The Beacon

Blog Tags: Sea Turtles

Last Day to Vote for Ocean Heroes!

It’s the last day to vote for your favorite finalist to receive this year’s Ocean Hero award!

All of this year’s adult and junior finalists are stellar -- if you checked out any of the profiles I wrote on the blog this month I’m sure you agree. From young shark and sea turtle activists to a sustainable seafood power couple and an ocean trash blogger, all of our finalists deserve plaudits.

We’ll announce the winners on the fast-approaching World Oceans Day, June 8.

This year’s winners (one adult and one junior) will each receive a $200 gift card and Raiatea binoculars from West Marine, a $500 gift card from Nautica, and a trip to the World Oceans Day with Nautica and GQ party in Los Angeles on June 8.


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Spill Takes Increasing Toll on Wildlife

oil pelican

© AP/Gerald Herbert

As BP prepares its “top kill” maneuver to stanch the Deepwater Horizon’s leak, oil continues to hit Louisiana’s wetlands and beaches, fouling sensitive habitats and marine life.

Officials reported yesterday that more than 300 sea birds, nearly 200 sea turtles and 19 dolphins have been found dead along the U.S. Gulf Coast since the spill started more than a month ago.

As a result, the images coming out of the gulf are increasingly heartbreaking, like these photos of the spill and its victims from Boston.com.

Oceana pollution campaign director Jackie Savitz was on the Diane Rehm show this morning for a second time since the spill discussing the long-term environmental consequences of the oil spill. Jackie was joined by Douglas Rader from the Environmental Defense Fund, Carys Louise Mitchelmore of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and William Hogarth from the University of South Florida. Have a listen here.

If you haven’t already, help us reach our goal of 500,000 petition signatures: tell Obama and Congress to stop offshore drilling today, and spread the word.


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New BP Footage Belies Reports of Progress

A few oil spill updates for you today:

BP’s new video of the gusher

Though BP has been celebrating the first successful attempt to redirect oil to a tanker using a siphon, Senator Bill Nelson posted new BP footage that tells a different story. And disturbingly, reports are emerging that BP has been preventing journalists from documenting the spill.


New oil spill underwater footage - BP footage via Ben Nelson @ Yahoo! Video


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'Sherman's Lagoon' Highlights Sea Turtles

sherman's lagoon

Most people wouldn't think of turtle excluder devices as joke fodder, but this week and next cartoonist Jim Toomey is devoting his comic strip, “Sherman’s Lagoon,” to sea turtles and those life-saving devices found in some fishing nets.

For the uninitiated, “Sherman’s Lagoon,” which appears in more than 250 newspapers in the U.S. and around the world, features a shark named Sherman and his sea turtle sidekick Fillmore. They and a cast of other reef dwellers try to get along while fighting the degradation of the oceans.


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Spill May Be Headed for Florida Keys

It’s hard to believe it has been almost a month since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, and yet this weekend was the first sign of any kind of progress to contain the disaster bleeding into the Gulf.

Using a mile-long “insertion tube” to siphon the oil to a tanker ship, BP captured some of the oil gushing from the Gulf of Mexico seabed -- though the company still hasn't made any progress toward actually stopping the flow.

Scientists from NOAA are worried that the still-gushing oil spill will enter the powerful Loop Current, if it hasn’t already, which would take it through the biodiverse barrier reef that makes up the Florida Keys and up the East Coast.


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Ocean Hero Finalists: Carolyn Caggia

carolyn caggia

Carolyn Caggia with NC Rep. Jimmy Love and part of the 72 yard long scroll she created.

This is the eighth in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.

Today’s featured finalist is 16-year-old Carolyn Caggia, who is devoted to protecting sea turtles from gillnets in her home state of North Carolina.

Gillnet fisheries use hundreds of yards of fishing net that remain in the water for days or longer, ensnaring sea turtles and other species incidentally.

Carolyn was inspired to act after visiting Jean Beasley’s sea turtle hospital in Topsail Island, NC several years ago. She decided to undertake a grass roots advocacy effort to help save sea turtles as her Girl Scout Gold Award project.  


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Ocean Hero Finalists: Wallace 'J.' Nichols

wallace j nichols

Image courtesy of Wallace J. Nichols.

This is the sixth in a series of posts about the Ocean Heroes finalists.

We’re wrapping up our week of Adult Ocean Hero finalists with Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols.

J.’s love of sea turtles started when he was a kid, growing out of a dual obsession with dinosaurs and the ocean.

That curious kid grew up to become an ocean activist and Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences. He has authored more than 50 scientific papers, book chapters, articles and reports on sea turtle ecology and ocean conservation. His work has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, Time and Newsweek, among others.


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10 Ways the Oil Spill Could Affect Marine Life

oiled bird

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

While oil-covered birds have become an emblematic image of catastrophic oil spills, sea birds aren’t the only ones affected. Oil is extremely toxic to all wildlife, and the toxic effects on marine life begins as soon as the oil hits the water.

 


Here are 10 examples of how marine life may be affected by the Gulf spill in the coming days, weeks and years


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Endangered Sea Turtles Imperiled by Oil Spill

kemp's ridley sea turtle

Image via Wikimedia Commons

A few days ago, more than 20 dead Kemp's ridley sea turtles washed up on Mississippi’s shores. While there is no evidence the deaths are linked to the oil spill, the incident may be merely foreshadowing what’s to come for sea turtles in the Gulf.

Sea turtles come to the surface to breathe, and NOAA reports that between 30 and 50 sea turtles (species unknown) were seen swimming yesterday in or near the oil spill. It may be only a matter of time until we see oiled turtles stranded on beaches as well.

Kemp’s ridleys, the smallest and most threatened sea turtle in the world, typically spend their entire lives in the Gulf of Mexico, nesting only on beaches in Mexico and southern Texas, giving them the name the “Gulf’s Sea Turtle”. And right now is the peak migration season for the turtles as they return to their nesting grounds.


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Ocean Hero Finalists: Suzanne Thurman

suzanne thurman merr

Suzanne Thurman with a Kemp's ridley sea turtle. © Kevin Fleming

This is the first in a series of posts highlighting the 2010 Ocean Hero finalists.

Starting today, I’ll be highlighting one finalist per day on the blog. First up is Suzanne Thurman, the founder and director of the Marine, Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute, Inc. (MERR), Delaware’s only organization devoted to the response and rescue of marine mammals and sea turtles.

Suzanne has been participating in stranding response in Delaware since 1995, and before that, she worked for many years in environmental education and special education.

MERR, which is 10 years old this year, has provided stranding response to more than 1000 animals, beginning with one sea turtle that spent the night in Suzanne’s laundry room.


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