Georgia Sea Turtle Center staff releases Scute's Ocean Adventure - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Georgia Sea Turtle Center staff releases children's book

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JEKYLL ISLAND, GA (WTOC) -

The staff at the Jekyll Island Authority's Georgia Sea Turtle Center have created a children's book that is now available for purchase in the gift shop. Multiple years in the making, "Scute's Ocean Adventure" is a book about Scute the Sea Turtle, the center's mascot, as he embarks on a life-long journey of discovery.

"With this book, we really wanted to show children the entire life cycle of these marvelous creatures," said Lori Hunt, illustrator of the book, in a press release. "Through Scute, we are hoping to show our younger readers the intricate nature of the ocean world and relay our message of education, conservation and research. By making it reader-friendly and colorful, we have opened the door for children to really attach to this message and get excited about science and conservation."

According to Hunt, the creation of "Scute's Ocean Adventure" was not a simple project. Hunt and several members of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center staff worked together to shape the characters and story in the 44-page educational book. The story is based on a puppet show that is performed regularly at the center. The story illustrates many of the challenges and struggles faced by sea turtles and marine wildlife.

"During the story, Scute sees what he thinks is a jellyfish, and, eats it. The jellyfish is actually a plastic bag and makes him ill," said Jeannie Martin, AmeriCorps Coordinator at the Center and a co-editor of the book, in a press release. "Scute is then caught in a net, and from there, finds his way to the center. We worked very hard to make this story realistic and educational, while also making it entertaining. The end result is a story that provides a strong balance between the two."

Center staff who worked on the book say creating the final product was a journey that was equally as educational as the book itself. No one at the center had ever worked on creating a children's book. Before sending the book to press, the story went through several rounds of edits.

"It was definitely a long road and a lot of work," Hunt said in a press release. "We had everyone we could get look this over before we sent it off. That includes teachers, co-workers and volunteers. However challenging it was, though, it was completely worth it to hold this final product in our hands."

Center executive directory Terry Norton says the book represents the encouraging progress the education, research and rehabilitation facility has experienced since it opened in 2007.

"This book showcases how hard we are working to not only rehabilitate sea turtles and marine life, but also educate a wide audience about the importance of our coastal ecosystem," Norton said. "The book is fun, but also depicts our mission here. The Center continues to evolve and expand, and this is an extremely proud moment for me and my staff."

Scute's Ocean Adventure can be purchased for $7.95 in the Georgia Sea Turtle Center gift shop and at the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center. Visit www.georgiaseaturtlecenter.org for more information. 

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