Turtle Island Restoration Network Organizes Successful World Sea Turtle Day Beach Cleanup in Galveston

Galveston, TX, June 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Turtle Island Restoration Network is excited to announce the success of its inaugural World Sea Turtle Day beach cleanup, which took place on Friday. Over 200 registered volunteers participated in this event, united in raising awareness about the importance of sea turtles and the preservation of their habitats. This cleanup aimed to make a tangible difference in reducing the impact of plastic pollution on sea turtles, marine wildlife, and their fragile ecosystems.

The cleanup event received overwhelming support from the community, showcasing the collective effort to protect and celebrate these endangered species. Volunteers collected an impressive 226.57 pounds of trash, highlighting the severity of the issue. Shockingly, among the items collected were 2,800 cigarette butts, emphasizing the urgent need to address the detrimental effects of debris on marine life.

"We are thrilled with the support from the community for our first World Sea Turtle Day Galveston-wide beach cleanup. Volunteers collected 226.57 pounds of trash and 2,800 cigarette butts! We are grateful for Land Rover Clear Lake's support in supplying snacks, drinks, and the amazing wrap on a Land Rover Defender. We also extend our appreciation to City of Galveston Park staff for set up at Meander Park," said Joanie Steinhaus, Gulf of Mexico Director at Turtle Island Restoration Network.

Land Rover Clear Lake played a vital role in the cleanup efforts and in promoting a safe environment for turtles in and around the Galveston area. Their generous support included providing snacks, drinks, and an eye-catching wrap on a Land Rover Defender, garnering attention and spreading awareness about the cause.

"Jaguar Land Rover Clear Lake was delighted to play a role in the cleanup of our local beaches and getting the word out about maintaining a safe environment for turtles in and around the Galveston area. Thank you to everyone involved; we look forward to continued involvement in this all-important cause," said Randy Bednar, General Manager of Jaguar Land Rover Clear Lake.

The impact of beach plastic on sea turtles is devastating. According to UNESCO Facts & Figures on Marine Pollution, over 1 million marine animals, including mammals, fish, sharks, turtles, and birds, are killed every year due to ocean plastic debris. The staggering statistic highlights the urgent need to address the issue of plastic pollution.

There are roughly 100 million tons of plastic in oceans worldwide, with an additional 60 billion pounds expected to be produced this year alone. The buildup of plastics spans 5 million square miles in some areas, equivalent to the combined size of the United States and India. The majority of this plastic debris, around 80%, originates from land sources, making it crucial to address the issue at its source.

The debris found on beaches includes recognizable items such as plastic bags, bottles, balloons, degraded buoys, packaging materials, and food wrappers. However, the danger extends beyond visible plastics. 

Sea turtles are particularly vulnerable to the effects of marine debris due to the structure of their bodies. Tragically, many turtles that have fallen victim to debris consumption were found with plastic bags or fishing lines in their stomachs, sometimes as small as half the size of a fingernail. 

Furthermore, the harmful decomposition of marine debris inside sea turtles' bodies can cause them to float, leading to starvation or making them easy targets for predators. These distressing facts highlight the urgency of addressing the issue and working towards a cleaner environment.

Turtle Island Restoration Network urges the public to participate in future cleanup events in light of the alarming facts surrounding plastic pollution and its global impact. Together, we can make a significant difference in reducing the effects of pollution on sea turtles, marine wildlife, and their habitats.

About Turtle Island Restoration Network:
Turtle Island Restoration Network is a leading advocate for the world's oceans and marine wildlife, utilizing grassroots action, hands-on restoration, and strategic litigation to safeguard sea turtles, sharks, salmon, whales, dolphins, and marine biodiversity. With unique programs and initiatives, Turtle Island Restoration Network works to protect and restore endangered species and critical habitats. To learn more about Turtle Island Restoration Network and its initiatives, please visit: https://seaturtles.org/



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