The state of Texas now has an official sea turtle, and, of course, it could be none other than the Kemp's ridley sea turtle! HCR 31 a resolution researched and written by the Green Team, fourth grade students at Oppe Elementary in Galveston, passed the Texas Senate on May 2 under the guidance of Senator Larry Taylor. The resolution was introduced by Representative Craig Eiland of Galveston after the students had completed research for several months. Sea Turtle Restoration Project's Gulf Office Director Carole Allen worked with the students from the beginning providing information about the Kemp's ridleys and the governmental process needed to pass a resolution.
"Teacher Katie Pistone Blaser worked with the students from the beginning," said Allen, "and cautioned them that a campaign of this kind would require a lot of effort."
The students and their parents traveled to Austin and testified before a House committee. They obtained letters of support and petitions to support their work.Governor Rick Perry will be asked to sign the final resolution and the students are optimistic that he will. Oppe Elementary is a magnet campus of coastal studies in Galveston. Although making a slow recovery from near extinction, the Kemp's ridleys remain on the Endangered Species List and must be protected. Their nesting season on the Texas coast has begun and the public is asked to be vigilant and call 1-866-TURTLE-5 if a nester is seen. Sea Turtle Restoration Project has provided the public information number for the last ten years.