Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Sea Turtles Ride A Wave Onto New Stamps

June 11, 2024
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READ FULL ARTICLE AT » About.usps.com

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — Today, the U.S. Postal Service helped raise awareness of the plight of sea turtles with new Protect Sea Turtles Forever stamps. A dedication ceremony for the stamps was held at the Texas State Aquarium. News of the stamps is being shared with the hashtag #ProtectSeaTurtlesStamps.

“Sea turtles are majestic creatures who play an important role in marine ecosystems,” said David Camp, who is the USPS Texas 2 District manager. “As you send letters to your friends and family using these stamps, we hope they will serve as a reminder that we can all do our part to help save these incredible ancient mariners.”

The six stamps feature species dependent on U.S. coastal waters for foraging and migratory habitats during various stages of their lives. All six turtles are listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act.

One of the oldest groups of animals on Earth, sea turtles spend most of their lives at sea, coming ashore only to lay their eggs, and in some places to bask. They migrate long distances, sometimes crossing entire oceans. There are seven species of sea turtles in the world. Each species is unique, but they share common traits: They all are streamlined for their life in the oceans, are cold-blooded, breathe air, and lay their eggs on land.

Sea turtles face numerous threats worldwide, including bycatch—being accidentally captured in fishing trawls, nets and lines — habitat loss from development, artificial lighting on beaches, boat strikes, and illegal harvesting. In addition, climate change presents threats when rising ocean levels swamp nesting beaches and when warming sands alter the sex of hatchlings. Federal, state, and international agencies and organizations across the world are working to reduce the threats, but there are many things that individuals can do to directly help sea turtles.

These simple precautions can make a world of difference in protecting these magnificent creatures.

  • Choose seafood that is caught in ways that do not harm or kill turtles.
  • Minimize beachfront lighting during nesting season.
  • Do not disturb nesting sites.
  • Boat at safe speeds to help reduce the likelihood of striking a sea turtle.

“All sea turtle species in the U.S. are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. These species face multiple human threats, and their recovery is further challenged by climate change impacts,” said Dr. Shannon Bettridge, chief of the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Division of NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Protected Resources. “The Protect Sea Turtles stamps are a long-lasting symbol to raise awareness of the species’ plight and engage the public in their conservation.”

The stamps showcase a gray-green Kemp’s ridley (Doug Perrine, photographer); a black-and-white leatherback (Rowan Byrne, photographer); an olive ridley (Solvin Zankl, photographer); a green sea turtle (David B. Fleetham, photographer); a mottled orange-brown loggerhead (James D. Watt, photographer); and a brownish-yellow hawksbill (Claudio Contreras, photographer).

Derry Noyes, an art director for USPS, designed the pane of 18 stamps from the photographs.

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