For every turtle you find, a treasure trove follows behind.

Meredith V, Allyssia B

Turtle Trove is an iPhone app created in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to help locate and rescue injured sea turtles that wash onto shore. Three key features include: using real-time GPS location markers, automatic email services within the app, and the ability to send a picture of the turtle’s situation directly from the app. Turtle Trove simplifies the reporting and rescue process of these endangered animals with its streamlined communication features and user-friendly interface.

When sea turtles are ready to nest upon the shore, there are often various dangers that are likely to come across. Some of these instances include: being hit and injured by boats, becoming tangled into fishing lines, or ingesting synthetic materials disposed in the sea. While there are organizations available to call and report these turtles so they can be rescued, it is difficult to accurately describe the location and situation of the turtle is over the phone. These communication issues result in wasted time that could have been used to save the turtle’s life.

Turtle Trove attempts to simplify and expedite the stranded turtle reporting process in order to save more of these endangered animals. The app displays a customizable map that shows your current location, including accurate GPS coordinates, and allows users to directly contact and send pictures of the situation to representatives of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources who rescue injured sea turtles and send pictures of the situation. The app also includes instructions on what to do when users come across a stranded sea turtle to ensure that the best course of action is taken.

The most difficult issue we came across was navigating and learning the Swift environment. Over the course of two weeks, we spent about 3 days just teaching ourselves how to navigate the storyboard interface due to the fact that we were not equipped with a device that could properly run Xcode. Once we were given the equipment we needed to pursue our project, we spent another one to two days learning how to code in the Swift coding language. We’ve had so many complications alongside just learning how to navigate and use Swift and Xcode; we’ve often found ourselves restarting the same code and project over and over because our previous projects were often corrupted or not debuggable. Over the course of our project time, we often looked up various errors and youtube tutorials how to fix the errors. Debugging our code was the most time consuming overall aspect of our project, but we’ve learned and gained so much from a developer’s point of view from this final project.

Meredith is a rising high school senior. After living less than fifteen minutes from the beach, she had the opportunity to learn about and see firsthand the rehabilitation of stranded or injured sea turtles. She was excited to combine her passion for computer science with her love of her community and environment.

Allyssia is also a rising high school senior. Her passion for computer science has tremendously grown through the years ever since she began coding in the sixth grade. She grew up in the Philippines and always spent her time at the beach watching the different marine life swimming around her.

This project was made by Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program students at AOL.