Chattanooga, Tenn. (April 9th, 2007) – April is the
beginning of sea turtle nesting season, and the Tennessee
Aquarium is celebrating with a fascinating look at endangered
Loggerhead and Green sea turtles. Mary Alice Monroe, acclaimed
author, dedicated conservationist and board member of the
South Carolina Aquarium, will share her experiences as a turtle
team volunteer and describe how she uses her passion for nature
to develop themes for her popular books.
Monroe has just recently released two new books. Swimming
Lessons is Monroe’s latest novel. In the follow-up to
The Beach House, Ms. Monroe returns to South Carolina’s
breathtaking Isle of Palms in a heartwarming novel that unravels
a tale of how lives can change over one magical summer. It
has been five years since the original turtle lady, Miss Lovie
Rutledge, passed away but her legacy lives on with some special
women, especially Toy and her daughter, young Little Lovie.
After Toy rescues a sick sea turtle on the beach, she begins
a turtle hospital with the help of her boss, Ethan. As the
summer progresses and the turtles take their measured steps
toward healing and freedom, Toy, Cara, Flo and Emmi must find
their own strength to face their fears and move courageously
toward their futures.
Throughout the novel, Toy assembles a journal of photographs
and sketches for her young daughter, depicting the summer
they spent tending the turtles. Mary Alice Monroe’s
first children’s book, Turtle Summer, A Journal For
My Daughter is born! This is the journal Toy wrote for Lovie
and is a companion book to the novel. Using original photographs
by Barbara Bergwerf, this scrapbook-journal explains the nesting
cycle of loggerhead sea turtles and the natural life along
the southeastern coast, including local shore birds, shells,
and a sea turtle hospital. Adults and children will enjoy
the images, information, and journal with or without reading
Meet this New York Times best-selling author along with Nikki
Ellis, an aquarist with the Tennessee Aquarium, who will talk
about her career and caring for the Aquarium’s two Green
sea turtles. The Tennessee Aquarium features two Green sea
turtles — a small injured turtle in the Gulf of Mexico
exhibit as well as a large male in the Secret Reef that was
acquired from Marineland Florida.
Monroe and Ellis will help kids and adults to discover fun
turtle facts, explore why sea turtles are endangered and learn
how turtle teams patrol beaches to help in the survival of
these engaging creatures.
Kids can take home a Sea Turtle Activity Book by the Caribbean
Conservation Corporation and all are invited to stay for a
book signing by Mary Alice Monroe with Swimming Lessons and
Turtle Summer available for purchase.
This free event takes place Thursday, April 19th from 6:30
to 8 p.m. in the Tennessee Aquarium Auditorium. Register on-line
at www.tnaqua.org or call 267-FISH.
Sea Turtle Fast Facts:
- All eight species of sea turtles are listed
as either threatened or endangered.
- Turtle nesting areas are becoming scarce due to beach development
- Some sea turtles die when they eat trash. Leatherbacks are
especially susceptible to ingesting plastic, mistaking it
- Marine garbage can also entangle sea turtles causing them
- Green sea turtles hatchlings are just 2 inches long, but
adults can grow to more than 3 feet long and weigh 300-350
- Adult green turtles are unique among sea turtles in that
they are herbivorous, feeding primarily on seagrasses and
- Pacific loggerheads migrate over 7,500 miles between nesting
beaches in Japan and feeding grounds off the coast of Mexico.