofit environmental NGO dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles and their habitats since 1983.
According to Eirini Kasimati, the Rescue and Rehabilitation Officer, the first turtle, named “Taygete”, was found on the beach of Mavrovouni in Gythio, in July 2020. The injury on its shell was quite serious, which is why it remained under treatment for almost 12 months. “Taygete” had stayed in the big rehabilitation tank at the Rescue Centre several times during the last month, until she was able to dive properly and feed herself.
As soon as she entered the sea, this big turtle dived gracefully and disappeared calmly into the blue sea.
The release of the two turtles is the first after the end of the school year and is especially dedicated to all the children who attended the Live Streaming Visit to the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre this year. A total of 166 school units of all levels, with 3600 students and 180 teachers, "met" the turtles and learned their stories over the past year. "The Rescue Centre will gladly welcome the schools again from September," said Dimitris Fytilis, the Rescue Centre Officer.
The work done at the Rescue Centre in Glyfada is very important for the protection and well-being of sea turtles and equally so for scientific research and education of the public and students on environmental issues. "We appreciate the presence and participation of Deputy Minister G. Amyras today in the release of the two turtles. We need the help of everyone and especially of the State in this critical year for the operation of the Rescue Centre,” said Thomas Arapis.
It is true that the ARCHELON Rescue Centre, which was established in 1994, was hit particularly hard by the pandemic due to travel restrictions affecting the arrival of volunteers and due to the cancellation of thousands of visits of schools and other groups. It survived last year thanks to a generous donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and several other institutions and businesses, but financial problems are persisting up to this date.
How to help:
You can directly donate https://www.archelon.gr/eng/donations.php?mid=8&mid2=89 or,
Support through the “Adopt a Sea Turtle” program
The Rescue Centre is open to the public every day at specific times. To best plan your visit, see the website of ARCHELON https://www.archelon.gr/eng/help11.php?mid=1&mid2=96
Dimitris Fytilis, Rescue Centre Officer, tel.: 6944 929 622, e-mail: email@example.com
Eirini Kasimati, Rescue & Rehabilitation Officer, tel.: 6941 511 511, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sea turtles are still in danger in Laganas bay, Zakynthos
The loggerhead sea turtles are back to the beaches of Crete to nest
- OUR NEWS02/02/2024
Sea turtles in the Greek wetlands of international importance
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2. These vulnerable areas of the planet are a refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife species, including sea turtles. ARCHELON is present in wetlands that play an important role for sea turtles, such as the Amvrakikos Gulf.
- OUR NEWS24/01/2024
Why are ARCHELON’s projects international?
ARCHELON’s sea turtle conservation projects are organized with the valuable contribution of volunteers who come to Greece every year not just from Europe but from more distant places such as South Korea, Australia, and Colombia. Speaking English while carrying out fieldwork or public awareness activities as well as when interacting with each other in the campsites is essential to the projects.
- OUR NEWS17/01/2024
ARCHELON has been running a special hospital for sea turtles with tanks and impressive old train wagons for 30 years in Glyfada
Turtles with IV and bandages, rehabilitation and recovery tanks, special environmental enrichment equipment, recovery greenhouses, and… renovated train wagons! The hospital for injured and sick turtles that ARCHELON has set up in the 3rd marina of Glyfada, next to the sea, is certainly something out of the ordinary.
- OUR NEWS05/01/2024
What happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023?
A world record for reproductive life for a sea turtle and 40 years of ARCHELON’s actions for protecting sea turtles are some of the moments we celebrated together this year. So, what happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023? Here are some highlights of the past year.
- OUR NEWS21/12/2023
Assuming responsibility for the environment brings more meaning into our lives
“ARCHELON is an opportunity, not only for the animals and the ecosystems, but also for us who participate in it and for the society in which we operate”. Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of ARCHELON, talks about the efforts of the organization and about what he aspires for the future.
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
Forty years later: the world of ARCHELON has expanded
Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of the Association gives the current coordinates of ARCHELON. "We encounter many turtles in our daily activities, and even more people, many more people actually, who help us. Amongst them are the people who work for us, they stand out for they represent the Association out there, through thick and thin".
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
19 Environmental NGOs ask the Greek Government not to consent to a change in the wolf protection status in Europe
- OUR NEWS15/12/2023
Messages of love from the world turtle community!
Celebrating ARCHELON's 40th Anniversary we have received warm messages from the turtle community worldwide
- OUR NEWS14/12/2023
When the past becomes a lighthouse for the future
Thomas Arapis, the President of ARCHELON and one of its founding members talks about the quality and values, and the people who marked the setting up and subsequent action of ARCHELON. “Dimitris Margaritoulis taught us, not only the methodology for monitoring and protecting them, but also what it means to organize tasks, take responsibility, work as a team, evaluate our course and cooperate with each other”, he says.
- OUR NEWS12/12/2023
Notes of a volunteer (Part 2): Ηead trauma happens more often and is more serious than you think
Jessica Van Damme who volunteered at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre for 6 weeks in 2023, talks about what she learned while taking care of sea turtles with human caused injuries.
- OUR NEWS04/12/2023
Notes of a volunteer (Part 1): Jessica Van Damme was at the Rescue Centre
“During my 6-week stay, there were more than 30 injured sea turtles being treated at the Rescue Centre. Seven of them were successfully released, but, during the same period there were five new arrivals – all turtles with human-caused injuries. We, humans, are their biggest threat!”, writes Jessica.
- OUR NEWS30/11/2023
Summer 2024: Come back to sea turtle conservation as a leader!
Joining or returning to ARCHELON’s sea turtle projects as a Field Leader will give you the opportunity to lead specific activities as well as train and help others in the projects. These positions provide a higher level of experience in nature conservation/ environment protection, as well as improved communication and leadership skills. Hurry and apply now! Only a limited number of experienced and skilled volunteers are selected to serve as leaders in each project.
- OUR NEWS23/11/2023
The establishment of the “Amvrakikos Alliance”
The Alliance's vision in collaboration with the local community is to highlight the unique ecological value and the natural and cultural heritage of Amvrakikos, for the most effective management, restoration, and protection of its ecosystems and biodiversity.
- OUR NEWS16/11/2023
Kids Beach Competition 2023: Turtles made of natural materials that stole our hearts!
The little friends of ARCHELON who participated in the Kids Beach Competition 2023 formed turtles from pebbles, sand, water, rocks, sticks, leaves and shells, spreading the message of protecting sea turtles on the various beaches of Greece. Angeliki's (7 years old) little turtle on top of the big rock stole 694 hearts and became the winner!
- OUR NEWS15/11/2023
The Field Leaders of 2023 and their role
Matthew from the UK, Noha from France, David from the Netherlands, Aris from Greece started one summer as volunteers knowing little about turtles and their protection. Their experience made them return to the conservation projects as Field Leaders to take on more responsibilities, as trainers and mentors for new volunteers.