Marine Debris Survey at a Sea Turtle Nesting Beach

Marine Debris Survey at a Sea Turtle Nesting Beach

Approximately 100 million marine animals that have died from being entangled in debris or ingest garbage they mistake for food (STC 2017), and 52% of sea turtles are estimated to have eaten plastic (Schuyler et al. 2013). Beach trash also interferes with sea turtle nesting attempts, incubating eggs, and hatchlings journey to the ocean. We have developed a groundbreaking protocol that quantifies coastal pollution buildup using the NOAA Marine Debris protocol combined with turtle track surveys to determine the spatial and temporal coincidence of nesting activities and pollution. This information helps managers tackle pollution prevention, clean up, and rescue/rehabilitation of turtles more efficiently. We will train and supervise two college interns to collect data at an important olive ridley nesting beach at San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico. Interns will also protect female turtles and eggs and remove all the trash on the beach during this period to protect turtle habitat and the nearby estuaries. Sea World will be recognized locally and internationally for its efforts to protect wild turtles. This aligns well with four Sea World grant priorities - Animal Rescue/Rehab: Sea Turtles, Conservation Education: Leadership Development, Habitat Protection: Freshwater Ecosystems, and Habitat Protection: Marine/Aquatic Debris.

  • Year

  • Category

    Habitat Protection
  • Location

    North America
  • Species Types

    Sea Turtles
  • Amount Donated