The Beacon

U.S. Gov’t Fails to Protect Sea Turtles, Again

A loggerhead hatchling in North Carolina. © Oceana/Cory Wilson

While the U.S. government continues to dawdle, loggerhead sea turtles continue to suffer. (Yes, they need your help!)

Yesterday the U.S. government failed to meet its legal deadline for issuing a final rule providing additional protections for loggerhead sea turtles, whose populations have faced severe declines over the last decade.

Oceana, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network filed legal petitions in 2007 urging the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service to uplist North Pacific and northwest Atlantic loggerheads from “threatened” to “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act.

Then, a year ago, the government proposed to list loggerheads as endangered in response to a court-ordered settlement over prior delays. It has now failed to take timely action by missing the legal deadline to issue a final rule within one year.

The final rule would also trigger the identification of critical habitat, which is not currently designated for loggerheads, an important step toward achieving improved protections for key nesting beaches and migratory and feeding habitat in the ocean. 

Loggerheads have declined by at least 80 percent in the North Pacific and could become functionally or ecologically extinct by the mid-21st century if additional protections are not put into place. Florida beaches, which host the largest nesting population of loggerheads in the Northwest Atlantic, have seen more than a 25 percent decline in nesting since 1998. Human activities, including commercial fishing and habitat degradation, are pushing loggerheads towards extinction.

As you can see, sea turtles need your support. You can help by donating to Oceana today. Our goal is to raise $40,000, and today is the last day.

Your donation will make a real difference for sea turtles. From pushing for regulations on fishing and trawling that can save turtles immediately to passing strong legislation that will protect them for years to come, supporters like you are helping Oceana lead the fight to restore sea turtle populations around the world.

Donate by MIDNIGHT tonight to help protect endangered sea turtles for years to come. Thank you for joining us in this critical fight.


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