Not a Good Year for Gulf Sea Turtles

For migrating sea turtles, the BP oil drilling disaster could not have come at a worse time. Five of the seven species of sea turtles call the Gulf of Mexico home, including the endangered Kemp’s Ridley. Every year adult Ridleys migrate from around the Gulf to the sandy beaches of south Texas and northern Mexico. Over the last week, 35 juvenile Kemp’s Ridley turtles have washed ashore from Louisiana to Alabama. The jury is still out on whether the BP oil drilling disaster is directly related to these deaths, but this will be a difficult year for marine turtles in the Gulf.Many turtles will have to make their way through the massive BP oil spill. They will be dodging boats and booms, as they try to surface for air without ingesting oil. Beneath the surface chemical dispersants may contaminate or kill their food. Like many other animals they have been known to mistake tar balls for food. This is not a good year to be a turtle.Read more about marine turtles here.Ellis Pickett is GRN’s Texas Campaign Organizer

Scroll to Top