PETITION | Save the Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Program at Padre Island

Save the Padre Island Sea Turtle Program

The National Park Service is moving to sharply curtail its internationally recognized Turtle Science and Recovery Program based at Padre Island National Seashore. The program is key to the survival of the critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the rarest sea turtle species, and rescues threatened loggerhead and green turtles.

Its hatchery and incubation efforts are world-renowned and serve as a vital resource in rescuing stranded sea turtles on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The park superintendent is ordering a 30% cut in program funding and other steps that will hurt sea turtles, including:

  • Confine rescues of stranded sea turtles to park boundaries;
  • Discourage further rescues of loggerhead and green turtles; and
  • Eliminate beach patrols on weekends, when visitation is highest.

Among other cutbacks are a major reduction in the number of highly popular public releases of sea turtle hatchlings to the sea.

Please sign this petition and tell the Secretary of Interior to save the Sea Turtle Science and Recovery program at Padre Island.

Secretary David Bernhardt

Dear Secretary Bernhardt,

The National Park Service is dismantling the famed Sea Turtle Science and Recovery program at Padre Island National Seashore.

Already, NPS has –

  • Redirected much of the sea turtle funding;
  • Sharply restricted sea turtle rescue, recovery, and research; and
  • Marginalized its internationally recognized leader, Dr, Donna Shaver, a finalist for the upcoming Service to America medal given to the year’s top performer in federal service.

This program is supported by its many conservation partners in Texas.

Please intervene to keep this valuable program intact.


Secretary David Bernhardt


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