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Published:May 7th, 2010 22:15 EST
Immediate Oil Threat to Endangered Sea Turtles

Immediate Oil Threat to Endangered Sea Turtles

By SOP newswire2

Right now, threatened and endangered sea turtles are fighting their way through oil coated waters in their annual migration to their nesting grounds " fighting for their very survival because of reckless drilling off our coasts.

The Gulf oil disaster couldn`t have come at a worse time for sea turtles.
It started just days before they must return to shore to nest and lay their eggs.
 

Please help save sea turtles threatened by the massive offshore oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Like humans, sea turtles will die from ingesting too much oil. And like us, they can drown. Sea turtles need to surface to breathe, which is hard to do when the ocean`s surface is coated with oil. Other wildlife will need our help, but first the sea turtles "

Please support our work in the coming days to save these threatened and endangered sea turtles. Donate now.

I`ve just completed a tour of some of the many wildlife refuges on the Gulf threatened by the offshore oil drilling crisis, including Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama " an important nesting area for threatened loggerhead sea turtles that are fighting their way to shore right now.

It doesn`t take a wildlife expert to know that sea turtles need oil-free beaches and waters to survive "especially during nesting season and immediately after, when their hatchlings must return to sea.

Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen and I have already directed our staff to make emergency response to the offshore oil crisis our immediate priority. 

Your tax-deductible donation today of whatever you can afford
will help support Defenders of Wildlife`s emergency
three-point strategy to address this crisis:

Oil-Covered Sea Turtle, Shannon MillerPoint 1. Emergency Response for Sea Turtles
Threatened and endangered sea turtles are in waters off the Florida Panhandle right now. And females are expected to begin laying eggs within the week.

Our Florida staff is heading to some of the Sunshine State`s most important nesting grounds to assist with the clean-up and rehabilitation of oil-soaked sea turtles and other wildlife impacted by the spill. In the weeks ahead, we will recruit and train more volunteers to assist with these efforts.

The response to this disaster could well determine the fate of the next generation of loggerhead, Kemp`s ridley and other threatened and endangered sea turtles, so it`s vital that we act now.

Help save sea turtles "

Deepwater Horizon Blowout (Photo: Coast Guard, 4/22/10)Point 2. Prevent the Next Offshore Oil Disaster.
On July 1st, Shell Oil plans to begin offshore drilling operations in the remote and harsh waters of the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska " setting the stage for America`s next great drilling disaster.

Since Monday, we have mobilized more than 51,000 Defenders supporters
to urge President Obama to reinstate the ban on offshore drilling that protected our coasts for 27 years and to rescind Shell`s permits to conduct exploratory drilling in this vital habitat for America`s threatened polar bears, bowhead whales and other wildlife.

Yesterday, we joined with Native Alaskans and other allies to challenge Shell`s permits at a federal court hearing in Portland, OR. This week, we called on Congress to stop promoting offshore drilling. And next week, we will urge the U.S Senate to pass legislation that moves America away from its dangerous dependence on fossil fuels and addresses the impacts of climate change on wildlife like our vulnerable sea turtles without sacrificing our coasts.
 

 Help prevent the next offshore oil disaster "

Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Photo: Caroline Rogers, USGS)Point 3. Document the Crisis and Educate the Public.
Working with people like Defenders Board member and world-famous wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin, photojournalist Krista Schlyer, and others, we`re helping to highlight the terrible implications of the Gulf offshore oil spill through compelling images and informed first-hand accounts " so that a tragedy like this never happens again.

Defenders Senior Marine Policy Advisor Richard Charter is working with some of the top data analysts in the country to predict the spill`s trajectory, providing expert analysis on the technical perils of offshore drilling in the media, and working with policy makers to address the crisis.

This week, we launched a new blog, where we will provide up-to-the-minute news and analysis on wildlife impacted by the spill.

Help us document the crisis and educate the public "

The massive gulf oil spill is now just a few miles from Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and other critical nesting sites for threatened and endangered sea turtles. And the toxic tide could hit other vital nesting sites on the Florida Panhandle as early as next week.

The annual cycle of sea turtle reproduction leaves no time for delay! We must act now to save these sea turtles. To do so, we " and the sea turtles " desperately need your help.


Please make your tax-deductible contribution today.

With Gratitude,

Jamie Rappaport Clark, Defenders of Wildlife

Jamie Rappaport Clark
Executive Vice President
Defenders of Wildlife