Target: Todd Steiner, Founder and Executive Director, Turtle Island Restoration Network
Goal: Praise a conservation group’s efforts to ensure a new critical habitat designation for Northwest Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles, the largest of its kind for any species in history
Loggerhead sea turtles residing along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts have won a major victory that will improve their chances for long-term survival. They have been waiting for over five years to receive critical habitat designation from the federal government and the newly awarded protected areas amount to the largest designation of its kind for any endangered species in history. Conservation groups, including Turtle Island Restoration Network, filed a lawsuit in 2013 to speed up the stalled process and their determination has paid off. Praise the Network’s founder, Todd Steiner, and his staff, for their relentless work to preserve and protect marine life.
The sea turtles live under constant threat from human activity and environmental factors resulting from climate change. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the turtles won federal protection of critical habitat that includes 685 miles of beaches stretching from Mississippi to North Carolina and over 300,000 square miles of ocean. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service designated critical nesting beaches and offshore areas that are integral to the turtles’ population recovery. The turtles spend up to a dozen years in the ocean before returning to coastal areas around age 35 to nest along beaches. They migrate thousands of miles over the course of their lifetimes.
Despite being listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1978, the turtles have not received critical habitat designation until now. The decision was made possible, in part, by the unwavering determination of conservation groups like Turtle Island Restoration Network. Thank them for their efforts to help preserve these marine animals.
Dear Executive Director Steiner,
Thank you for your organization’s relentless work to ensure that Northwest Atlantic loggerhead turtles received the critical habitat protection they deserve. The recent historic ruling by the federal government will aid long-term recovery efforts for these majestic marine animals.
As you are well aware, the turtles live under constant threat from human activity and climate change. The newly designated critical habitat grants them better opportunity to lead their lives in an uninterrupted, natural state.
I commend the efforts of Turtle Island Restoration Network’s members, who work hard as advocates for marine life. Your expertise and determination have paved the way for the turtles to finally receive more protection and live safer, fuller lives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ukanda via Wikimedia Commons