WASHINGTON, PA (Dec. 10, 201) —Washington & Jefferson (W&J) College senior Sarah Edwards ’20 is saving the environment one turtle at a time, thanks to support from W&J’s Magellan Project.
The communication arts major’s summer research primarily focused on sea turtles at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (CTRC), a non-profit organization in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. It’s a cause that has been important to her for a long time.
“Ever since I was little, I’ve had a love for the ocean, so I knew I wanted my research to encompass that,” she said. “Especially in our current climate, I knew I wanted my Magellan to make a difference for individuals outside of myself.”
Every morning during her time with CTRC, Sarah and the other members of the center traveled to the non-profit’s facility on Fitzroy Island to feed the turtles and clean their tanks.
Sarah’s experience compelled her to take a stand against ocean pollution after seeing first-hand how wildlife is affected at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. She’s decided to reduce her use of single-use plastics as they are a major component in pollution around the world.
“I also realized I want to have a voice in people deciding to make a conscious effort to reduce their consumptions of single-use plastics,” she said.
Sarah’s Magellan Project blog showcased many of the sea turtles that she worked with, featuring stories of their injuries and arrival at CTRC. Many of the injured sea turtles had encounters with harmful pollutants like nets and plastic six-pack rings.
Sarah also traveled to Adelaide and visited the Cleland Wildlife Park, a facility created to let humans interact with the animals while also letting the animals remain in their natural habitat.
She would not have been able to travel to Australia to fulfil her dream of assisting in the effort to rehabilitate sea turtles without the aid of the Magellan Project.
The connections Sarah made at CTRC led her to an internship as a Design and Social Media Intern. Sarah is currently working remotely for Loggerhead Marinelife Center, a non-profit organization focused on ocean and sea turtle conservation located in Juno Beach, Florida.
Learn more about Sarah’s research through her Magellan Project blog.