Ocean Hero Finalists: Carolyn Caggia - Oceana USA
Home / Blog / Ocean Hero Finalists: Carolyn Caggia

May 11, 2010

Ocean Hero Finalists: Carolyn Caggia


This is the eighth in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.

Today’s featured finalist is 16-year-old Carolyn Caggia, who is devoted to protecting sea turtles from gillnets in her home state of North Carolina.

Gillnet fisheries use hundreds of yards of fishing net that remain in the water for days or longer, ensnaring sea turtles and other species incidentally.

Carolyn was inspired to act after visiting Jean Beasley’s sea turtle hospital in Topsail Island, NC several years ago. She decided to undertake a grass roots advocacy effort to help save sea turtles as her Girl Scout Gold Award project.  

Working with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, she created a “Save the Sea Turtle” exhibit, which was attended by a whopping 12,000 visitors. The exhibit included a scroll where visitors could help “stamp out” gillnet fishing — and it received over 1,500 stamps.

Carolyn also created an educational booklet about threats facing sea turtles, which is being reproduced and distributed to all the rental houses on Emerald Isle, NC — a popular vacation spot in the state.

After showing the scroll and booklet to six NC legislators, Rep. Jimmy Love agreed to sponsor a bill to find a compromise between fishing and endangered sea turtle survival.  

The NC General Assembly goes into session tomorrow, May 12 — let’s hope Rep. Love keeps his word.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the finalists and cast your vote!