official marine reptile
Some fun news today: The Pacific leatherback sea turtle may soon join the California poppy, coast redwood, and grizzly bear as one of Californiaâ€™s official symbols.
Assemblymember Paul Fong introduced legislation (Assembly Bill 1776) that would designate the Pacific leatherback as the stateâ€™s marine reptile.
This bill is a fun way for Californians to learn about and appreciate the leatherback, while enshrining the ecological importance of this ancient species into state law. Among other things, the bill will establish October 15as the stateâ€™s annual Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day. It also encourages California public schools to include leatherback sea turtles into curriculum when possible and asks the state to support efforts to recover and preserve the leatherback.
The bill must receive enough votes in the Assembly and Senate before it can go to Governor Brown for him to consider signing it into law; the first vote will be in the Assembly this April.
If all goes well we will be celebrating the first Leatherback Day this October! Stay tuned.