Target: Connie Barclay, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service
Goal: Praise administration for protecting endangered sea turtles
New protection has been put in place for the endangered species of loggerhead sea turtles in areas of North America and in specified oceans. For endangered loggerhead turtles, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has designated coastlines from North Carolina to Mississippi, as well as waters in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, as critical, federally-protected habitats. This is the largest federal protection of its kind, following a 2013 lawsuit by conservation groups.
Loggerheads spend their lives in the open ocean and shallow coastal waters. They are the largest sea turtle species in the United States’ Southeast region. Some Loggerhead turtles leave nesting beaches and spend up to twelve years in the open waters before later returning to coastal areas. Maturity is reached at about 35 years old, when they will seek out nesting areas along the beach and the cycle will continue once new loggerheads hatch. Because the turtles use the ocean, coastal areas, and beaches for nesting, a combination of the three is vital to their habitat and life cycle.
Loggerhead turtles have been an endangered species since 1978, but since then their habitats have not been protected as required by the Endangered Species Act. This new habitat protection will limit how federal agencies can use the protected regions. Agencies must now consult with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before using a protected area to ensure that the areas features – which are critical to the survival of loggerheads – remain intact.
Loggerhead turtles are one of over 600 species that are threatened or endangered and need critical habitats in order to ensure species survival. Critical habitats are areas that are naturally stocked with elements necessary to preserve the species that would not be found elsewhere. In the loggerhead turtles case, removing or tarnishing those habitats and elements is banned under the new protection offered. Sign the petition to thank the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for ensuring the protected survival of these beautiful creatures.
Dear Connie Barclay,
Thank you for your efforts in federally protecting the critical habitats of loggerhead sea turtles. This new protection will increase public awareness of areas where these turtles may be nesting or dwelling. It will also ensure that federal activity leaves habitats intact to ensure the survival of loggerheads.
Protecting these waters will maximize conservation efforts of the species by protecting them on both land and sea. Thank you for your efforts in sanctioning these waters to be protected. This is one giant step for turtles.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Neukoln via Wikimedia Commons