What You Can Do to Help Endangered Sea Turtles

There are seven species of sea turtles in our oceans, and nearly half of them are endangered, at risk of going extinct in the next decade.

These beautiful, graceful creatures used to swim freely, with populations in the tens of millions, but the last few decades have been extremely hard on them, with a whole host of threats, many of them manmade.

From overfishing to plastic pollution to coastal development, sea turtles have been hit hard, and it’s tragic to see such drops in their numbers and overall health. Poaching of rare turtles, increase in ocean temperatures, and destruction of nesting sites have had huge negative impact on turtles.

The endangered species include Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the hawksbill turtle, and the green sea turtle. The other four species are in various states of concern as well, making the picture for sea turtles look bleak, indeed.

Sea Turtles are under threat from a number of sources

There are ways in which you can help, however. From supporting organizations like the World Wildlife Fund and Oceana, to being mindful of your tropical tourism, to avoiding single use plastic that might end up in the ocean, everyone can make a small difference, which will add up to a big change.

Treehugger has some good resources to further reduce your impact, like supporting turtle-friendly tourism that allows for sea turtles to peacefully lay their eggs under cover of darkness, be safe on beaches, and more.

All in all, while the picture seems bleak, there are steps we can take to improve the chances that some of these species rebound. Sea turtles are just too special to let disappear. Via Treehugger:

Dead turtle among plastic garbage from ocean on the beach

Ridley sea turtles coming in to nest at Ostional beach, Costa Rica.

Up to 30% of sea turtle remains had plastic pollution in their bodies. We must do better.

Tiny hatchlings are under threat from natural predators, and don’t need the extra stresses that humans impose.