NOVEMBER 28, 2016
Each year thousands of endangered baby turtles are released into the gulf from South Padre Island. But as Sea Turtle Inc. reports, ‘sea turtle life is a difficult life.’ Each year about a handful make it back to reproduce. These turtles face many dangers when they’re young. They are easy prey for large predators, but some get caught up in litter. “They’ve eaten balloons, they get twisted up in onion sacks, so there is a lot of that trash creates for our marine life, for our sea turtles, for our dolphins,” says Kat Lillie cleanup organizer at Sea Turtle Inc.
Sea Turtle Inc was awarded a grant from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. It will help their operations and help reduce debris. “It funds among other things, four beach cleanups between four years. So we’ll be doing them in the fall and in the spring for the next 2 years,” says Lillie. They are optimistic about their upcoming efforts. They will set up on city Beach Access #3. That’s the access on Gulf Blvd. “We chose thanksgiving weekends because this is a weekend where there is a lot of people on the beach,” says Lillie, “It’s a weekend when we’re trying to be grateful for everything we have. The beach is something so beautiful that we have down here.”
Turtles can mistake trash for food they eat. Although most trash isn’t directly thrown on the water, it eventually makes it way towards marine life. Tomorrow, between one to three hundred people are expected. They plan to stop the litter before it becomes a threat to wildlife.
Cleanup begins this Saturday November 26th from 9:00 A.M. till Noon. Registration will be available on site.
Sea Turtle Inc. will provide gloves and bags. They ask volunteers to dress for appropriately for tomorrow’s weather.
Sea Turtle Inc. asked that we share a list of partners that made this cleanup possible
– NOAA Marine Debris Program
– Keep SPI Beautiful
– Respeta La Playa
– City of South Padre Island Environmental Services
– Cameron County Parks and Recreation
– Point Isabel ISD
– Clayton’s Beach Bar
By Alfredo Cuadros