The Over & Above Awards for 2023

On February 15 and March 5, the live and online Presentation of the ARCHELON 2023 Results were organized respectively. At the end of both events, the names of the people who surpassed themselves and gave significant help to the Association were announced. These are the ARCHELON Over & Above Awards for 2023.

The ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Glyfada welcomes cases of injured or sick turtles from all over the country. Panos Diamantis and Isabelle Marguerite were the "drivers" of the Rescue Network during 2023 helping significantly in transporting injured animals from the airport, port or bus stations to the Rescue Centre, even during midnight emergencies!

When the turtles arrive at the Rescue Centre the race to save them begins. At the same time, however, the Rescue Centre also functions as an information hub for visitors with the aim of raising public awareness. Nektarios Kosteletos, Fanis Michalakis, Vassilis Xenikakis, Mara Loizou and Emilia Diamantaki were the people who particularly supported the public awareness program at the Rescue Centre, touring visitors from all over the world. Furthermore, Xenia Balta significantly supported both rehabilitation and public awareness actions. Every day the Rescue Centre welcomes school students as well, in order to spread the message of wildlife protection to the new generation. Elizabeth Machaira was trained and hepled run the Environmental Education program at the Rescue Centre.

3 photos of ARCHELON volunteers

During the summer months, ARCHELON is present at the most important nesting beaches of the Loggerhead sea turtle in Greece. Volunteers from all over the world camp at the ARCHELON Research Stations in Zakynthos, Peloponnese and Crete and are trained in recording and protecting the nests. In the summer of 2023, the work on the beaches was especially intensive since a nesting record was set with a total of approximately 10,500 nests recorded throughout Greece!

In the monitoring project for the reproduction of sea turtles in Zakynthos, the Field Leaders who undertook the organization and training of the other volunteers during this demanding year stood out. They were Vincent Tarrit, Tanya Narshi, Sarah Bala, Sarah Crosse, Tobias Juul Jakobsen, Anita Szymanska, Lucie Fauchard, Marcia Abreu and Zuzanna Gewont. Konstantinos Vythoulkas, responsible for the space that hosts the volunteers on the island, also made important contributions to the Zakynthos project, always willing to help with everyday needs.

Accordingly, the Field Leaders of the ARCHELON projects in Crete, Sam Finlayson, Audrey Busa, David de Haan, Mathew Leveridge, Lizzie Borows-West, Melina Milidaki, Vasilina Vradeli, Lucy Grosjean, Gracie Rowe, Thomas Chazalnoel, Irene Pulido and Amelie Weiler, were also awarded. A special mention also goes to Vangelis Archontakis from the Tourism Department of the Municipality of Rethymno who helped to promote the informative ARCHELON Sea Turtle Beach Walk program on the beach of Rethymno. Some permanent residents of Crete actively participate in the conservation projects as well. Sean and Helen Johnstone assisted for another year at the start and completion of the Chania project, while Ciara O'Sullivan and Simon Wakefield helped significantly with the Messara Bay project as local volunteers.

In the Peloponnese Projects, Field Leaders Sarah Kelliher, Leonie Marzecki, Judith Hoste, Rachel Forster, Sam Brown, Judith Glaser, Laura Suppan, Noha Ratouit, Aris Tsiroglou, Daphne Nikisanli were awarded. In 2023, over 7,000 nests were recorded in the Peloponnese projects with their help! This intense nest numbers is why the volunteers Matheo Merle, Enora Bourgeois, Aurelie Chaput, Elisa d'Allibert, Lucan Naudin, Elain Friob, Antonin Gillot, Sophie Laderriere, Antony Couffrant, Martin Vanham and Justine Masselot rolled up their sleeves and took on more responsibilities than their duties. We thank them very much!

2 photos of ARCHELON volunteers

Richard Child, Mathilde Jahan and Michael Kroneder were distinguished for their contribution to the Lakonikos project, as well as Mark Boyd for the Koroni project. Finally, our long-term volunteer Merlin Potter-Adams also stood out for his help, both in the morning and night shifts, as well as in the training of volunteers and staff in the Kyparissia project.

"These awards are a nominal thank you for those who went the extra mile", said Thomas Arapis, President of ARCHELON during the ceremony. "However, we are grateful to all the volunteers, friends and members who helped in all the projects and actions of ARCHELON for the protection of nature and the environment." The main slogan of ARCHELON is "We can live together". For all those who love life in nature and share our vision for a harmonious coexistence between man and wildlife, there are the conservation projects of 2024. Volunteer applications are open. See more and apply here!



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