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The Resurgence of Green Sea Turtles

Green sea turtles are known as one of the most majestic and beautiful animals in the world, and are most commonly known for being located in Hawaii. However with the resurgence of this rare species it is becoming more and more common to see them swimming around the bays and beaches of Southern California. In the early 20th century green sea turtles were legally harvested for their eggs and shells for food and money. The situation got so bad with the population that they were officially classified as endangered and were illegal to be hunted in 1978 under the Endangered Species Act. Since then the population has grown over 1000% to almost 100,000 turtles and are still being protected. With the fragility of the ocean at this point in time keeping the population growing has been no easy task as plastic pollution and accidental entanglement in fishing lines have been the factors keeping the population from growing faster. Luckily there are multiple organizations helping keep track of the animals including the NOAA which has graciously given this email to allow anyone to report a sighting and track behavior. Living near Huntington Harbor has given me the opportunity to actually see one of these creatures in person. Although I did not know of the many resources available to help with their population comeback so I hope to make this to spread awareness. Most of the reason that these animals have a fighting chance is because of the multiple groups helping them and protecting their eggs from ravenous seagulls. Such organizations include the NOAA which primarily works out of San Diego where there is the highest concentration of these turtles. The baby turtles are helped into the ocean and are united with their parents where they protect them until they grow. Unfortunately as much protection as the parents provide it isn’t going to help them from being choked up in fishing lines or ending up with 10 pounds of plastic in their stomachs. This is where your contribution to helping keep the oceans plastic free comes into play. By using the metal or paper straw or cardboard instead of Styrofoam plate, it might just save the lives of a turtle and allow them a chance at getting their population out of endangerment.

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