This month, Turtle Island Restoration Network has been busy with one of the many ways we protect endangered marine species—legal action. Our strategic litigation and advocacy campaigns enforce stronger protections for endangered species and their habitat. Read the updates below for our many current campaigns. And, if you can, please make a contribution to support our fight — in and out of court — to defend our endangered species protections and our ocean.
TIRN Wins Protections for Humpback Habitat
The federal government proposed a new rule in September to designate 302,961 square nautical miles in the Pacific Ocean as critical habitat for endangered humpback whales. The move could help protect migrating whales from ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, and oil spills. The announcement by the National Marine Fisheries Service follows a court-approved agreement with Turtle Island Restoration Network, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Wishtoyo Foundation to issue new protections.
Photo by Philip Miller
Longline Fishery Considered off California Coast
The Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) will consider an amendment to our Fishery Management Plan which would authorize shallow set longline gear off the coast of California. Longline fishing methods set lines up to 60 miles long with thousands of hooks that catch and kill marine life indiscriminately. Off the West Coast, longlines have been responsible for killing myriad marine species as bycatch, including endangered or threatened populations of Pacific leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles, albatrosses, and sharks. Please sign our petition in opposition to the proposed California longline fishery.
Injured Kemp's Ridley Rescued from Fishing Line
In early October our Gulf team coordinated the rescue of a critically endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle that was found hooked and entangled in a mixture of fishing line, leaders and seaweed. One flipper was on the verge of falling off and another tightly wound with line. We ask anglers not to cut a line and release sea turtles accidentally hooked while fishing, as this situation is often the outcome. A huge thank you to Buddy Guindon of Katie’s Seafood who rescued the sea turtle that was transported to NOAA Fisheries for rehabilitation. It takes many hands to rescue injured sea turtles, and since they are critically endangered, every single sea turtle is crucial to the survival of the species.
TIRN Welcomes New Policy & Advocacy Manager!
TIRN is excited to welcome Annalisa Batanides Tuel to our team! Annalisa is an environmental attorney and policy analyst working to create holistic habitat uplift by focusing on imperiled marine and anadromous species. She loves her amazing husband and daughter, dancing in appropriate and inappropriate settings, chocolate, science fiction and fantasy books, long naps, and all animals except for spiders. Annalisa spent her first week diving head-first into all of our past, ongoing, and prospective legal and policy issues, and is looking forward to creating big wins for the world's oceans and marine wildlife!
Microplastics Program Launched in Galveston
Turtle Island Restoration Network officially launched our microplastics sampling program with local partner schools on the upper Texas coast. Students will be sampling monthly along our Galveston shore and will assist in counting and categorizing what is found. In October, we completed a nurdle patrol and found 409 nurdles along the wrack line. Stay tuned to see what kinds of microplastics were found in their samples!
Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day Highlights Why The Species Deserves to Live
Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day fell on October 15 this year, and environmental activists took to social media to raise awareness of the rapidly declining species. Less than 50 years ago, leatherback sea turtles—one of Earth’s largest living reptiles—were thriving in the world’s oceans. Today, the leatherback sea turtle is teetering on the edge of extinction. Global populations have decreased by 40 percent in the past three generations. The Eastern Pacific sub-population has been particularly hard hit, with a 97 percent decline in three generations. Click here to see why we think leatherbacks deserve to live!
October is California Redwoods Month
Last year, on October 1, California Governor Jerry Brown issued a proclamation declaring October to be California Redwoods Month. TIRN honors California's incredible state tree all year long through 10,000 Redwoods. With the help of our supporters and volunteers, we're fighting against climate change and restoring the habitat where these ancient species once thrived by planting 10,000 redwoods in the San Francisco Bay Area. Happy California Redwoods Month, indeed!
The US Senate Could Permanently Ban Offshore Drilling in Nearly all US Waters
The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to permanently ban offshore drilling in the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf of Mexico. Both bills passed and are on their way to the Senate. If passed, this legislation will be an incredible victory for marine wildlife and ocean ecosystems. Offshore drilling causes habitat destruction, ocean acidification, and oil spills, resulting in immense loss of wildlife and damage to coastal communities. We need your help to thwart President Trump’s plans for expanded offshore oil drilling. Will you email your Senators today and urge them to pass this critical legislation?
Galveston Art League Honors 'Turtles About Town'
Turtle Island Restoration Network's 'Turtles About Town' program was recently honored by the Galveston Art League as a program created by local organizations that use the visual arts to promote the preservation of our unique coastal environment. “[Turtles About Town] made me a lot more aware of the science behind what the Turtle Island Restoration Network does,” said Leroy Leflore who painted the turtle that sits in front of the Galveston Art League Gallery. “It’s just another example of an organization made up of grassroots people that makes an impact. I was kind of proud after going to the opening that I did the turtle. I felt like I was part of it all.”
Deep Dive with Special Guests: SOLD OUT
Imagine discussing ocean conservation issues with world-renowned researchers in one of the best places to dive in the world, or watching scientists tag endangered sharks to support groundbreaking research—these are some of the unique experiences offered on our Cocos Island Dive Expeditions. This December, several special guests will join our expedition to Cocos Island to conduct sea turtle and shark migration research that is supporting conservation efforts directly at the site. The expedition is officially SOLD OUT, but spots are available on our future expeditions. For more information about upcoming expeditions, please contact our trip leader Todd Steiner at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 663-8590 ext. 1.
TIRN Awarded 2019 Gold Seal of Transparency
Turtle Island Restoration Network was recently recognized for our transparency with a Gold Seal on our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile! In order to get the Gold Seal, we shared important information with the public using our profile on guidestar.org. Now our community members and potential donors can find in-depth information about our goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress. We’re shining a spotlight on the difference we help make in the world. Check out our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile and tell us what you think.