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This is Christine

Christine is a marine conservation biologist who took part in setting the global anti-plastic movement in motion while fighting for the survival and protection of sea turtles. 

She is working on the ground to protect nesting sea turtles and their eggs from people who steal and sell them. She also studies the migratory behavior of sea turtles out at sea to better understand their biology.

With your help

Christine can get local assistants and much-needed equipment and tools to keep nesting sea turtles and their babies safe and learn more about their behavior out at sea.

Awards & features:

Nat Geo logoNew York Times logoTime Magazine logoBBC logo
Profile picure of Christine Figgener

Manzanillo, Costa Rica

Nāmaka Conservation Science

Christine Figgener

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Awards & features:

Nat Geo logoNew York Times logoTime Magazine logoBBC logo

Why care

Only about 1 out of 1000 baby sea turtles make it to adulthood. The ones that make it risk becoming fishing bycatch and getting poached for their eggs, meat, and shells. If they still manage to survive, they are threatened by yet another thing – plastic pollution.

Christine Figgener [object Object],[object Object]

The work

Christine is a marine biologist dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles.

  • Christine works to increase the number of adult sea turtles by decreasing the number of turtles dying and ensuring more sea turtle babies survive.

  • To do this, Christine works on beaches to protect nesting mothers and their eggs from poachers and other human disturbances.

  • She also identifies areas in the ocean that are important for sea turtles for feeding. By tracking them with satellite transmitters, she can see where they go after they have nested. After that, she maps the areas to know where to focus protection efforts.

  • She organizes beach cleanups with local communities to remove plastic pollution that clutters sea turtle nesting beaches.


  • Found a plastic straw in a sea turtle’s nose and filmed the removal of it. The video went viral on social media and became a catalyst for global anti-plastic movements.

  • She was a finalist for “Texan of the year” by the Dallas Morning News.

  • 2019 Texas Sea Grant Inspire to Influence Award.

  • Established a new hawksbill turtle conservation and research project on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

Sustainable development goals
SDG 14 Life Below Water
SDG 13 Climate Action

The mission

Christine is on a mission to protect adult turtles and their offspring from poaching and fisheries bycatch to maintain viable reproducing populations and conserve the species for the future. All that while also convincing people to reduce their use of plastic to help sea turtles.

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