cathy holmes

Sweet Pea celebrates first anniversary with NBSTCC

Sweet Pea celebrates first anniversary with NBSTCC

In 2018, the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC) made an impact on roughly 50,000 people from around the world, and a big part of that outreach has been done by one disabled juvenile green sea turtle named Sweet Pea. Cathy Holmes said that’s a pretty great accomplishment for her first year of work. […]

Sea Turtle Soiree raises $21,000 for conservation

Sea Turtle Soiree raises $21,000 for conservation

Roughly 130 people danced the night away Saturday at the Pensacola Beach Hilton at the first-ever, sold-out Sea Turtle Soiree in support of sea turtle conservation. The event was one of the largest fundraisers to date for the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC), and it raked in thousands for the nonprofit’s marine conservation, […]

Sweet Pea goes on a diet

Sweet Pea goes on a diet

Sweet Pea is on a diet of sorts. The Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center’s resident green sea turtle is still receiving medical care at Gulf World Marine Institute in Panama City for chronic gastrointestinal concerns.   Read the full article in the Sept. 13 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. Sign up to […]

National turtle researchers come to Navarre Beach reef

National turtle researchers come to Navarre Beach reef

Lei Lei is much like any other loggerhead sea turtle. She cruises the waters of the Gulf of Mexico just off the coast of Navarre Beach, munching on shellfish. But there is something unusual about Lei Lei. Read the full article in the Sept. 6 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. […]

Nest numbers down, beach items may be to blame

Nest numbers down, beach items may be to blame

Since sea turtle nesting season began May 1, Navarre Beach has only seen three turtle nests, a far cry from the nearly record-breaking 19 nests that were found last year. The nesting number is also lower than the average for the past decade. Read the full article in the Aug. 2 issue of Navarre Press. Click […]

Sweet Pea travels for treatment at Gulf World

Sweet Pea travels for treatment at Gulf World

The Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center’s (NBSTCC) resident green sea turtle, Sweet Pea, has been transported to Gulf World in Panama City for treatment of gastro-intestinal issues. NBSTCC founder Cathy Holmes said the turtle was moved July 17 to Gulf World Marine Park because staffers at the center observed that a pre-existing, chronic condition […]

Local develops new turtle-saving device

Local develops new turtle-saving device

Up until this month, when a sea turtle larger than two feet wide got hooked off the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier, there was virtually no way to safely rescue the animal. Cathy Holmes, Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Patrol member and founder of the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC), explained that rescuers were limited […]

Pier progress praised

Pier progress praised

It has been roughly six months since the previous operators of “the longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico” walked out early on their contract with Santa Rosa County, leaving the 2017 bid winner, Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises (GSRE), to jump in early. In those first few weeks, the operators faced quite a few challenges […]

Sea turtle nesting season gets underway

Sea turtle nesting season gets underway

Sea turtle nesting season on Navarre Beach began this month, with the first mother turtles expected to arrive by the start of June. Turtle Patroller Cathy Holmes said there are some easy ways for beachgoers to help protect the threatened and endangered species that make their way onto the beach each year to lay eggs. […]

Seas the Day sees crowds

Seas the Day sees crowds

  April is a busy month. Beyond the Easter holiday, April is National Autism Awareness Month. It is the Month of the Military Child, and it is also National Child Abuse Prevention Month.             Read the full article in the April 5 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view […]

Reptiles drawn back to pier despite multiple run-ins with fishing hooks

Reptiles drawn back to pier despite multiple run-ins with fishing hooks

Okra, a juvenile green sea turtle, has had a rough year. After sustaining serious head trauma that exposed part of her skull, Okra ended up on the end of a fisherman’s line on the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. The hook was caught in her right shoulder. Fortunately, she was rescued and sent to the Gulfarium […]

Sea Turtle Extravaganza promotes conservation

Sea Turtle Extravaganza promotes conservation

Arriving at Navarre Beach Saturday morning, visitors were greeted by a flying 50-foot alligator, a 75-foot-long octopus with swooping tentacles and several other flying sea creatures. These larger-than-life critter kites were part of the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center’s (NBSTCC) annual Sea Turtle Extravaganza. Center director Christy Meyer said she was thankful to the […]

Turtle hatching season nears record success

Turtle hatching season nears record success

Despite less than perfect odds, Navarre Beach is having a nearly record-setting sea turtle nesting and hatching season as hundreds of hatchlings have escaped to the Gulf of Mexico. There have been 19 sea turtle nests on Navarre Beach this year. The record is 20, said turtle patroller Cinnamon Holderman. Two of those nests were […]

Storm damages sea turtle nests on Navarre Beach

Storm damages sea turtle nests on Navarre Beach

Tropical Storm Cindy may have claimed quite a few victims along Navarre Beach as the storm surge washed wave after wave over the area’s sea turtle nests. Cathy Holmes of the Sea Turtle Patrol said her organization has been getting some really bad news. “We have seven nests that were totally underwater for 48 to […]

Giving sea turtles more tomorrows one bucket at a time

Giving sea turtles more tomorrows one bucket at a time

Visitors need not pay for plastic children’s toys to build their sand castles on Navarre Beach. A new Borrow Bin was created at the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center June 14 to allow visitors to recycle, rather than buy, these toys. Plastics are one of the leading pollutants cleaned up from the beach, and […]

First recorded leatherback nest on Navarre Beach

First recorded leatherback nest on Navarre Beach

Turtle Patrollers were in for a big surprise early Saturday morning. The first sea turtle of Navarre’s nesting season has laid her eggs this Mother’s Day weekend, and this new momma made another first. She is the first leatherback sea turtle in recorded history to nest on Navarre Beach. Director of the Navarre Beach Sea […]

Sea turtle nesting season is here

Sea turtle nesting season is here

Monday marked the start of a special time on Navarre Beach. Sea turtle nesting season has begun and will continue through October. There are four species of endangered and threatened sea turtles that come to Navarre Beach to lay their eggs. Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center Director Cathy Holmes said this is an exciting […]

‘Flip-Flops and Teaching Spots’ draws hundreds of applicants

‘Flip-Flops and Teaching Spots’ draws hundreds of applicants

Santa Rosa County’s first teacher recruitment event drew more than 480 potential candidates and garnered even more on a waiting list to fill openings in Santa Rosa schools. Read the full article in the March 16 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

Eagle Scout builds exam table to assist turtle center

Eagle Scout builds exam table to assist turtle center

Throughout the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC), there is project after project made possible by a volunteer. From the paintings on the walls to the educational displays, much of what is in the center was donated, and many of those projects were completed by local scouts as their Eagle Scout project. Read the […]

Retrofit grant brings turtle-friendly lighting to beachfront properties

Retrofit grant brings turtle-friendly lighting to beachfront properties

The Board of County Commissioners voted Thursday to extend the Sea Turtle Lighting Retrofit project by six months to July 17 to allow for more of Navarre Beach’s condominiums and public lighting to be switched to turtle friendly versions. Read the full article in the Dec. 15 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to subscribe […]

Navarre’s sea turtle nests are hatching out

Navarre’s sea turtle nests are hatching out

For Navarre Beach’s Sea Turtle Patrol the coming weeks are an exciting time as nest after nest of sea turtle eggs hatches. Three of Navarre Beach’s five loggerhead sea turtle nests have hatched releasing hundreds of tiny hatchlings into the vast Gulf of Mexico, and the next nest is expected to hatch sometime this week. […]

Gigi says hello to visitors

Gigi says hello to visitors

After more than 100 people turned out for the ribbon cutting ceremony, Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC) Director Cathy Holmes said the visitors just keep on coming averaging about 70 to 80 people a day. Another 941 folks visited the center throughout its first week. Holmes said visitors of all ages came from […]

Turtle center hatches

Turtle center hatches

The wooden beachfront shack sat vacant, collecting sand and salty grime from years of lacking care. Mold had begun to grow on the walls, floors and ceiling of the county-owned building. Once a state park information center, it shut its doors in 2008, left to sit and rot. Until some turtle ladies, a handful of […]

Study tracks turtle hatchling gender

Study tracks turtle hatchling gender

Boy or girl? It is the first question many expectant parents have on the brain. For the hundreds of loggerhead sea turtle babies waiting to hatch on Navarre Beach, answering that question depends on the weather, specifically the temperature of the sand. “Boys are cool. Girls are hot,” Cathy Holmes of the Navarre Beach Sea […]

Local children demand protection for sea turtles

Local children demand protection for sea turtles

On June 16, World Turtle Day, thousands of letters bound in dozens of four- inch thick binders were hand delivered to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker demanding legislation to protect endangered sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico. And they were all written by children. Among the many handwritten pleas and […]

Turtle Treks program on tap for Saturday

Turtle Treks program on tap for Saturday

Although the clear-bottom kayak tours of the artificial reef are booked for Saturday, that doesn’t mean people can’t come out and take advantage of an opportunity to learn more about sea turtles. The Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center is hosting its Turtle Treks program the same day, providing visitors an opportunity to check out […]

Eagle Scout leaves legacy at Sea Turtle Center

Eagle Scout leaves legacy at Sea Turtle Center

Eagle Scout Lucas Pallone’s love of sea turtles was sparked as he watched hundreds of little hatchlings make a mad dash for the Gulf one evening when he was 14. Thanks to that spark Pallone has helped the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center by building two educational displays as part of his final project […]

Sea Turtle nesting season starts

Sea Turtle nesting season starts

The highly anticipated nesting season for sea turtles began May 1 and continues until October 31. Navarre Beach is home to four of the six of the species of sea turtles listed as threatened or endangered and protected by the Endangered Species Act; loggerhead, green, leatherback and Kemp’s ridley. “Starting the first of May we […]

Sea turtle killed by propeller

Sea turtle killed by propeller

A deceased loggerhead sea turtle weighing more than 150 pounds was found floating in the Gulf east of the pier on Saturday afternoon.  Cinnamon Holderman with the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Patrol was called out to assess the turtle.  The turtle had very pronounced propeller cuts into the shell.  Cathy Holmes, also with the Navarre […]

Turtle Center open for educational class

Turtle Center open for educational class

Everyone is anxiously awaiting the arrival of a resident sea turtle or two at the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, but that doesn’t stop volunteers from teaching without a turtle in the pool. The center has been providing educational classes called “Turtle Trek’s” during the month of March for a $5 donation. Read the […]