Bitterroot Audubon is hosting a special program on the “Plight of Sea Turtles,” Monday, Nov. 20, at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, north of Stevensville.

Nationally recognized wildlife glass artist Kathleen Sheard will present information on the crises sea turtles face around the world and her effort to aid in their conservation. She will bring pieces of the “Cycle of Life” sculpture, a new conservation cast glass sea turtle, and other turtle artwork.

Sheard said she is “a mountain woman and wildlife advocate with an ocean soul.” Her interest in sea turtles began in the early 2000s when she discovered that all sea turtles are threatened or endangered and that their habitats are being destroyed by pollution and other careless and destructive actions by humans.

In 2008, Sheard began volunteering at “Alligator Point Sea Turtle Patrol” in Florida to help sea turtles after eggs in their nests drowned due to tropical storms in 2009, and habitats were ruined after the BP Gulf Oil Spill in 2010.

As an artist, she began to create a multi-medium conservation sculpture entitled “Cycle of Life: Sea Turtle Glass Sculpture – Environmental Art Education Project.”

Sheard said the “Cycle of Life” display, now complete, includes a cast glass sculpture of a “life-sized mother loggerhead sea turtle, a fused and slumped sea turtle nest with cast eggs and hatchlings of all seven sea turtles species, fused glass oil sludge sections, plastic and other debris.”

Her goal is to have the sculpture displayed in a non-profit sea turtle facility, whose objective is to teach about marine conservation.

Sheard will bring glass sea turtles for sale and will accept donations to raise funds for this project.

Learn more at the Bitterroot Audubon presentation at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 20, at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, north of Stevensville on Wildfowl Lane. The public is invited. Contact Kay Fulton, 360-8664, for more information.

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