It’s beyond a shadow of a doubt that our ocean’s sea turtles are facing more threats in today’s world than ever before. From plastics in the ocean to ghost fishing gear to light pollution, countless threats are ultimately facing these animals on a daily basis.
The most alarming part? The cause behind the vast majority of these threats have one common thread: us. At the end of the day, an astounding number of dangers facing sea turtles today are anthropogenic, or human-induced. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
At Ocean Conservancy, we’re committed to doing all we can to help ensure that wildlife like sea turtles have their best chance at survival. We also realize that it can seem to be a pretty daunting task to ‘help save the sea turtles’…at least at first glance. Sound like a thought that’s run through your head? We’ve got some great news.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to be a marine scientist or policy expert to help turn the tide for sea turtles. This World Sea Turtle Day, take action with us to help sea turtles see a better tomorrow. If we can grow and change over time, step by step…if we can evolve to help these animals survive…we can ensure they don’t become animals that children only read about in books.
It’s a simple, 6-step, foolproof recipe for getting started in taking a stand for sea turtles:
Educate, Vocalize, Observe, Lessen waste, Volunteer, and Encourage.
Educate yourself and others on the biggest issues sea turtle species are facing today. The best way to help sea turtles is to know what their greatest dangers currently are and what you can do to help combat them, so read up on your turtle content over on our website and blog. Whether it’s marine debris, climate change or habitat loss, knowledge is power, and knowing what the issues are is the first step toward protecting these animals.
This kind of speaking up goes for your local leaders, too: if you feel your representative may not be making the best decisions when it comes to preserving sea turtle habitats and ecosystems, don’t be afraid to write to them. Remember, nothing changes if you don’t share your concerns.
It’s up to all of us to keep an eye out for sea turtles. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you notice something occurring that has the potential to cause them harm; if you see beachgoers wandering too close to a sea turtle or nesting site, politely explain to them the ‘100-yard’ rule. If you see a turtle that is injured or in need of help, call the professionals instead of trying to save it yourself. This will ensure the animal’s best shot at survival.
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Marine debris is without a doubt one of the greatest dangers facing sea turtles today, and there are lots of small changes you can make to lessen your negative impact on their homes. Whenever you can, opt for reusable alternatives to single-use products, and pick up any trash you see while outdoors. These may seem like small changes, but lots of people doing little things adds up to a huge impact!
We’d be totally remiss if we didn’t mention this one: volunteering is one of the best ways to get actively involved in marine conservation initiatives for animals like sea turtles! Sign up for our annual International Coastal Cleanup, or get in touch with your marine life center, aquarium or advocacy center.
Share your passion for saving sea turtles with the world! Nothing changes if we don’t advocate for change, so encourage your friends, family and community to play their part. Share updates on sea turtles from Ocean Conservancy’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages, and let others know all that they really can do to help these animals. We’ve even got a free, shareable infographic you can download to help spread the word sea turtle advocacy! If we can help push others to get inspired and get moving on sea turtle initiatives, we can turn the tide and make sure sea turtles have a future that is protected and thriving.