Addy's Adventure

From beach to ocean ~ a three-year-long journey that’s uniquely Tybee

Hatched on the Beach

In July 2018, Addy and her siblings hatched on the beach at Tybee Island. Instead of making their way to the ocean as hatchlings do, Addy and five of her siblings were taken from the beach by island visitors, who were unaware of the legal ramifications of taking protected animals from their habitat. The hatchlings were taken back to Admiral’s Inn where the visitors were staying and the baby hatchlings were soon found by the housekeeping and maintenance staff at the hotel.*

*As a reminder, through the Endangered Species Act, it is unlawful to touch, impede, harm or tamper with any sea turtle or their eggs.

Found at the Inn

While installing new shower fixtures at the Inn, maintenance and housekeeping staff members were shocked to find the hatchlings in the bath tub. Admiral’s Inn staff immediately notified the Tybee Island Marine Science Center, who came to pick up the hatchlings right away. Within an hour of being retrieved from the Inn, Addy’s siblings were hydrated and released to the Atlantic Ocean on the north end of Tybee Island.

As part of their conservation efforts, the Tybee Island Marine Science Center keeps a hatchling every two years to serve as an animal ambassador. In 2018, Addy was the hatchling they kept. She will remain at the Center until her release in 2021.

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Home at the Strand

Addy settled into her home at the Center’s Strand location right away and it wasn’t long before her unique personality started to shine. Weighing just 17g (under one pound, approximately the weight of a strawberry or a tablespoon of water) when she first arrived at the Center, Addy is now quite the heavyweight weighing in at 13,000kg (approximately 30 pounds). She quickly graduated from her 30 gallon tank to her current 800 gallon tank! A bit of an over achiever, Addy routinely reaches her milestones ahead of schedule despite her unsettling beginning. She has proven to outpace other hatchlings the Center has previously cared for and continues to impress her caretakers and visitors. She is very engaging and craves attention from staff and visitors. Addy continues to thrive and receives a healthy diet consisting of “seafood brownies” (think carrots, kale, and lots of seafood) and “sea turtle jello“ lovingly made by her caretakers, along with live feedings for enrichment. Blue crabs may be her favorite snack and she is currently eating 2% of her body weight. She is very excited to move to her new home where she’ll enjoy a sprawling 4,590 gallon tank!

Addy's Adventure

Addy’s Adventure is a fun, interactive journey and the final piece of our capital campaign.

She will soon embark on an adventure to her new home on the north end of the island, but she can’t make the adventure all on her own. Addy needs your help! Addy’s Adventure will begin at her current home at the Strand and will conclude at the Center’s new location on Meddin Drive. She has a total of 14,256 feet (2.7 miles) to travel and for every $100 donated to Addy’s Adventure, Addy will travel 10 feet towards her new home. While turtles are known to move slowly, we know she will get there quickly with your help! Please join Addy on her amazing adventure and be a part of her incredible story. Click below to make a donation and move Addy closer to her new home! Donations to Addy’s Adventure will go towards finishing the exhibits at the new Center.

Will You Help Addy Move to Her New Home?

Through the generosity of the City of Tybee Island, the W.C. Fleetwood Family Foundation, the Makel Family and Ikea Savannah Distribution Center, we have a beautiful new facility, almost an acre of land, and all the furnishings for the science center’s classrooms, operations, and gift shop. We are now focused on the final piece of this incredible new space: the exhibits, displays and nature-based play spaces that will bring the Tybee Island Marine Science Center to life.

Your donations will help us complete the displays and exhibits that will “Bring the Outside In” to provide an educational space for all, serving our community and visitors for generations to come. We invite you to leave your mark, to be a part of our story, and ultimately, a part of the Tybee Island Marine Science Center fabric by donating to Addy’s Adventure today. 

For every $10 donated to Addy’s Adventure, Addy will travel 1 foot towards her new home.

To get started, just click the “Donate Now” button to the right! 

A Special Gift to Our Donors

As a special gift, the first 143 donors that donate $100 or more will receive a one of a kind oyster shell by local artist Erica Denney of Catch of the Day Designs. These decorative oyster shells feature a loggerhead sea turtle commemorating Addy’s move to her new home. 

This special gift will be mailed to the first 143 donors donating $100 or more.  

About the Artist: Erica Denney, the owner and creative director behind Catch of the Day Designs, launched her business in 2020 in an effort to combine her love of art and ecological curiosities. Oyster art is her current focus, creating accent or decorative pieces out of shells, however, she has plans to expand into other artistic expressions in the future. You can find Erica’s beautiful pieces in select stores in coastal Georgia. For more information, visit Catch of the Day Designs on Facebook. 

Thank you, Addy's Supporters!

Meridian of Savannah, Allison McHugh, Julie Solt, Cheryl Lee, Linda Houdek, Betty, Steven Todd, Layla Mainella, Sandra Moreno, Jeff Brady, Gene Davis, Chris Stoeberman, Deborah Nicklas, Broughton Jolley, LeeAnn Christ, James Barrow, Leah Moore, Beth Sheffield, Charlotte Landon, Carol Nathan, Maria and Jerry Lancaster, Osborne Louis, Jennie Lacey, Carol Hosmer, Missy Rahman, Anne Delaney, Kristy Farmer, Emma Schultz, Doris Koch, Candice Roth, Dawn Lull, Austin Smith, Kim Colvin, Brady Webster 

Follow Addy's Progress

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Just for Fun...

Send Addy to a Friend

How it works:

Know someone who would love to hear from Addy? Brighten someone’s day with a personalized message from Addy! Simply fill out the form to the right and a message from Addy will be sent right to their inbox!

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July 2021
Back to the Ocean

Shortly after her third birthday next summer, Addy will be released into the Atlantic Ocean for what will perhaps be her greatest adventure of all. As that time nears, the Tybee Island Marine Science Center will announce the details prior to that great event.

Here's How to Contact Us

Tybee Island Marine Science Foundation Board of Trustees:
Cathy J. Sakas – – President 
Michael J. Neal, Captain – – Vice President
Jeanne M. Hutton – – Secretary
Nancy K. Daves – – Treasurer
Lane A. Johnson, Esq. –
David D. Makel, Ph.D. –
Carol J. Pride, Ph.D. –
Karen Robertson –
Kathryn Williams –
Honorary Capital Campaign Co-Chairs:
Helen D. Downing –
Zelda Tenenbaum –
Linda K. Zoller –

Maria Procopio
Executive Director

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