June 16 - World Sea Turtle Day

Posted on June 16, 2018

There are so many things we can talk about on a day like World Sea Turtle Day. What these marine reptiles look like, how they behave, where they live, what they eat, dangers they face...

That last one is depressing, because pretty much all animals face as their #1 enemy...US! We humans endanger most of the critters on this planet through our land-grabbing, pollution-spewing, climate-changing agriculture and industry.

Here are some specific human-caused problems endangered sea turtles face:

Hunting - people kill them for eggs, meat, skin, and shells
Beach erosion and beach activities - since sea turtles lay their eggs on beaches, and eventually sea turtle hatchlings cross the beaches to get to the water, what we do to and on beaches really matters!

  • Watch for and follow signs telling you to stay away from certain portions of the beach.
  • Fill in any holes you make at the beach.
  • Remove obstacles like beach chairs, toys, and trash.
  • Follow lighting guidelines.
  • Don't mess with eggs or hatchlings. Yeah, I get it - I know that they're cute - but they're also endangered. They need us to leave them alone more than we need to EACH have our own personal photos of hatchlings.

Bright lights - baby sea turtles are programmed by evolution to crawl toward a bright light, since the only bright light in the night sky waaaaaay back when they evolved was the moon; artificial lights often confuse hatchlings into crawling towards streets and stores.

Floating plastic bags and other trash - leatherback turtles eat mostly jellyfish - and unfortunately cannot tell the difference between a plastic bag and a jelly!

If you live near a beach, there is a lot you can do to help sea turtles. If you live inland, you can still send money to the World Wildlife Fund or some other organization.

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