1. Lights Out: Hatchlings use the light from the moon to find their way to the water. Turn off unnecessary lights that are visible from nesting beaches. Close curtains or blinds at night if you live near the beach where nests are. Use certified “turtle-friendly” lights that are red or amber in color; these lights are much less disruptive to sea turtles.
2. Reduce Chemical Usage: Chemicals you use on your lawn and in your home can wash into the coastal waters, killing plants and animals. Make sure to properly dispose of toxic chemicals and find alternatives.
3. Clean Up Trash: Turtles can become tangled in plastic and trash (on the shore and in the water). Discarded items such as fishing lines & plastic bags, which may be confused for food, resulting in injury or death.
4. Become a Citizen Scientist: Organize a clean-up day, clear the beach of litter, give a presentation at school on how to save sea turtles and talk to others about how to make sure they are not putting these creatures in danger.
5. Avoid Nesting and Hatching Turtles: Sea turtles are tempting to touch & observe, but lights and people disturb them. Give nesting areas space, and do not disturb as they emerge from the ocean and avoid as they head back to water.
Marine Biologist: Here in South Florida we are surrounded by water and there is so much to learn!
Marine biologists may study anything from the largest whale down to tiny plankton, microbes, and even the seawater itself. The sea and its denizens (vocabulary: an inhabitant or occupant of a particular place) are facing the challenges of coexisting with commercial shipping, recreational boating, plastics, chemicals, and other issues associated with human activities. Marine biologists study how these activities affect marine life and suggest alternatives to minimize or prevent them.
There are also many jobs that come out of studying Marine Biology in college like wildlife biologist, zoologist, fish and wildlife biologist, fisheries biologist, aquatic biologist, conservation biologist, biological technician, marine mammologist, microbiologist, systems analyst, mathematician and more.
If you are interested in working with sea turtles you may want to study Biology, Fishery, Zoology, or Oceanography.
The jobs are very competitive so many people choose to get their master’s degree in fisheries, conservation, or biological oceanography as well. More and more universities are offering courses and programs in fisheries or wildlife management.
So, if you want to work with Sea Turtles in the future, you may want to pursue studying Marine Biology! You may end up working as a marine biologist for a state or federal government agency or in a research lab! Or, as many kids envision, at an aquarium, zoo, museum or as a teacher!
Fun Fact: Florida is one of the states with the most jobs available for marine biologists!