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The Green Life: Green Tip: Celebrate World Turtle Day May 23

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May 23, 2008

Green Tip: Celebrate World Turtle Day May 23

Turtle_istock_000000488035xsmall Are you planning a trip to the beach this summer? If so, that's one thing you have in common with sea turtles, who trek ashore to lay their eggs. Nesting season varies according to region, but it can last from March until October.

Here are some things you can do to help sea turtles: 

Keep off the dunes. Nests are often marked by local turtle watch groups. If you see a nest, don't dig or walk near it, and keep dogs out of the area. Turn the lights out. Light disorients turtles who nest and hatch at night, so don't bring flashlights to the beach after dark. If you live near the shore, draw your curtains at night or install dark window tinting, and turn off patio lights. Remove litter. Turtles mistake plastic bags, styrofoam, and helium balloons for food, which can be a deadly error. Clear the path. When you leave the beach, remove beach toys, chairs, umbrellas and other possible turtle obstructions. Fill in large holes left by sandcastle projects or tire treads (turtle hatchlings can get stuck in them). Protect turtle habitat. Sierra Club recently teamed up with local organizations to protect Puerto Rico's Northeast Ecological Corridor, a loggerhead turtle nesting site. Contact your local Sierra Club chapter or a local turtle watch group to get involved with turtle protection.

--D.W.

Sources:  The Humane Society, Folly Beach Turtle Watch, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch, Holden Beach Turtle Watch, CCC and Turtle Survival League, South Carolina Aquarium

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