“Coastal Bend turtles are in trouble. An internationally recognized and awarded program credited with helping to keep Kemp’s ridley sea turtles from going extinct has been restricted by a recent National Park Service review. The chief of the Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery at Padre Island National Seashore, Dr. Donna Shaver, can no longer speak to the media about the program, rescue stranded turtles or turtle eggs outside of the boundaries of Padre Island National Seashore, or apply for federal funds for the program, which pulls in about $300,000 in grant money per year. The review also claims the Padre Island National Seashore gift shop is too focused on selling sea turtle souvenirs.
A finalist for the Service to America Medals People’s Choice Award, Shaver responded by filing a complaint with the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a service organization that protects employees who work in environmental programs and park service. The National Park Service has until Sept. 26 to respond.”