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Turtle Island’s Gulf of Mexico Office and our Sea Turtle Restoration Project work to protect and restore populations of endangered sea turtles and marine biodiversity on the Texas Coast and throughout the Gulf. For nearly 25 years the project has safeguarded sea turtles and engaged the public in our conservation efforts through education, outreach, beach nesting patrols, classroom visits and other habitat protection efforts. Learn more below and join us!

Texas Sea Turtle Nesting Beach Patrol

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In 2014, Turtle Island assumed responsibility for volunteer recruitment, training and coordination of the Upper Texas Coast Nesting Beach Monitor Program.

The Upper Coast program, initiated by Dr. Andre Landry of Texas A&M University, is one of six patrol units on the Texas Coast that provides vital sea turtle nesting data, first responders when sea turtles are sighted by the public, and crucial training to volunteers. Please check back next Spring nesting season to learn how to become a trained volunteer.

See the latest Turtle Count for 2015 and check for updates here:  https://seaturtles.org/turtle-count/

Sea Turtle Action Center (Now Open!)

 

The Galveston-based Sea Turtle Action Center is a hub for all of our Gulf of Mexico activities. It serves as a volunteer and outreach center in the heart of historic Galveston, Texas. If you would like to volunteer with our office, donate artwork or services please email joanie@seaturtles.org or call (409) 795-8426.

Education and Outreach

Joanie, Girl Scout and Kemp's ridely sea turtle

In the last decade, Turtle Island has reached more than 30,000 students and teachers in Texas to inform and inspire them about sea turtles and the Gulf ecosystem. Last year, we worked with dedicated students and teachers at Galveston’s Oppe Elementary to introduce and pass a bill that made the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle an official Texas state symbol. We will reach dozens of Galveston and Houston Area schools, teachers and youth groups with our friend ‘Rob’ the Ridley to educate and share news about how to protect these vulnerable sea turtles. Read more here.

Monitoring Beach Cleaning

Ron Wooten Kemp's on sarg

Tourist-friendly and  popular beaches are often cleaned of seaweed by large machines without regard for vulnerable baby sea turtle hatchlings. Turtle Island’s Gulf of Mexico Office works with authorities and volunteers to implement responsible beach cleaning plans that incorporate careful lifesaving, on-the-ground checks for hatchlings in seaweed.

Sea Turtle Incubation

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Turtle Island and our allies are calling for sea turtle eggs laid on the Upper Texas Coast to be incubated locally, and the hatchlings released locally.  We seek to increase resilience of the Upper Texas Coast Kemp’s ridley population by allowing sea turtles from eggs laid at the site to imprint to local beaches, so that mature adults will later return to the site to nest.  The release on the Upper Texas Coast of local sea turtle hatchlings will help build public pride in the sea turtles, which will lead to support for increased protections of the marine habitat as a whole.

Sea Turtles on the Pier

Sea Turtle bookmark (hook)

Sea turtles are often hooked by recreational fishermen, and the problem is made worse because the fishers, out of fear, decide against contacting wildlife authorities. Turtle Island is working to educate fishers, so that sea turtles can be protected and rehabilitated. Already, we’ve produced materials that are distributed in bait shops, and we are planning additional outreach, as well as more protective policies.