“This recent funding strengthens the STSR program because it shows commitment to furthering the science and understanding of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles,” Taylor told the Traveler in an email last week. “Think of it as dividing and conquering; Dr. Shaver and the STSR team cannot do it all. Dr. Shaver wrote and submitted [in-kind] funding for both projects because she recognized that the STSR does not have the capacity or manpower to complete all of the work that needs to be done around the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle; she did not write these projects with the expectation that the project funds would be given to the STSR program.”
Nevertheless, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility charged in a statement set to be released Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. Eastern that the Park Service “issued a blatantly deceptive public statement” by promoting the $300,000 as new funding for the seashore’s turtle program. PEER also noted that the Park Service has blocked Dr. Donna Shaver, who grew the STSR program to its global stature, from talking to the media, and has also cut $100,000 from the program’s park funding.
“The level of official duplicity at Padre Island Seashore is astonishing,” Pacific PEER Director Jeff Ruch said in the release. “Giving this false impression suggests that the park knows its real actions are indefensible.”