Facing Extinction: Endangered Sea Turtles – Can They be Saved? Free lecture by Local Sea Turtle Activist Robert Ovetz Pacifica, CA –September 22, 2004 – The American Cetacean Society San Francisco Bay Chapter will offer a free lecture featuring local sea turtle conservationist Robert Ovetz, Ph. D., on the impending extinction of highly endangered sea turtles which are fast disappearing from our oceans. The talk will take place on Wednesday, September 29 at 7:30pm at the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary office, Bldg. 991, Crissy Field (off Old Mason Street) in the Presidio of San Francisco. This talk is part of the ACS SF Bay Chapter ongoing series of lectures. Because of their sharp decline, all sea turtle species – green, loggerhead, hawksbill, Ridley and leatherback turtles, have been protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, but still their numbers are plummeting. Leatherbacks especially are seriously declining at all major nesting beaches throughout the Pacific. The decline is dramatic along the Pacific coasts of Mexico and Costa Rica and coastal Malaysia. The Malaysian nesting population feeds in California in areas such as the Gulf of the Farallones off San Francisco, but represents a mere 1% of the levels recorded in the 1950s. Scientists warn that extinction could occur within the next two decades, perhaps sooner. Dr. Ovetz is the Save the Leatherback Campaign Coordinator with the Bay Area based Sea Turtle Restoration Project. He is involved in studying and advocating for marine wildlife both locally globally, and will describe the factors which threaten their survival, including egg poaching, accidental capture in net and long-line fisheries operations, habitat degradation from coastal development, boat strike, and direct hunting. He will describe some of the measures which non-profit groups and government agencies are using to halt the rapid decline in their populations. Dr. Ovetz has attended the World Trade Organization’s meeting in Cancun in 2003 as an official delegate, and as scientist and activist, he consulted for the Pew Charitable Trusts on longline impacts. His articles and editorials on the subject have been published internationally. The American Cetacean Society is a membership supported conservation and education organization. For local events and programs, contact the American Cetacean Society SF Bay Chapter at PO Box 784, Pacifica CA 94044; or visit our website at www.acs-sfbay.org.