I have been lucky to experience Sea Turtles swimming in their natural environment. Serene, Beautiful, Graceful, Strong, and Hopeful. These are the words that came to my mind as I watched them swim through the warm waters of the Caribbean.
We are fortunate to have with us the Loggerhead, Green, Leatherback, Hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, Olive Ridley, and Flatback Turtles. Each species is different in their subtle ways. For instance most are carnivores but the Green Turtles are herbivores. I am always intrigued by the way Sea Turtles race through warm waters, slowly settle down to lay their eggs, help our oceans by eating sea grass, and sustain our eco-system by providing nutrients to dune vegetation.
Of course, the sad reminder to us all is that all Sea Turtle species, with exception to the Flatbacks are on the Endangered Species list. These beautiful and important creatures are constantly in danger from human impact. We create difficult environments for Sea Turtles by our littering, fishing practices, desire for their meat and shells, dependency on oil, and the abuse on our environment which impacts the climate.
If we all make better choices in our lives by recycling, purchasing eco-friendly items, eating sustainable food, and helping to protect all the species of this planet we might be able to have save the things we love so that our children may one day love them too.
Please remember these important conservation steps when you encounter a Sea Turtle:
* Do not put it back in the water.
* Do not remove it from the beach.
* Move it above the high tide line.
* Cover it with seaweed and mark its location with a stick, buoy or other beach debris.
* Contact the closest Audubon Society, Conservation Society, or environmental police.
To take action, one step further... here are a couple of ideas to help protect Sea Turtles:
Adopt a Sea Turtle through Defenders of Wildlife !
Volunteer on your next vacation and help protect Green Turtles !