Winter Outdoor Wildlife Expo WOWE
Fri - Sat, Jan. 24-25, 2014
The Turtle Lady Legacy welcomed many interested visitors who stopped by its exhibit recently at the Winter Outdoor Wildlife Expo in South Padre Island, Texas to learn more about Ila Loetscher and all that she had done in marine conservation.

In addition to answering questions and handing out sea turtle decals, Mary Ann Tous also gave a brief slide show presentation entitled "The Fruits of Ila's Labors: 50 Years Later" which illustrated what a dramatic impact that Ila had on sea turtle survival in the Gulf region.

For us, it was a privilege to participate in the expo and we thank all of our volunteers as well as everyone who donated services and/or items for the booth.

Mary Ann Tous at the WOWE Expo in SPI in January 2014

he Turtle Lady Legacy is a non-profit organization which is committed to continuing the work of Ila Loetscher and memorializing her historic efforts to save the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle from extinction. Founded by Ila's niece Mary Ann Tous in 2005, the goals of The Turtle Lady Legacy are twofold. 

The first goal is to spread awareness about the importance of sea turtle conservation through educational  programs and events while the other goal is to create a lasting tribute to Ila's historically significant life.  The collection of her journals, correspondence, recognitions, and many other items has never before been available to the general public and it is our mission to share it with the world.

So, we welcome you to our website which is dedicated to the work of a remarkable woman who has left a significant impact on our world and we also hope to share how we at the Turtle Lady Legacy strive to keep the flame of her passion burning ever bright.

Turtle Lady Legacy Logo

In Honor of Ila Loetscher,
the Turtle Lady
of South Padre Island

Ila Loetscher with a flippered friend


Whereas Ila was the original founder of Sea Turtle Inc., The Turtle Lady Legacy is not affiliated with the organization and relies solely on donations in order to continue the programs which we provide for the public without charge.


The Turtle Lady Legacy is now an Approved Partner of the:
 Texas Master Naturalist Program

Texas Master Naturalist Rio Grande Valley Chapter Logo

For more information about this extraordinary organization, click here

Remembering Ila:
Answering the question "What was Ila like in person?"

My first memory of South Padre Island is when I was about six years
old. As I opened the car door I knew I was in a remarkable place.
I remember...

When Democrats and Republicans can rarely see eye-to-eye on any issue, we are happy to report that when it comes to recognizing the importance of the Kemp's ridley sea turtle in Texas, they are in total agreement. On May 10, 2013, the Texas Senate voted unanimously to approve Bill HCR 31 which designates the Kemp's ridley sea turtle as the official state sea turtle of texas.

Ila's Impact on Sea Turtle Conservation Featured in Texas Now Magazine

In their May 2013 issue , Texas Now Magazine published the first of a two-part series about Ila and her work with sea turtle conservation. So far we understand that the articles are generating a great deal of renewed interest in Ila and the sea turtles to whom she helped rescue from extinction.
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Web design by J. Del Vecchio
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