Green turtle visits Belize during ‘Tour de Turtles’
Saturday, August 13th, 2016
Tour de Turtles begun in 2008 by Sea Turtle Conservancy as a fun educational, journey to research sea turtle migration using satellite telemetry. This event occurs every August 1st, and the “turtle” marathon represents four different species of sea turtles: leatherback, green, loggerhead, and hawksbill. The “competitors” swim with the goal of being the first turtle to swim the furthest distance during the migration marathon.
Within the annual Tour de Turtles, individual sea turtles are tracked for approximately three months, as they leave their nesting beaches and race to complete the marathon. This year, Esperanza, a migrating turtle was attracted to Belize, and just so happened to make a U-turn at Ambergris Caye. Esperanza is an adult green sea turtle from Guanahacabibes Natural Park, Cuba, and is the first turtle ever to be tracked migrating to Belize from Cuba. She is swimming to raise awareness about the threat of marine pollution, and oil spills.
As marine pollution has serious impacts on both sea turtles and their food, oil spills can absorb in their food, and affect their digestion. Since saving sea turtles is a challenge, each turtle is swimming for a cause to raise awareness about a specific environmental threat: boat strikes, water quality, plastic debris, light pollution, climate change, commercial trawl fisheries, illegal sea turtle shell trade, commercial longline fisheries, invasive species predation, beach erosion, oil spills, and sustainable tourism.
There are two ways you can get involved and support a sea turtle marathoner to help raise awareness about their cause:
Adopt-A-Turtle: With a donation of $30 ($40 outside the U.S.) you can Adopt-A-Turtle through Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) to show your support for a sea turtle and its cause. Included in the Adopt-A-Turtle kit is a personalized adoption certificate, a colorful logo decal, a colorful magnet, and STC’s Sea Turtle Conservation Guide, all presented in a beautiful full-color sea turtle folder.
Swim-a-Thon Pledge: You can support your turtle by making a per-mile donation pledge for each mile they swim between August 1 and October 31, 2016. You can determine your own pledge amount, starting as low as $0.05 cents per mile, and you can even set a maximum total amount.
With either option, you will also become a member of STC and receive a free one-year subscription to the Velador, STC’s award winning conservation newsletter. Your tax-deductible donation will help STC ensure sea turtles are swimming free in the oceans for future generations! Please visit www.tourdeturtles.org for more information.
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