One Blue Heart: Giving Heart and Hope to Turtle Conservation



STARTS On 16 February 2023 a one-of its kind blue carpet gala event, One Blue Heart, was held at the One&Only at the V&A Waterfront in aid of the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation’s Turtle Conservation Centre.


One of the patients at the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation’s Turtle Conservation Centre receiving treatment.

Photo credits to Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation



The evening, curated by The Good Machine, was dedicated to raising funds to realise the Two Oceans Aquarium Turtle Conservation Centre’s long-term vision of expanding its facility to include a stand-alone multimillion Rand wildlife hospital, like none other in Africa and to give heart and hope to the dedicated team who care for hundreds of endangered turtles every year.


I am motivated by the vision of the Turtle Conservation Centre. It will be a centre of learning, an example of rehabilitation excellence and an embodiment of hope. One Blue Heart was a fundamental step forward towards making our dream come to life”

said Talitha Noble, the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation Turtle Conservation Centre Manager.


The importance of zero-waste, conscious fashion and art, and showcasing sustainability were all central to the theme of the One Blue Heart evening.


Zero-waste for conscious living


Sustainability was the name of the game as One Blue Heart delivered on the promise of curating an evening dedicated to conscious choices at every facet of the event. This blue carpet event showcased conscious living as a possibility and a must for the future of a healthy ocean.


Guests fully embraced the conscious living message as they arrived bedecked in glamorous slow-fashion, centred around sustainability, creativity, and expression. Appetites were satisfied by a delicious three-course zero-waste dinner consciously curated by the One&Only Cape Town's Chef Jacques Swart. Art by Wilson Ngoni, Dylan McGarry, Robert Rorich, the artist collective Ardmore, Janet Osmond, Elke Knabel and Bob the Turtle was on show for guests to delight in and purchase. The fundraising aim of the night was punctuated by an auction, offering the guests an opportunity to bid on selected pieces which represented ‘artwork for a cause’. Zolani Mahola, The One Who Sings awed guests with her soulful voice and Pulitzer Prize winner Dele Olejede captivated them with his words. Zandile Ndhlovu, the Black Mermaid, held the evening together in ceremony and flow.


These choices reflect the event's mission to protect marine life and create awareness about the importance of conservation.


Ann Lamont, Chairperson of the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, brought the message home in her address to the guests:

“The reason this evening is about zero waste is because we do not only want to work at the end result – turtles plastic ingestion and other human caused injury. It is fundamental to work at the system and the consciousness that we all have”.

Afterall, the ocean is the planet’s blue heart and without it there would be no life.


Fabulous, but why? One Blue Heart in aid of turtle conservation


In 2018 the Two Oceans Aquarium established the non-profit, public benefit Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation to expand its work as a key player in marine education, conservation, and research. One of the Foundation’s flagship activities is the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of endangered sea turtles that strand on our shores.


These vulnerable animals are often in a weak condition, have severe injuries, and need medical attention and long-term care. Since its inception, the Two Oceans Aquarium has rehabilitated and released over 1000 turtles - more than half of these have been in the last four years under the care of the Two Ocean Aquarium Foundation Turtle Conservation Centre.


Today, all seven species of sea turtles are endangered or critically endangered as a result of human activities. Plastic pollution in the ocean is one of the biggest threats facing all sea turtles. However, through the resilience, perseverance and determination shown during their rehabilitation journeys, turtles bring stories of hope. They show that humans can make a difference by caring enough to rescue stranded turtles, but more so by caring enough to be environmentally responsible and to become change agents in ensuring the future of our oceans. At the Turtle Conservation Centre these turtles are known as “Ambassadors of Hope”.


One of the Ambassadors of Hope turtles captured the hearts of the public – Bob, the green turtle, overcame the odds after spending eight years in rehabilitation and finally returned to his wild home in February this year. His message of hope was brought home at One Blue Heart, with the auction of one of his artworks created during his rehabilitation as an environmental enrichment activity.


Through Bob’s story and those of other turtles, public awareness around the plight of turtles in South African waters has grown significantly. This is illustrated by the expansion of the Turtle Rescue Network along the coast – people actively looking out for stranded and injured turtles and bringing them to the Turtle Conservation Centre for help. Due to this incredible public initiative, the Centre has become overwhelmed with the number of turtles needing care.


With an aim of providing world class care to the turtles, the long-term vision for the Turtle Conservation Centre is to build a stand-alone, state-of-the-art facility – a showcase of world class turtle rehabilitation. This ground-breaking facility in the V&A Waterfront will not only provide increased space for turtle rehabilitation but will also enable the public to witness first-hand the rehabilitation efforts, to learn more about turtles and the dangers they face, and to meet some of the Ambassadors of Hope. This multimillion Rand project will be a marine wildlife hospital unlike any other on the African continent. is an award-winning Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising Company (with Influence) est. 2015, with a global reach of over 1 million

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