Galveston’s seaweed problem poses risk to endangered sea turtles

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GALVESTON, TX – The seaweed cluttering up Galveston beach doesn’t just stink up the place for us humans, it’s stranding 5 times the normal amount of endangered green sea turtles on these shores.

Dr. Kimberly Reich at Texas A&M University Galveston campus says when this seaweed is floating in the ocean; it’s both a food source and protection for green sea turtles.

Reich says, “So when the seaweed washes in like this in mattes, the littlest sea turtles get caught in it and they can’t necessarily get out.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with the Galveston Parks Board and the Army Corps of Engineers to find solutions to this threat. One solution is having people trained as wildlife monitors walk the beach to find sea turtles stuck in the mess before machinery is allowed to clear away access the beach. But that happens once a day, and in the mean time, they need your help. If you’re enjoying a day at the beach, look for these little guys, and if you see them, call 1-866-TURTLE -5.

“That number will get you to a 24/7 responder that will come out to the beach where you are, come pick up that turtle, take it to National Marine Fisheries Hospital where it can be checked out,” explains Reich.

So while you’re enjoying some fun in the sun this summer, remember that number is 1-866-TURTLE-5. Help keep this already endangered species out of harms way.

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