Grant #568

When Turtles Fly

January 15, 2024

Thanks to This Organization, Endangered Sea Turtles Ride Out the Winter Chill in Style

In the depths of winter, haven’t we all fantasized about jetting off to someplace warm? Since 2014, the organization Turtles Fly Too has been making that dream a reality—for endangered sea turtles. Thanks to volunteer pilots and their own staff (and because of the effects of global warming), the nonprofit has been sending hundreds of cold-stunned sea turtles—who are coldblooded and can’t regulate their own internal body temperature—south for the winter to rehabilitate in the sunshine.

The process starts in late October as temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean drop. That’s when scientists, veterinarians, researchers, and volunteers gather in the northeast to rescue sea turtles who’ve washed ashore, stabilize them, and fly them as quickly as possible to facilities in Florida and Georgia. 

Gordon Murray is a volunteer pilot with Turtles Fly Too and a professor at Kent State. He wants to use our grant to purchase a 360-degree camera, which can capture panoramic footage from all angles at once. His hope is that students will use it to create videos that raise awareness about the importance of conservation. (The New York Times has already taken notice! The paper wrote about Turtles Fly Too in December 2023.) We say: Keep making waves.

Category: Animals, Environment, Nature, Preservation



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders