NOAA's Marine Debris Blog

Keepin' the Sea Free of Debris!

Marine Debris Projects Help Preserve Sea Turtles

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By: Leah Henry

In a continued celebration of sea turtles this week, we’re highlighting a long-term marine debris removal project that is bringing turtles back to the beaches of Florida and an outreach project that aims to prevent balloons from becoming debris. Unfortunately, turtles sometimes ingest the balloons or become entangled in the ribbon attachments.

NOAA’s Marine Debris Program and  Restoration Center support the Coastal Cleanup Corporation (CCC) in its effort to remove marine debris from sea turtle nesting habitat.

Bunch of balloons removed in Florida marine debris cleanup.

Bunch of balloons removed in Florida marine debris cleanup

In Elliott Key, Florida, CCC and its volunteers focus on removing plastics, glass, foam, rubber and discarded fishing gear that washes up on local beaches and interferes with female sea turtles’ journey from the ocean to their nesting sites. In one year, the volunteers and project leaders removed 3.39 tons of marine debris. This removal and restoration project provides long-term ecological improvements to coastal habitat used by endangered loggerhead and green sea turtles.

http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/removal-projects/coastal-cleanup-corporation-helps-sea-turtles-nest

Virginia’s Coastal Zone Management Program (VA CZM) and the NOAA Marine Debris Program use social marketing to mitigate the impacts of balloon debris.

A juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle ingests balloon debris (Photo Credit: Blair Witherington FWC)

A juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtle ingests balloon debris (Photo Credit: Blair Witherington FWC)

VA CZM at the Department of Environmental Quality designs a social marketing campaign to discourage balloon releases and encourage environmentally sensitive alternatives. By engaging and educating a wide variety of stakeholders, including event planners, funeral directors, car dealership employees, and sports team managers, we hope to reduce balloon litter in Virginia and protect the many different species affected by balloon debris, including the juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtle pictured above!

http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/prevention-projects/rising-concern-reducing-balloon-debris-through-social-marketing

Author: NOAA Marine Debris Program

The NOAA Marine Debris Program envisions the global ocean and its coasts, users, and inhabitants free from the impacts of marine debris. Our mission is to investigate and solve the problems that stem from marine debris, in order to protect and conserve our nation's marine environment, natural resources, industries, economy, and people.

One thought on “Marine Debris Projects Help Preserve Sea Turtles

  1. Great program and thanks for caring so much. We also believe that environmental education needs to be introduced in all schools nationwide which is why our two young founders created this award winning Plastic and Recycling Awareness Curriculum. We should set up a call to discuss: http://onemoregeneration.org/educational-program-info/

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