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Sadly, the vast majority of sea turtle species have been categorized as either endangered or critically endangered. Human activities such as hunting for sea turtles, plastic and chemical pollution, irresponsible fishing practices, coastal development, light pollution and other issues, as well as climate change, are all contributing to the reduction in sea turtle populations.

World Sea Turtle Day is here to bring attention to the plight of these fascinating marine animals and encourage people to act more responsibly not only on this day, but all throughout the year.

History of World Sea Turtle Day

The first World Sea Turtle Day was celebrated in 2000 and organized by the folks at a number of different turtle conservation organizations, including Susan Tellum and Marshall Thompson of American Tortoise Rescue. The point of the day was to let more people know about the plight of sea turtles and to increase education and participation to help sea turtles survive, including political advocacy and community responsibility.

World Sea Turtle Day takes place on this particular date in honor of Dr. Archie Carr, who was considered by many to be the “father of sea turtle biology” and was born in Mobile, Alabama on June 16, 1909.

How to Celebrate World Sea Turtle Day

Check out some of these ideas and activities for getting involved with World Sea Turtle Day:

Learn and Share Sea Turtle Day Facts 

Get involved and raise awareness by encouraging friends and family to celebrate World Sea Turtle Day too! Take a look at some of these interesting facts about sea turtles to get the conversation started:

  • Sea turtles lay eggs in the sand and their gender is determined by the temperature: cool results in males, warm in females, and a fluctuating temperature produces a mix of both

  • Unlike other turtles, sea turtles cannot retract their heads and flippers into their shells

  • Only a small percentage of sea turtle eggs survive to adulthood, but those who do can live approximately 50 and 100 years

Participate in Beach Cleanups

Those who live near the water can observe World Sea Turtle Day by making a difference in their lives through a beach clean-up day! Beaches that are associated with state parks may host special beach cleanup events that invite the community to get involved in picking up plastic, trash and other rubbish that finds its way into the water.

Make Sea-Turtle-Friendly Choices

Consider some of these ways that humans can help promote the health and well-being of sea turtles:

  • Use Turtle-Friendly Lighting. Those who live or own property near beaches need to be conscious about the fact that their lighting might be creating a great deal of confusion for sea turtles who are nesting.
  • Avoid Single Use Products. Anyone, anywhere can cut down on the plastic and other rubbish in the ocean by avoiding single-use items. Instead, purchase consumer products that are refillable, reusable, and re-purpose-able.
  • Choose Seafood Wisely. When shopping for seafood, be sure to purchase the brands that are ocean-friendly with guidance from organizations like the Marine Stewardship Council and the Seafood Watch.

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