Our microcosm is still expanding!
Last week marked the 35th anniversary of the foundation of ARCHELON. We were planning to celebrate this a bit later, but suddenly the actual date was reminded by some of the newest members. The first wishes appeared, followed by an explosion of messages and posts and a colorful cloud of wishes from friends and members. Happy birthday ARCHELON!
The first statutes of the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, as it was known then, were signed by 21 persons on the 20th of November 1983. Dimitris Margaritoulis, Anna-Kremezi Margaritouli and Thomas Arapis are three of them that remain actively involved to the day.
So, it has been 35 years!
With a lot of walking, many sea turtles, nights on the beach, nesting, 4-wheel motorbikes, tags.
With great successes, threats, dangers, some failures, petitions, sweat, blood and appeals.
With travels, conferences, presentations, skills, awards, schools, colouring books, information kiosks, reports, camp sites, invoices.
With careers, collaborations, research, huge number of romances (some weddings as well) oppositions, ‘envies’, degrees, suitcases (sea turtle education kits), calipers , PhDs.
With T-shirts, stickers, data sheets, table games, motorbikes, inflatable boats, automobiles and one property.
With presidential decrees, appeals, courts, arrests (but no convictions).
With rescues, releases, strategies, loving souls of volunteers, celebrations, parties, retreats, joint dinners in tavernas, deaths.
We grew older with ARCHELON and with us grew older many thousands of volunteers and friends who passed by. They all left a small stone on the road for ARXHELON to reach this point. We will grow older with thousands of volunteers who are yet to come and will leave their mark on this path.
35 years of concerns, efforts and results! Many people, with different personalities and different ways. We have existed in each other’s lives for many years. Some of us became close, others we never came to know on a personal level, but we have been travelling down the same path. Different people, with a common denominator, we have found ourselves in the same great story!
Our story has indelibly touched many more people than we can imagine. Each one has their own story of meeting with the Society, especially with the sea turtles they met, the large loggerheads and the others, the greens with the white belly.
It is an amazing story, the story of ARCHELON. Thanks to the will, the persistence, the patience, the joyous spirit, the attitude, the resistance, the influence, the contribution of so many people and our good luck, ARCHELON made it to here and it seems we are getting ready for continuing the journey further.
We continue with respect to each other, focus and responsibility, based on the knowledge and experience gained. Sea turtles are our starting point and direction and through them we come to touch the many social and environmental challenges of the world.
Let’s try to answer this: ‘who would we be without ARCHELON?’
(This article is made up of texts spontaneously shared by ARCHELON’s BoD members and staff for the 35 years anniversary)
Special equipment for people at sea to help sea turtles
The protection of the Loggerhead Sea turtles in Laganas Bay, Zakynthos, Greece during 2018
- OUR NEWS27/09/2023
World Tourism Day 2023: Are there sea turtle-friendly hotels in north Crete?
But why is tourism important to sea turtles?
- OUR NEWS15/09/2023
Lilo, the tiny green turtle, made it back to the sea!
In November 2021 a small green turtle arrived at the ARCHELON Rescue Centre with a very serious head injury. After almost two years of intensive care, one Wednesday in September 2023 he was finally discharged and returned to the sea!
- OUR NEWS17/08/2023
World record of 37 years of reproductive life for a loggerhead sea turtle in Zakynthos, Greece – increased number of nests this summer, says ARCHELON
ARCHELON – the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece announces an important outcome of the systematic work of this year's sea turtle nest monitoring team in Zakynthos. Based on their long-term observations, ARCHELON managed to certify a new World Record of reproductive activity for loggerhead turtles.
- OUR NEWS07/08/2023
ATTENTION! Sea turtles are not pets: Do not touch them or feed them!
The Municipality of Eastern Mani and the Port Authorities requested the assistance of ARCHELON to inform beach users in the area of Limeni, near Mani, where 35 new incidents of sea turtle attacks on sea bathers have been recorded during this summer season. These are added to the already long list of 200 such records of previous years found in the nearby Health Center in Areopolis.
- OUR NEWS01/08/2023
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre Lea shares her experience volunteering at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre: “I think when a turtle starts to eat after a month of trying, when you can see the improvement or healing of a turtle's injury and when a turtle is released back into the sea, into its natural habitat, into its home - then you know that you are indeed saving turtles”.
- OUR NEWS21/07/2023
Kids Beach Competition 2023: Make your own little sea turtle with natural materials and send us a photo!
Help us spread the message about the protection of sea turtles by making your own baby turtles with natural materials you will find on the beach. Sand, stones, pebbles, shells, seaweed, sticks and whatever else you have available, can be transformed with a little imagination! Take a photo of your work and send it to the ARCHELON Beach Competition.
- OUR NEWS18/07/2023
Paving the way for next steps in conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean region
Last week the partner organizations of the project “Conservation of Marine Turtles in the Mediterranean Region” met for the 9th Steering Committee Meeting. The meeting was organized by SPA/RAC in the area of Kyparissia Bay, Greece on the 4th and 5th of July, 2023 in collaboration with ARCHELON.
- OUR NEWS04/07/2023
An offer to EXPERIENCED volunteers: You can now join the beach projects for 2-3 weeks!
The time is just right to join the projects again, even if you have only 2 or 3 weeks of available time. This offer is valid for August, September, October 2023. Apply through our new website and find out more about the dates and places you can join. More…
- OUR NEWS22/06/2023
The nesting season has begun! Learn what you can do if you find sea turtle tracks or nests on the beach
The nesting season for the loggerhead sea turtles has begun. The nests that are made in the areas monitored by ARCHELON and other collaborating groups are already being recorded. However, if you find tracks or nests on other beaches, you can also participate in the effort to record and protect these sporadic nests. Find out why it's important…
- OUR NEWS16/06/2023
A breath away from registering a new world record on the years of known active reproduction of a loggerhead sea turtle is ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
This is the year when ARCHELON, a nonprofit environmental NGO, is celebrating 40 years of continuous and targeted action to save sea turtles in Greece and the Mediterranean. At the same time, the project teams of ARCHELON are ready to register the longest period of active reproduction known for the Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), in case it happens this year!
- OUR NEWS15/06/2023
A Saturday unlike any other - Turtle Festival 2023
ARCHELON invites kids and adults to celebrate the environment and the sea in an exciting way at the "Sea Turtle Festival" on Saturday, May 27 at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in the 3rd Marina of Glyfada.
- OUR NEWS07/06/2023
Announcement for all past volunteers of ARCHELON: Shall we meet this September?
Highlight: Hi everyone! This year marks 40 years of ARCHELON’s action for protecting sea turtles in Greece. During these four decades, thousands of volunteers from many countries joined our sea turtle projects and the Rescue Centre to help save the turtles. Let’s meet again this coming September and celebrate the animals we saved during all these years.
- OUR NEWS07/04/2023
Waiting list for schools that want to visit the ARCHELON Rescue Centre
Thousands of Greek students visit the Centre and get informed about the value of protecting the environment through contact with a particularly beloved animal, the sea turtle. "All the available visiting hours until the end of the 2022-2023 school year have been booked, but there is a waiting list that is activated in case of cancellations", says Anna Kontoleon, ARCHELON’s Education Officer. More hours for online tours may be added in May if volunteers become available.
- OUR NEWS28/03/2023
People are supporting wildlife conservation
The donations and "adoptions" made at the Rescue Centre in Glyfada, Attica and at ARCHELON’s field projects in Zakynthos, the Peloponnese and Crete in 2022, reached the amount of €350,000. We did a lot last year thanks to all these people, who also made it possible for us to continue this year.
- OUR NEWS24/03/2023
We learned with deep sadness the passing away of Gail Schofield, a pronounced sea turtle researcher and former ARCHELON volunteer. Read more…