Jeff McClary, co-founder of the S.C.U.T.E. sea turtle protection project. (1994 photo)

It is with great sadness that we let you know of the passing of our leader and beloved friend, Jeff McClary, co-founder and SCUTE Coordinator. Jeff, an electrician and his friend Chris Marlowe, a plumber, were asked by SCDNR’s Sally Murphy to start the turtle protection project for the north coast in the late 1980s. Their program grew from a handful of volunteers to what it is today. Jeff directly or indirectly trained all of us volunteers and leaves behind a wonderful legacy and a species making a comeback. He worked tirelessly and mostly at his own expense to do whatever it took to protect sea turtles. We all owe Jeff and Chris a great deal of gratitude. Jeff’s passing leaves a tremendous void but we will carry on the work he started in his memory. He certainly left this world a better place than he found it.

A celebration of Jeff’s life will take place on the beach Saturday, May 6 with a rain date of May 7th. The symbolism here is the beginning of the new turtle season. A location will be announced this week.