The Day was founded in 2000 by American Tortoises Rescue. This organization was founded in 1990 in Malibu for conserving turtle populations which surrounded the suburbs of the city. The purpose of World Turtle Day, May 23, sponsored yearly since 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue, is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive. Turtle Day is celebrated worldwide in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles or wearing green summer dresses, to saving turtles caught on highways, to research activities. Turtle Day lesson plans and craft projects encourage teaching about turtles in classrooms. In recent years World Turtle Day is celebrated also in countries where turtles do not live. People try to exclude from their menu dishes with turtles, and exclude from everyday life different household items from tortoiseshell.