Turtle volunteer McClary receives National DAR award
The Theodosia Burr Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) presented Jeff McClary with the NSDAR Conservation Award and Medal at the chapter’s Dec. 10 meeting at Pine Lakes Country Club. South Carolina DAR State Regent Dianne Culbertson presented the medal and SCDAR State Chair of Conservation Janet Rockey presented the Certificate from the National Conservation Committee of the Daughters of the American Revolution.|
McClary was recognized for more than 30 years of work as a volunteer to benefit sea turtle conservation. McClary and his friend, the late Chris Marlowe, worked successfully to get the first law passed in South Carolina to protect sea turtles, establishing the “lights out” policy in nesting areas during turtle season. Together they organized and trained the cadre of volunteers who now walk the beaches every day during the spring and summer looking for evidence of sea turtle nests. The volunteers keep meticulous records for each nest and provide protection for the nests as needed. The two men named their organization South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts. The acronym SCUTE is also the word used to describe the design pattern on the shell of a turtle. Each species has a different scute by which it is identified.
McClary has trained and mentored volunteers along the coast since 1982. He paid tribute to Marlowe in his acceptance remarks and Marlowe’s widow was presented with a corsage from the chapter. Ten SCUTE volunteers attended the awards ceremony to honor McClary.
Honorary Chapter Regent Margie Wolfe, the chapter’s current Conservation Chair and also a SCUTE volunteer, introduced McClary and told of his hands-on work in protecting sea turtle nests and young hatchlings as they make their way to the sea. McClary also does sea turtle rescue duty and transports injured beached turtles to the sea turtle hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston. Those in attendance gave McClary a standing ovation for his outstanding work and well-deserved National Award.