Happy World Turtle Day! It’s been celebrated on May 23 of each year since 2000. It’s sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue and brings awareness to how we can help preserve the populations of these gentle guys. TedEd has a video here that shows the journey of the sea turtle from egg to adulthood, and how difficult it is for sea turtles to survive long enough to create more baby sea turtles. Sea turtles are one of my favorite animals. Spotting them swimming along the shoreline seemed to be my sole mission last time I went to Hawaii, and I hope they’re around to enjoy for many generations to come. The Sea Turtle Conservancy has many suggestions to help our sea turtles, and I thought I’d share a few:
- Recycle and buy sustainable products. Ocean debris (like plastic bags, balloons, netting, and containers) looks like food, and turtles try to eat it. There’s several “garbage patches” in the ocean, with some as large as Texas. National Geographic discusses this growing problem in more detail here.
- Try walking, biking, carpooling, or taking public transportation. Replacing some or all of your commutes with something that uses less gasoline can help reduce our overall use, and therefore decrease demand for drilling in marine areas.
- Haul out what you haul in to the beach. Leftovers can attract raccoons and other animals that pray on sea turtles and their eggs.
- Use biodegradable lawn and garden produces to reduce the amount of toxins that make it to our water supplies.
- Enjoy turtles (and other endangered animals) from a distance. As tempting as it can be to approach these gentle giants, many animals are easily scared away from nesting and resting grounds.