Your monthly update from Turtle Island Restoration Network

July Newsletter

As the peak of sea turtle nesting season nears its end in the United States, hatchling season begins! Hatchlings use a temporary egg tooth located on their snout to help break open the shell. They emerge when the temperature of the sand cools, usually indicated by nighttime. Then, using cues like the natural light of the ocean horizon to find the water, they begin their incredible journey to the ocean where only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood. You can help these baby sea turtles survive by adopting a nest of sea turtle hatchlings. Your contribution will ensure nesting beaches and baby sea turtles are safe from predators, poachers, rising sea levels and other threats.

U.S. Congress Joins Fight Against Driftnets

In July, the following U.S. representatives and senators joined the fight to save thousands of marine animals from the commercial fishing industry by co-sponsoring the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction ActBrian Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania), TJ Cox (California), Rob Wittman (Virginia), Alan Lowenthal (California), Barbara Lee (California), Brian Mast (Florida), Deb Haaland (New Mexico), Steven Palazzo (Mississippi), Ed Case (Hawai’i), Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), Kamala Harris (California), Chris Coons (Delaware). If your members of Congress are not listed, please urge them to vote in favor of the legislation today.

Loggerhead sea turtle image by Nataša Stuper.

Recent Sea Turtle Captures at Florida Power Plant Spur Call for Action

Following the capture of almost 40 endangered sea turtles in one month at a nuclear power plant in Florida, Turtle Island Restoration Network is calling on the federal government to insure protective measures are adopted at the site to prevent sea turtles from being trapped and in some cases, killed. The St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant in Jensen Beach captured 37 endangered sea turtles in May, more than half of which sustained fresh injuries from being sucked through the plant’s intake pipe. So far this year, 219 sea turtles have been captured by the power planet, three of which were fatal.

Volunteers Remove 1,200 Pounds of Trash from Galveston Beaches After Fourth of July

Thanks to the help of 130 volunteers, Turtle Island Restoration Network's team in the Gulf of Mexico removed 1,200 pounds of trash from beaches in Galveston, Texas the day after the Fourth of July! We would like to extend our appreciation to each and every volunteer for taking time from your holiday, bringing your children, and helping to keep our beaches and the Gulf clean! We would also like to thank Galveston's largest brewery, Galveston Island Brewing, for offering a free beverage to all the cleanup participants.

ACTION: Help Stop the Taylor Energy Oil Spill 

A recent study by NOAA revealed an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico that began 14 years ago when a Taylor Energy Company oil platform sank during Hurricane Ivan has been releasing as much as 4,500 gallons a day, not three or four gallons a day as the rig owner has claimed. It has been documented that the spill is oiling sargassum and harming animals like sea turtles that rely on it for food and shelter, but we don't know the full extent of the ecological damage from this massive spill. Please contact your members of Congress, asking them to hold Taylor Energy accountable for their pollution and launch an investigation to determine the root causes of 14 years of inaction.

TIRN Director Inducted Into Highly Exclusive Explorers Club

In June, TIRN Founder and Executive Director Todd Steiner joined an elite group of explorers and scientists that have been involved in many of the world's most prestigious discoveries, known as The Explorers Club. Founded in 1904, The Explorers Club is an American-based international professional society that promotes scientific exploration and field study. Current and historical members include primatologist Jane Goodall, marine scientist Sylvia Earle, President Teddy Roosevelt, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and astronaut Neil Armstrong. "It is an honor to be part of such a meaningful and inspiring community," Steiner said.

Restoring Forests to Fight Climate Change

A new study suggests that human beings could save themselves from the worst ravages of climate change by planting a forest nearly double the size of the United States. Thanks to our 10,000 Redwoods program, we're already getting the recovery efforts started! Staff, interns, and volunteers have been taking action on climate change through the simple act of planting trees where ancient redwood forests once grew in Northern California. You can engage in the climate change challenge and help us plant 10,000 redwoods by adopting a redwood; volunteering in our native plant nursery; helping us plant redwoods; and assisting with our hands-on restoration projects. Learn more

Photo by Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Rare Sea Turtles Smash Nesting Records in Georgia, Carolinas

Great news from the sea turtle community! Rare loggerhead sea turtles are smashing nesting records this summer on beaches in the Southeast, with scientists crediting the egg-laying boom to conservation measures that began more than 30 years ago. So far this year, researchers and volunteers in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have cataloged more than 12,200 nests left by loggerheads, a threatened species protected under the Endangered Species Act. That’s already far ahead of the 11,321 nests in the previous highest count three years ago. Read the AP story here

More Than Just a Liveaboard Dive Trip...

Turtle Island Restoration Network's Cocos Island Dive Expeditions are more than a 10-day liveaboard adventure to one of the world's most premiere dive sites. With the help of citizen scientists, we have been studying and tracking sharks and turtles at Cocos Island for almost a decade. In that time, we have seen the threats to the Park’s unique biodiversity in the form of continued illegal fishing, but also an increase in the awareness of the need to protect the marine biodiversity of this World Heritage Site. Research conducted on Cocos Island Dive Expeditions for the past 10 years has set the basis for better protections at Cocos Island and for a protected swimway to save sharks, sea turtles, and other migratory animals as they swim throughout the region.  

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