This week the Galveston Bay Estuary Program hosted a State of the Bay Symposium, bringing together nonprofits, state and federal agencies and community stakeholders to hear presentations and panel discussions on challenges and successes regarding the health of Galveston Bay.
I had the opportunity to attend “The Road Beyond Paris,” last night at the Alliance Center in Denver. Leaders in Colorado who participated in Paris Climate Change Conference, the 21st Conference of Parties for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP21, Colorado Senator and United Nations Foundation President
Turtle Island has officially kicked off our annual winter creek walks to look for spawning coho salmon. Click here to see salmon photos from our creek walks.
Our accomplishments are only possible with your support, and with the action of our more than 200,000 members and activists. You are a key component of our work to save sea turtles, whales, dolphins, sharks, salmon, marine wildlife and our oceans! Learn about our accomplishments and see photos of the marine wildlife we’ve protected in 2015.
Turtle Island is not only joining the international call to address climate change but we are launching innovative local programs like our 10,000 Redwoods Program to cool the planet and protect wildlife.
#GivingTuesday™ is a movement created to celebrate giving on the Tuesday following Cyber Monday. Join in by making a donation to Turtle Island on Dec. 1st!!
For over 22 years, Debra DiBenedetto has been teaching kids and infusing her classes with hands-on, outdoor education experiences. Debra, who spoke with SPAWN before the start of her 10 am class, is currently teaching a class of 23 second grade students at Dixie Elementary School in San Rafael, Calif. Debra incorporates SPAWN and Turtle Island’s projects into her curriculum and gives her students the chance to engage with the science happening outside of the classrooms doors, in the real world.
After much consideration I ended up picking ‘Celeste Wave Break’ by Dana Bove, the show’s founder. I love how he captured this moment when the wave is about to crash down. It’s such a unique perspective that makes the ocean almost morph into a mountain for a split second.
Teachers to Learn New Environmental Education Skills at Turtle Island’s ‘Headwaters to Sea’ Professional Development
The Summer Salmon Institute for 3rd to 5th grade teachers encourages science-based watershed education in elementary classrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area. Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) program is leading the free workshop in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Bay-Watershed Education and Training (BWET).
The SPAWN California Naturalist Training Course will introduce you to the interwoven wonders of the unique ecology and natural history of the Lagunitas Creek Watershed and engage you in direct stewardship actions. The 40-hour course will utilize a combination of science curriculum, guest lecturers, field trips and project based learning to immerse you in the natural world of California. Expert instructors will uncover strategies to continue conservation of biodiversity in the Lagunitas Creek, and all, California watersheds. Transferable UC college credits or Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available to participants for an additional fee.
Are you a whale watcher? Do you know you can help track whales by reporting when you see them!
Ron is one of the featured photographer’s in Photography for a Change’s incredible online show. As a quick recap for those of you who haven’t already heard, Photography for a Change, provides exquisite photographs of our natural environs. This show features four photographers who have generously donated their images and prints to support Turtle Island Restoration Network.
The first time I saw an image of a finned shark I was appalled. The shark was sinking in clear beautiful blue water without it’s classic dorsal fin.
The Sea Party Coalition represents coastal and inland cities and towns, businesses, fishermen, surfers, divers, boaters and other concerned citizens regardless of political affiliation who support a healthy and vibrant coastal economy and oppose proposed new oil surveying and drilling along the Atlantic Coast and in the U.S. Arctic Ocean.
The Louisiana House on Tuesday voted 100-0 to repeal a 1987 state law that prohibits Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents from enforcing federal turtle-excluder device regulations.
The bill has been sent to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has 20 days to sign or veto it.
Turtle Island Restoration Network (Turtle Island) has partnered with Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) to adopt the Center’s “Responsible Pier Initiative,” to promote a healthy pier environment for sea turtles and other marine life.
It’s not likely Bridget Dix will see the official sea turtle of Texas, the endangered Kemp’s ridley, but that doesn’t stop her from making a five-mile walk down a Galveston beach.
Searching the dunes and checking the sand for tracks, Dix walks one of the six stretches of beach that volunteers with the Turtle Island Restoration Network patrol. Dix is one of about 120 volunteers who will be walking almost 27 miles of beach a day looking for Kemp’s ridleys as they make their way up the beach to nest.
The efforts of the an island group – “Bring the Bag
– to raise awareness of the risks of single-use plastic bags is deserving of attention and applause. The group, which is not seeking a ban on single-use plastic bags in Galveston, is working to encourage a healthier, greener and clearer environment and community. That is a goal we should all share.
Starting on America Recycles Day in November 2014 and concluding on Earth Day on Wednesday, students across Galveston made a tremendous environmental impact. Schools from Galveston ISD, as well as private and charter schools, combined to collect and recycle more than 680,000 bags as part of A Bag’s Life program.
In honor of Earth Day, environmental volunteers and thousands of school kids are working to support one mission: reduce single-use plastic bags in Galveston.
Students in the Galveston Island Independent School District collected 683,100 bags in a five-month “A Bag’s Life” competition.
Despite the legions of lampreys counted and a marked increase in steelhead, SPAWN biologists remain concerned about our native, endangered coho salmon population as few coho smolts have been seen.
Our native plant nursery located at office headquarters is a busy hub of action in the spring. Already SPAWN has transplanted a large number of plants, which we grew from seeds sown last summer and fall. These native plants will be used to restore degraded creekside coho salmon habitat.
Meet Kate Gallagher a Salmon Institue Teacher: I am the science teacher at RISE Community School in East Oakland. I teach all 12 classes
A large whale shark became stranded on a beach near Manta, on the coast of Ecuador yesterday. It was first reported by local fishers, swimming close to the shoreline, but eventually became stranded on the beach. Although a team of over 50 volunteers attempted to return it to sea, the whale shark eventually died.
Endangered Hammerhead Shark Fins Exported from Costa Rica, Touch Down Illegally in U.S. en Route to Hong Kong In Violation of ESA
Conservation groups PRETOMA and Turtle Island Restoration Network and have found evidence that hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini) are being exported from Costa Rican ports and flown to plates in Hong Kong by way of stop-overs on U.S. soil.
We felt it would be fitting to have a turtle grace our cover for this April issue. After all, the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nesting season begins each year in April and lasts through early August.
And so it begins again…Sea turtles are returning to nest along the Texas coastline!
Whoever said turtles were slow clearly never met Gina the green sea turtle. Between February 1 and February 22, Gina, a juvenile sea turtle
Submit a photo of yourself, including your reason for protecting wild coho, with the tag #savemarinscoho and have your voice heard! You are a
For those of us who have been lucky enough to watch a giant sea turtle lumber ashore and lay her eggs, or seen baby
Watch this volunteer video to learn more about opportunities with Turtle Island. It was beautifully put together by Shane Cooney a student at Sir
Meet Rej a Salmon Institute teacher! The 2015-2016 school year brings continued expansion of watersheds education for my 4th grade students at Hesperian Elementary.
A green turtle (Chelonia mydas) that was tagged in Cocos Island National Park travelled more than 310 miles in 21 days to seek refuge in the Golfo Dulce of Costa Rica, establishing the first proof of biological connectivity between these two important marine ecosystems.
SPAWN’s smolt monitoring program began about 10 years ago as a way to measure the health of endangered fish populations in San Geronimo Creek – an important tributary to Lagunitas Creek. Monitoring the population of coho smolts is an extremely important gauge for the population as a whole because it indicates how well the baby salmon fared over the winter.
Smolts are young, 12-15 month-old juvenile coho salmon and steelhead trout. Technically, any anadromous salmonid (a member of the trout family that is born in freshwater, lives in salt water and then returns to freshwater to spawn) is called a smolt when it is in the juvenile stage of its lifecycle.
Everything was moving, the water was a bit colder, there were strong currents, and giant schools of black tuna swimming in slow circles by us. We were surrounded by life.
Today the Blue Team caught the first sea turtle of the journey – a Hawksbill named Georgina! They approached the main boat the Argo shouting “sea turtle!” I was about to meet my very first sea turtle!
My six months interning for Turtle Island has reached an end, and as I wrap up my last week here I am in awe of the amount of work I have accomplished in such a short time frame, and of the experiences I have gained.
On March 6, a letter was sent to the heads of the G20 nations. G20 nations recently proposed to invest an astonishing $60-70 trillion
With numbers at the lowest levels ever recorded, environmental groups petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service today to end targeted fishing for Gulf of Maine cod. These once-plentiful fish have declined 90 percent since 1982, when monitoring began, and 77 percent in the past five years alone. Currently Gulf of Maine cod are at 3 percent to 4 percent of what a well-managed stock should be.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP) has announced 2015 funding totaling $665,237 for three projects all located in West Marin’s critical Lagunitas Creek Watershed. Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) program was awarded two of the three grants, with the third grant going to the Marin Municipal Water District.
Last week, Melinda Stahr’s class from Corvallis Elementary, made the long haul to visit the Lagunitas Creek Watershed. Coming all the way from San
Dr. Sylvia Earle Signs Scientific Letter Calling for the End of the California Drift Gillnet Fishery
Please join Dr. Sylvia Earle by signing this scientist letter which outlines the devastating impact of the California Drift Gillnet fishery on our marine ecosystem, and calls for a phasing out of this destructive fishing method.
HEART (Help Endangered Animals-Ridley Turtles) began at Oak Creek Elementary school (now Reynolds Elementary) near Houston in 1982.
As the HEART Founder, I kept records showing what school children contributed to help the Kemp’s ridley sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico that were on the brink of extinction. A number of students were chosen by the principal to form the first HEART Council and look for ways to help the Kemp’s ridleys.
I have always believed we need to be good stewards of our environment for future generations. Our ocean and its marine wildlife is an integral component of that. The health of our ocean affects our air, food, and coastal communities. California’s health is directly tied to the health of the ocean.
“We are outraged that nearly two years later, there has been no justice for the brutal murder of Jairo,” said Todd Steiner, executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network, which offered up part of a $10,000 reward for information on the case. “We call on the Costa Rican government to appeal the decision and find a way to convict the criminals of this heinous crime, or locate and convict those responsible. Failure to do so can have serious consequences for conservation and eco-tourism in this nation that has built its reputation on its peace with nature, safety of visitors and respect for the rule of law.”
RSVP to January & February SPAWN Creek Walks Steelhead trout will soon start their run in our creeks, and can sometimes be seen alongside
Coho salmon and steelhead trout will soon both inhabit the Lagunitas Watershed at the same time. SPAWN’s Watershed Biologist Preston Brown explains how you can tell the two endangered fish apart with some simple tips!
This winter SPAWN found native endangered coho salmon in Woodacre and Arroyo Creeks. These are two of the eight tributaries of the Lagunitas Creek that SPAWN and a team dedicated volunteers survey each season. This season two redds (coho salmon nests made underwater) and six fish were found on Woodacre Creek, and another four redds and seven fish were found on Arroyo Creek.
Not Guilty Verdict in Murder of Costa Rican Sea Turtle Conservationist Jairo Mora Provokes International Outrage
Jairo’s brutal murder was an assault on those who protect endangered wildlife around the world. Justice for Mora is crucial to keeping wildlife and its defenders safe in Costa Rica, and won’t rest until justice is served.
Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has scoffed at the Endangered Species Act
regulations to save endangered sea turtles in its state waters for years.
Now, he wants to run for president! What other federal laws would he ignore
if he became president? Now is the time for Governor Jindal to show the
country that he respects a law that was passed by Congress over 25 years ago
and is honored by all other coastal states! Should he run for president if
his own state is breaking a federal law?
Capturing the Underwater World: Scuba Diver Paul Nguyen Shares His Tips for Great Underwater Photography
And as evidenced by his beautiful underwater shots from his recent Cocos Island Dive Expedition with Turtle Island, Paul Nguyen has a talent for showcasing our blue-green planet. Click to learn his top underwater photo tips.
A new study in the Journals of PLOS aims to unravel some of the mystery surrounding the largest fish in the sea – the whale shark. The study, led by collaborating scientist David Acuña of the Charles Darwin Foundation and co-authored by Alex Hearn of Turtle Island Restoration Network, discovered that more whale sharks than previously suspected use Darwin Island (one of the smallest islands in the Galapagos Archipelago) as a rest stop in their migration route.
It is the largest fish in the ocean with some individuals reaching sizes of up to 65ft (18m) long and weighing more than 30 tonnes, but whale sharks remain one of the enigmas of the deep.
We should be leaders in fisheries management, not cheaters,” said Doug Karpa, of the California-based Turtle Island Restoration Network, noting that the U.S. is one of the few nations that ban the fishing in its own waters of overexploited stocks unless they are recovering.
There are fears that the gentle giant, whose flesh is prized in countries such as China, India and the Philippines, is being slowly driven towards extinction. And so little is known about them that there is huge uncertainty about how their decline can be arrested.
With the full support of Turtle Island Restoration Network, OCEANA, and other marine conservations organizations, California Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria), Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), and Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) this week called on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service to transition away from deadly California drift gillnets.
A controversial way of catching swordfish that often snags other marine life needs to end, said five politicians in a letter sent Monday to
State fisheries biologists recently reported some disturbing news: the coho salmon that typically spawn near Muir Woods had vanished. Recent rainstorms may be helping
In honor of Turtle Island’s 25th year, I am excited to announce that our Board of Directors will match donations through December 31 dollar for dollar up to $25,000!
Two of our whale sharks tagged in August on a joint expedition with our collaborators Jonathan R Green, the Charles Darwin Foundation and the
This summer fisheries biologists took drastic steps: rescuing the remaining juvenile Coho salmon from Redwood Creek in Muir Woods. These roughly 100 fish are
Technology and more than 32,000 Square Miles of Area Closures Will Safeguard Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in the New Year
Turtle Island Restoration Network delivered more than 3,800 petitions to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) supporting greater protections for Atlantic bluefin tuna populations. After five years of work by Turtle Island, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and our partners, on Dec. 2, 2014, NOAA Fisheries officially announced new, stricter regulations for the U.S. Atlantic bluefin tuna fishery.
Due to unusual cold spells in early November, as of November 21st more than 400 cold-stunned sea turtles – mostly Kemp’s ridleys and loggerheads – were recovered from shorelines of Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia. This is triple the amount of turtles from 2013.
Comment deadline looms: Tell EPA to keep nuclear out of Clean Power Plan Organizations: Sign-on to letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy The EPA’s proposed
As the 2015 Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nesting season approaches, you’ll want to make plans to attend this event presented by Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council (GINTC) to learn about and celebrate the sea turtle. You will also find out how you can become involved in helping preserve this extremely endangered species.
Carole Allen, Gulf Office Director of Turtle Island Restoration Network, and Joanie Steinhaus, Campaign Director of the Turtle Island Restoration Network Galveston Office, attended
Conservation groups sued the National Marine Fisheries Service today over a new rule allowing the Hawaii-based longline fleet to fish beyond limits set by international agreements meant to protect bigeye tuna and other imperiled marine species.
Turtle Island signed on to an open letter addressed to Washington Governor Inslee’s commending him for his leadership on ocean acidification, and also addressed to the Department of Ecology asking that they follow suit and also take action on ocean acidification.
Turtle Island signed onto a letter to President Obama in August urging action to save the critically endangered vaquita—the smallest porpoise species found only in
Zephyr Sylvester joined SPAWN Habitat Restoration as an intern in October. She grew up in a small town in Vermont near Dartmouth College. She graduated with a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Whitman College located in Walla Walla, Wash. in 2013.
Fresh out of college, Allie Chavez joined the SPAWN team of Habitat Restoration Interns this past August. With a degree in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Allie is applying her studies through hands-on experience in the field.
“It’s the most incredible underwater place I’ve ever been,” says Todd Steiner, executive director of the California-based Sea Turtle Restoration Project. “It’s a superhighway of giant animals — like the plains of Africa, only underwater.”
Scientists from the United States and Mexico will congregate in Brownsville starting Tuesday to discuss an unexpected setback for the official Texas sea turtle, which had been making a remarkable recovery from near extinction.
Turtle Island Restoration Network, Clean Galveston & Surfrider Kick Off ‘Bring the Bag’ at Galveston Schools
Turtle Island Restoration Network (SeaTurtles.Org) is teaming up with Surfrider’s Galveston Chapter and Clean Galveston to encourage residents and tourists to ‘Bring the Bag’ and reduce single-use plastic bag pollution in Galveston, Texas.
Migrating Chinook salmon have entered Lagunitas Creek (through Tomales Bay from the Pacific Ocean) and are now spawning. These Central California Coastal Chinook Salmon
Have you sent in your nomination for the 22nd Annual CVNL Heart of Marin Awards? Please nominate Turtle Island Restoration Network for the ‘Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence’ award; And please nominate a dedicated SPAWN volunteer for ‘Volunteer of the Year.’
The Arrival Golden hills, blue skies, warm weather, the bay, and the Pacific Ocean surrounded me as I arrived in Marin County in California.
Protecting our endangered species requires a balance that includes the needs of all the people of Marin County, and not just the private interests
This week, Turtle Island has been in Quito, Ecuador for the 11th meeting of the United Nation’s Conference of Parties of the Convention on
Turtle Island Helps Gain Protections for a Record Number of Sharks Through the Convention on Migratory Species
A record number of threatened shark species, including scalloped hammerhead sharks and thresher sharks, will be granted greater international protections in part due to Turtle Island Restoration Network’s efforts at the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Quito, Ecuador.
For Immediate Release Quito, Ecuador (Nov. 5, 2014) – The Marin-based nonprofit Turtle Island Restoration Network (SeaTurtles.Org) is in Quito, Ecuador this week to lobby
Migrating Chinook salmon have entered Lagunitas Creek (through Tomales Bay from the Pacific Ocean) and are now spawning.
Imagine Samuel P. Taylor State Park’s Lagunitas Creek glistening with thousands of migrating and spawning coho salmon. Fifty years ago this was reality. Four
It all begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Half Moon Bay Library at 620 Correas St. in Half Moon Bay. There, Coastside filmmaker Gail Evenari, the library and the Marin County-based Turtle Island Restoration Network will team up to present an evening of learning.
Why should we care about Louisiana and its sea turtles? Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana received more than 7,000 petitions on Oct. 22 asking him to take action to protect endangered sea turtles in Louisiana waters.
More than 7,000 Louisiana residents are calling on Gov. Bobby Jindal to increase protection for sea turtles along coastal waters.Members of the Turtle Island Restoration Network attempted to deliver the petitions to Jindal’s office Tuesday, but were only able to by mail and email. Supporters are calling on him to show a stronger environmental record, among other demands.
Turtle Island Restoration Network will present Gov. Bobby Jindal with over 7,000 petitions from Louisiana residents and concerned citizens from around the country asking Gov. Jindal to take action to protect endangered Louisiana sea turtles in state waters.
Turtle Island Restoration Network, an international ocean and marine conservation organization headquartered in Marin, has hired Kentfield native Doug Karpa as a staff attorney.
Associate Campaign Director of the Gulf Office Joanie Steinhaus presented to the Rotary Club of Galveston yesterday.
Today is Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day! Today is a day to celebrate conservation achievements and to continue to work for real protections for these critically endangered sea turtles.
Today is Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day! Two years ago on this day Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1776 into law and declared Oct. 15th an official celebratory day for the endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles that swim off the coast of California. Turtle Island Restoration Network championed the awareness-raising bill, which was sponsored by California Assemblymember Paul Fong. Now, on Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day, Turtle Island is calling for action to safeguard these gentle ocean giants from the Hawaiian longline fisheries for swordfish and tuna, and for the closure of the costly driftnet fishery off the coast of California.
60 students from Marin Primary Middle School unplugged from their Ipads to spend the week at Clem Miller Environmental Education Center in Point Reyes.
Turtle Island Restoration Network, a leading ocean and marine wildlife conservation non-profit, will be hosting a beach party and scavenger hunt celebration in honor of Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day this Sunday, October 12 at Rodeo Beach in Marin, Calif.
With Turtle Island Restoration Network opening its Galveston office on Monday, the Gulf Coast sea turtles have someone watching their leatherbacks. Helped by Rob
This Halloween dress up as a sea turtle! Doing so will help raise awareness about endangered sea turtles in your neighborhood, and also save you
It was an awesome day, following up with Sasha Prosser’s class at Clem miller Environmental Education Center. To say these students had a meaningful
Galveston, Texas — Sea turtles living in the Gulf of Mexico are about to get some backup support on Galveston Island. The Turtle Island
History will be made on Monday evening, September 29, when the Galveston Chamber of Commerce staff cut a ribbon at the only office on the Upper Texas Coast dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico.
Intern Jeremey A. Rich’s habitat development program is well underway at Turtle Island’s Headquarters in Olema, Calif. The program provides hidden-in-plain-sight niche habitats for
Volunteers were busy at Turtle Island headquarters in west Marin County making signs and costumes for NorCal’s version of the People’s Climate March, which
Contact: Todd Steiner, Executive Director, Turtle Island Restoration Network (415) 488-7652; TSteiner@SeaTurtles.Org Corte Madera, Calif. (September 15, 2014) – Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Salmon Protection And
Sara Gendel, a graduate student at Bard College in New York, joined the Turtle Island Restoration Network team this July as our newest conservation intern.
Shark Scientists Focus on Finding Out Where Threatened Sharks Swim at International Bogotá Conference
Shark scientists gathered last week at a conference organized by the Colombian Presidential Agency for International Cooperation to learn how to effectively track the migration patterns and behavior of threatened sharks species with specialized underwater acoustic tags,* as well as strengthen the Latin-American Migramar network of scientists studying marine migratory patterns in the Eastern Pacific.
During the month of August, Turtle Island Restoration Network hosted the Summer Salmon Institute – a program designed for elementary school teachers to share ideas and collaboratively plan how to best engage students with current environmental issues. Here are a few updates on teachers work in the field post Summer Salmon Institute 2014.
Did you know that on Friday the California State Legislature passed a bill banning the use of plastic bags at grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores & other businesses?
Thanks to Turtle Island Restoration Network’s hard work, and funding provided by the NOAA BWET grant, this years Summer Salmon Institute was a huge success. Teachers spent the week learning about hands on watershed education and it’s links to the newly adopted Next Generation Science Standards.
We are excited to introduce SPAWN’s newest salmonid habitat restoration intern, Kim Horrell. Kim grew up in San Diego, and went to the University of California, Santa Cruz where she majored in anthropology and environmental studies, and studied abroad in Italy and Nepal.
RE: Comment Letter – Trash Amendments Dear Chair Marcus and Board Members: On behalf of California Coastkeeper Alliance, Heal the Bay, 7th Generation Advisors,
Free, Bi-lingual Snapshot Contest Educates Public About California’s Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtles
Turtle Island Restoration Network and the California Coastal Conservancy are sponsoring the bi-lingual Be a California Sea Turtle Hero: Sea Turtle Sand Castle Snapshot Contest to raise awareness about endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles and encourage exploration of the California Coast. The contest is free and open to everyone, and the winner will receive a three-night stay at San Diego’s oceanfront family resort, La Jolla Coves Suites.