- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Friday is World Sea Turtle Day, which was founded as a way to raise awareness of and respect for the world’s endangered sea turtles. To honor the special day — and the creatures it aims to save — the Sea Turtle Conservancy has teamed up with Naked Turtle Rum to benefit the world’s endangered sea turtles.

For 2017’s benefit — the fifth collaboration between the U.S. Virgin Islands distiller and the conservancy — the rum maker has unveiled its “Every Bottle Saves a Turtle” initiative, which will benefit the Sea Turtle Conservancy with every bottle sold.

“We’ve been able to save at least 234,000 sea turtle hatchlings and conduct conservation programs that are improving sea turtle survival,” said David Godfrey, executive director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy, in a statement provided to The Washington Times, adding that the partnership is also supporting a conservation program in Costa Rica to monitor and protect the largest remaining colony of endangered green turtles in the Western Hemisphere.

“We’ve achieved so much in such a short amount of time together, and I’m excited to see what further impact we can have on sea turtles now with The Naked Turtle’s new ‘Every Bottle Saves a Turtle’ initiative,” Mr. Godfrey said.

The two entities have also teamed up on an initiative called “Kill the Lights, Save the Turtles” to raise awareness about the impact artificial lights have on hatchling turtles. The effort sought to darken over 20 miles of Florida beaches in order to save thousands of hatchlings per year from light disorientation.

“Naked Turtle is a brand that actually cares about this cause, and that’s evident in how much education they offer to their consumers,” Mr. Godfrey said of the rum distiller. “Naked Turtle White Rum wants to show people it’s really not hard to play a part in conservation efforts by being more mindful of your actions at the beach and being thoughtful about your daily choices of products.

“We love The Naked Turtle team’s genuine commitment to conservation in general and sea turtles in particular,” Mr. Godfrey said, adding that he is known to enjoy the rum with lime juice infused with jalapeno over ice. “And it goes down even smoother when you know your choice in rum is also helping save sea turtles with each bottle made,” he said.

The partnership also aims to reduce plastic bottling, which can find their way into sea turtles’ habitats.

“I still love hearing from different folks who have taken to limiting their use of plastics by bringing reusable bottles to work or the gym,” Mr. Godfrey said. “These guys really get it and are enthusiastic about doing their part as individuals and corporate citizens to protect our planet and amazing creatures like sea turtles.”

Naked Turtle has never been aged in barrels, thereby lending it its clear color and the “nakedness” of non-aged rum.

“The Naked Turtle brand has been an excellent partner to the Sea Turtle Conservancy,” Mr. Godfrey said, “making me feel really hopeful about what we can get done in the future.”


• Eric Althoff can be reached at twt@washingtontimes.com.

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