Your monthly update from Turtle Island Restoration Network

August Newsletter

This year, Turtle Island Restoration Network is celebrating 30 years of fighting together for a blue-green planet. Today though, we're focusing on our future. Climate change, plastic pollution, and the dismantling of environmental protections continue to threaten marine species with extinction and affect human health. We're counting on you to stand with us in the historic fights ahead.

Suit Launched to Save Green Sea Turtle Habitat

Several environmental groups including Turtle Island Restoration Network filed a notice of intent to sue the federal government in August for failing to protect green sea turtle habitat, which faces threats from sea-level rise, plastic pollution and warming. “The Trump administration’s moral and legal attacks on our country’s greatest achievements extend all the way to the gentle and defenseless sea turtles that are guaranteed protection under the Endangered Species Act,” said Todd Steiner, biologist and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network.

Legal Petition Seeks Ban on Plastic Pollution From Petrochemical Plants

Turtle Island Restoration Network joined more than 270 community and conservation organizations to file a legal petition that demands the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopt strict new water-pollution limits for industrial plants that create plastic. Plastic plants discharged 128 million pounds of pollutants into U.S. waterways last year, their operators reported to the EPA ― including 77,859 pounds of the most toxic pollutants.

Despite U.S. Opposition, Mako Sharks Win Protections at International Wildlife Treaty Meeting

A total of 18 species of shark and ray, at risk due to the scale of international trade in their fins and meat, have been awarded key Appendix II protections by the 18th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The listing covers the endangered shortfin and longfin mako shark, along with six species of giant guitarfish and 10 species of wedgefish. The United States supported all but the mako shark listing.

All leatherback turtle populations are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Trump Administration Finalizes Rules to Weaken Endangered Species Act

The Trump administration finalized its sweeping rewrite of Endangered Species Act regulations earlier this month that undermine the conservation of threatened and endangered species. The Department of the Interior’s new regulations will eliminate key protections for threatened species, allow economic factors to be analyzed when deciding if a species should be listed, and much more. Over 99% of species protected by the Act—including all species of sea turtle—are still with us today, and hundreds more are on the path to recovery. 

Help Keep our Oceans Balloon-Free

Turtle Island Restoration Network has partnered with Galveston fishermen and local organizations in the Gulf of Mexico to start a 'balloon roundup' to raise awareness on the dangers of balloon releases. When balloons are released, they end up floating in the ocean where marine wildlife including sea turtles, whales, and sharks ingest them or become entangled in the ribbons. Help keep our oceans balloon-free by taking the pledge to never use balloons. Sea turtles, the ocean and future generations will thank you!

Work Begins to Improve Salmon Habitat on National Park Lands

Turtle Island Restoration Network's California-based initiative has officially started work on the second part of our floodplain restoration project along Lagunitas Creek in Northern California! This initiative, located at the abandoned town of Jewell on national parklands, builds off the successful first part of the project which occurred a mile downstream in 2018 and saw the removal of more than 13,000 cubic yards of dumped fill and abandoned structures from the ghost town of Tocaloma.

Green Sea Turtles Mistake Plastic for Food

Leatherbacks are not the only sea turtle species to eat plastic that resembles their jellyfish prey. New research from the University of Exeter has found strong evidence that green turtles in the eastern Mediterranean are more likely to swallow plastic that resembles their natural diet of sea grass. Of the 34 turtles examined, the scientists were able to examine the full gastrointestinal tracts of 19. All of these turtles contained plastic, with the number of pieces ranging from three to 183.

5 Ways to Save Sharks Every Week

Shark Week may have ended … but every week is shark week here at Turtle Island Restoration Network. Sadly, shark populations are declining around the globe. These incredible, ancient animals play a vital role in marine ecosystems by keeping populations and habitats healthy and our oceans in balance. This month, many supporters like you asked us: “What can I do to save sharks?!” Here are five ways you can help save sharks, each and every week, and protect our precious ocean ecosystems.

New Turtle Statues Announced at Galveston Gala

Turtle Island Restoration Network and Clay Cup Studios are excited to announce the locations of a dozen additional sea turtle statues to our Turtles About Town program at “The Art of Saving Sea Turtles,” an evening benefit celebrating local sea turtle conservation and community art on Sunday, September 29 at The Bryan Museum in Galveston. More than 100 friends of community art and sea turtle conservation will enjoy beer and wine, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and more all to support Turtle Island Restoration Network’s programs to improve and protect Texas oceans, beaches, and wildlife.

Upcoming Events

  • Sunday, September 29: The Art of Saving Sea Turtles. An evening benefit celebrating local sea turtle conservation and community art. In its second year, The Art of Saving Sea Turtles showcases the Turtles About Town community-based art project and TIRN's sea turtle conservation efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. Tickets are available on our website

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Turtle Island Restoration Network
PO Box 370, Forest Knolls, CA 94933