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Turning the Tide

by Sally R. Murphy

Turning the Tide chronicles the creation of South Carolina’s sea turtle program, the evolution of the International Sea Turtle Society and the ACE Basin, and documents the decades-long battle for use of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) to protect sea turtles. Filled with stories, both funny and sad, Turning the Tide describes one woman’s triumphs, both personal and professional, against tough odds.

Hardcover, Environment

$22.36

Turning the Tide chronicles the creation of South Carolina's sea turtle program, the evolution of the International Sea Turtle Society and the ACE Basin, and documents the decades-long battle for use of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) to protect sea turtles. Filled with stories, both funny and sad, Turning the Tide describes one woman’s triumphs, both personal and professional, against tough odds.

About the Author

sally murphy headshot

Sally R. Murphy grew up on the Vernon River, south of Savannah, Georgia. Childhood activities there instilled in her a love of nature. In college and graduate school this love blossomed, and after graduation she took a job with the South Carolina Wildlife Department. As their first Environmental Education Specialist, she traveled the state from mountains to the sea working to inspire teachers and students about conservation.   A transfer to Charleston began her career as the sea turtle coordinator for the state. By land, sea and air, she created the program that exists today, including the volunteer nest protection projects, and the sea turtle and marine mammal stranding networks. As co-leader of the first U.S. Recovery Team and member of WIDCAST, she traveled widely to gain knowledge of other cultures. She was involved with other endangered species conservation efforts and worked with eagles and alligators. Turning the Tide chronicles the creation of South Carolina’s sea turtle program, the evolution of the International Sea Turtle Society and the ACE Basin, and documents the decades-long battle for use of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) to protect sea turtles. Filled with stories, both funny and sad, Turning the Tide describes one woman’s triumphs, both personal and professional, against tough odds.

Sally Murphy received a AA (‘63) and BS (’68) degree in Biology from Armstrong State College in Savannah, Georgia, and a MS (’73) in Biology from the University of South Carolina and was hired by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources in 1973 as their first Environmental Education Specialist. She worked for 30 years as a wildlife biologist in the SCDNR.

Her main responsibilities were to develop a comprehensive sea turtle program including research, monitoring, management and public outreach, resulting in numerous peer reviewed publications, symposium presentations and reports. She coordinated both the sea turtle (1980 – 2006) and the marine mammal (1991- 2003) stranding networks in South Carolina. She was Co-Leader of the U.S. Sea Turtle Recovery Team from 1979-1989, member of the U.S. Loggerhead/Green Turtle Recovery Team from 1989 to 1991, member of WIDECAST (Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Recovery Team and Network from 1984-86, member of the Turtle Expert Wording Group (TEWG) from 1996 – 2000 and a member of the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG). She has served on the Protected Species Committee for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and on the Protected Resources Advisory Panel of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the Advisory Committee for the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation, Pew Charitable Trusts, from 1996-98 and as Adjunct Faculty member at University of Charleston. She retired from the DNR in July 2006. She was a member of the Beaufort County Rural and Critical Land Preservation Board from 2004-2005, served on the South Carolina Aquarium Animal Care Committee and is currently serving on the Beaufort County Historical Preservation Review Board. In 2012 she was recognized as an “Armstrong Notable” by Armstrong State University. In 2018, Sally received the “Hall of Fame” award from the Southeastern Regional Sea Turtle Network.

Advance Praise

“Sally Murphy’s memoir, Turning the Tide, is a priceless record of a heroic battle for nature, led by one of South Carolina’s foremost conservationists.  The stories are compelling, funny and inspiring.  They are proof, if there is any doubt, that one person can change the course of history, and that there is hope for the future of the wildlife on our human-dominated planet.”
—Dana Beach, Founder and Executive Director Emeritus, Coastal Conservation League.

 

“Sally Murphy is a pioneering woman with nerves of steel and a heart of gold. When her passion for protecting animals and nature took her into danger, and when people scorned her for it, Sally rocked on. And for that, Sally deserves our thanks. She’s a role model and a beacon. And this story is very much here own.”
—Carl Safina, author of Voyage of the Turtle and A Sea in Flames.

 

“Sally Hopkins Murphy is the premier sea turtle authority of South Carolina and she has influenced sea turtle conservation nationally and internationally. Her memoir, Turning the Tide, chronicles with accurate, even astonishing detail her long history of struggles and triumphs–personal and professional–in a life dedicated to science and sea turtles.
—New York Times Bestselling Author Mary Alice Monroe