After the sun has long been set and the moon risen, a quiet stirring begins all along the beaches of South Florida. In the black, dark waters of the night, as the break waves splash against the shore, giants emerge from the seas to find the perfect place in the sand. Female Leatherbacks, Loggerheads, and Green Sea Turtles haul their massive bodies out of the weightlessness of the ocean, with the instinctive need to lay eggs and further their species through new generations.
These sea turtle species have been laying their eggs on Florida beaches for millions of years. Yet, due to illegal harvesting of eggs and adults for food, loss of habitat due the desire of beach front properties, and misplaced trash such as plastic bags and straws, each of these species are on the endangered list.
All around the world, scientists and citizens alike put forth effort to protect hundreds of different species from extinction in this planet. Yet so many events occur yearly that continue to affect species even under federal protection. Overfishing, destruction of habitat, and down to even the small pieces of plastics that become our trash, humans continue to expedite the loss of endangered species in their daily activities, often without even realizing they are contributing to the problem.
Today, Friday May 19, 2017 is Endangered Species Day. Today, many people around the world are hosting events in order to spread the awareness of humans’ impact on other species on Earth.
So today, and tomorrow, and every day, I implore you to take just a little bit of time to make some small changes and decrease your footprint. Project Aware asks “What will your challenge be;” to promote awareness and spread the knowledge and help decrease our impact on the loss of species?
Will you get together with like minds and join a group clean up? Will you ask for drinks without a straw, or take a few minutes out of every day to dispose of recyclables separately? Will you join a triathlon? Or even a bake-athon? What will you do not only today, but throughout the year?
Help us work towards the preservation of these and other endangered species and be a force for good in the world, and to the majestic ocean creatures that we hope will continue to thrive for generations to come.
June Cleanup at Phil Foster Park – Sat, June 10th from 9 AM – 12 PM
Call to register: 561-840-8750
PADI Sea Turtle Awareness Specialty – Sun, June 11th from 9 AM – 5 PM
Call for details or to get signed up: 561-840-8750
This blog and photos are courtesy of Andrea Whitaker, Pura Vida’s resident Photo Pro, an Open Water SCUBA Instructor, and a Dive Guide. Andrea also works under an FWC marine sea turtle permit as a nesting surveyor in Palm Beach. To dive with Andrea, call the shop at 561-840-8750.
All turtle nesting photos were taken during federally permitted sea turtle nesting surveys.