Kris Williams, Director of Caretta Research Project, Featured Speaker at Feb. 16 Ocean Plaza Beach Resort Coastal Ecology Dinner Lecture Series


(TYBEE ISLAND, GA) Kris Williams, director of the Caretta Research Project, will be the featured speaker at this month’s Ocean Plaza Beach Resort Coastal Ecology Dinner Lecture Series, Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. at the hotel’s Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant. Williams will present a lecture entitled, “Why Is the Sea Turtle Population Dwindling?” The lecture will be preceded by a wine and cheese reception at 6 p.m. in the Dolphin Reef Bar, and dinner will be served in the Dolphin Reef main dining room at 6:30 p.m. The standard Dolphin Reef dinner menu will be offered. To RSVP, please call 912-786-7777.

The lecture will also be livestreamed at

The Caretta Research Project is a hands-on research, conservation and education program that has been protecting the nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) on Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge since 1973. Each year, for 16 weeks during the summer, groups of volunteers travel to the beaches of Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge to help monitor egg-laying and hatching activity and to collect data on the loggerhead turtles.

During her lecture, Williams will discuss the four types of turtles that can be found in and around Georgia, why their populations are dwindling, and what she and her team are doing to help.
About the Coastal Ecology Dinner Lecture Series
Created by Ocean Plaza Beach Resort Innkeeper Harry Spirides, the Coastal Ecology Dinner Lecture Series is held at the resort’s Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant on the third Thursday of every month and is open to the public. The multimedia lectures, which feature topics pertaining to coastal ecology, are presented by distinguished experts in the field but given in terminology everyone can understand. There is no entry fee or cover charge to attend the presentations. The lectures are preceded by a wine and cheese reception at 6 p.m. in the Dolphin Reef Bar, and the standard dinner menu is served in the Dolphin Reef main dining room at 6:30 p.m. for those attending who are hungry. The Coastal Ecology Lectures begin at 7 p.m. and last for approximately 45 minutes, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer period.

Spirides created the lecture series after noticing that many of the hotel’s customers, who come from distant inland areas such as North Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and beyond, have expressed an interest to not only explore Tybee Island and to see, touch, hear, and smell the natural habitat and see native wildlife, but also to be educated and learn all about the area’s living species and ecosystems. To meet that need, Spirides asked relevant organizations in the area such as the Skidaway Island Institute of Oceanography and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary if they would be interested in presenting monthly lectures on topics related to coastal ecology. They gladly accepted his invitation. 

Spirides is a former U.S. Coast Guard officer who patrolled Georgia’s coastline and waterways for several years while on duty. He says it was during those many excursions that he developed a deep appreciation and fondness for the Georgia coast’s vast expanses of undeveloped, pristine natural habitats and the species that live there. 

“Our Coastal Ecology Dinner Lectures embrace Tybee Island’s surrounding natural geography and ecology and offer a unique educational experience to our community and its visitors while engaging and spotlighting various organizations that are out there every day doing a lot of hard work for the preservation of our ecosystems and yet receive very little attention and diminishing funding,” Spirides said.

The first lecture was held this past November and was presented by Dr. Marc Frischer of the Skidaway Island Institute of Oceanography. Dr. Frischer’s presentation outlined his extensive efforts to monitor the effect of climate change on the marine ecosystems of the oceans and the melting of the polar ice caps as documented extensively by him at Barrow, Alaska. The second lecture was given by Dr. George Sedberry of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Dr. Sedberry’s topic was “Coral Habitats Off Georgia and Adjacent States: Exploration, Fisheries and Conservation.”  

About the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort
Whether it’s for weddings, business and association meetings, or family vacations, the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort is the perfect venue and offers a variety of packages and specials to choose from. Ocean Plaza’s award-winning restaurant, the Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

There has been a resort hotel continuously operating on the Ocean Plaza Resort property for more than 120 years. The property is located on Tybee Island at 15th Street and oceanfront, about 20 minutes east of historic downtown Savannah. For more information on the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort, call 912-786-7777, email or visit .

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