As 2019 comes to end, we at Turtle Island Restoration Network hope you know how much we appreciate your support. We are a small organization, so it’s only with people like you by our side that we are able to leverage and amplify our voice — to make those in power listen and take action. When you sign an action alert or make a donation, you are taking a critical step to protect our planet and all the animals and others who depend on healthy ecosystems to survive. We can’t do it without you!
VICTORY! Council Votes Against Opening New Longline Fishery off California
We won! Because of you, the agency responsible for proposing fishery regulations in U.S. waters voted to NOT open a new longline fishery in the Pacific Ocean. This is a big win for our oceans and all marine wildlife, and it was not possible without your support! Turtle Island Restoration Network attended the Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Costa Mesa, California — where your government considered opening a new longline fishery in the Pacific Ocean. We stood proudly with environmental activists, eco-tourists, recreational fishermen, divers, surfers, animal lovers, ocean enthusiasts, and more to demand the council say NO to opening up this deadly fishing practice off California.
First Cold-Stunned Turtles of the Season Rescued
Our team in the Gulf of Mexico saw the first cold stunned sea turtles of the season mid-November. When the water temperature drops drastically and rapidly, juvenile green sea turtles that have been foraging in the bays cannot find their way out to warmer water. As cold blooded reptiles, they rely on the surrounding temperatures to maintain their body temperature and will act very lethargic when too cold. They might be found floating or washed up on shore and are susceptible to boat strikes, predation, pneumonia and death. If you find any along the coast, please call your local animal rescue hotline for instructions. Thank you Justin Williams for assisting and sending in photos!
Groups Renew Push for Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban
Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Galveston Chapter of Surfrider Foundation unveiled new signs in November that showcase the Bring the Bag campaign and remind customers to bring their reusable bags when grocery shopping to reduce single-use plastic bags in the environment. The program aims to eliminate waste from single-use plastic bags in Galveston, despite a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court in 2018 that declared it a violation of state law for local governments to impose bans on plastic bags. We're hoping to install the signs in other places around Galveston Island to prevent a source of single-use plastic from entering our ocean.
Ask Congress to do the RIGHT Thing for Right Whales
North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialisare) are dangerously close to extinction. There are less than 400 individuals remaining on earth, and only 95 are reproductively active females. In order to prevent extinction we must work to recover these numbers and halt any actions that lead to right whale mortality. Right now, the U.S. Senate has the opportunity to prevent extinction by supporting bipartisan legislation that seeks to target and alleviate the main threats to right whales—entanglement in fishing gear and ship strikes—before it’s too late. Ask your Senators to vote in favor of SAVE Right Whales Act.
Shop to Support: A New Way to Help Save Species
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our online store! Shark shirts, turtle hats, and many other delightful items are available now for purchase on our website. All proceeds will directly support our species-saving campaigns around the globe. As lovers of nature, we believe it's vital to consider the environmental quality and impact of the products we buy, which is why every item in the store was carefully selected to adhere to our own eco-conscious standards. Make it a green holiday season and give the gift of our planet's future!
Photo by Harry McGrath
PHOTOS: Endangered California Freshwater Shrimp
In late October, Turtle Island Restoration Network used visual observation and underwater cameras to record endangered California freshwater shrimp using habitats specifically designed for them, which could be the first time! Our recently completed restoration project along a one-mile stretch of Northern California's Lagunitas Creek was designed to improve habitat for a myriad of wildlife species, including these 10-legged crustaceans. Click here to see our photos of California freshwater shrimp in Lagunitas Creek.
TIRN Nominated as Best Nonprofit Organization
Turtle Island Restoration Network is excited to announce we are a final nominee in Galveston.com's Best of the Island 2019 awards! Voting has already started and will continue through December 31. Our office in Galveston, Texas protects and restores populations of endangered sea turtles and marine biodiversity on the Texas coast and throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and being a finalist in the Best Non-Profit Organization category is a significant distinction we are so honored to receive.
Second Ghost Town Transformed to Salmon Habitat
In October, our California-based initiative that is dedicated to protecting endangered coho salmon completed the second phase of our floodplain and riparian restoration project at the ghost town of Jewell in Northern California. The project is re-creating floodplain wetlands along Lagunitas Creek to help recover key populations of endangered Central California Coast coho salmon and other threatened species.
Second Annual Texas Plastic Pollution Symposium
Turtle Island Restoration Network joined the EPA, NOAA's Marine Debris program, local and state government, as well as several universities, NGOs, and students at the second annual Texas Plastic Pollution Symposium. We had great representation across the state on efforts to reduce plastics from entering our oceans, restrictions in place for local government due to legislation at the state level, and multiple studies of entanglement and ingestion of plastic and wildlife. The general consensus couldn't be more clear: plastic is killing our wildlife–and although the depth may not be known–it is impacting human health.