Oceans and Coasts

Staying Afloat: Conserving Sea Turtles Across the World

All seven of the world's sea turtle species are threatened or critically endangered.

Think back to the longest road trip you’ve ever taken.

Did that trip last 10,000 miles and take many months? Had you circumnavigated an entire ocean by journey’s end? And were you swimming the entire way? While avoiding ravenous predators? While desperately hoping that the thin strip of beach — refuge! — where you were heading to raise a family wasn’t being developed into a tourist resort?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re probably a sea turtle.

The Nature Conservancy is well aware of the challenges facing the world’s seven sea turtle species, all of which are threatened, if not critically endangered.

Nature is full of epic road trips, but few match those taken by sea turtles. Each new generation undertakes an arduous transoceanic journey that ends up depositing its intrepid paddlers back on the beaches where they started. But a variety of threats means that each year yields fewer turtle hatchlings able to undertake that awe-inspiring journey.

The Nature Conservancy is covering a similarly impressive amount of ground — and ocean — to make sure that sea turtles in both hemispheres can continue their flippered migrations for generations to come.

We’re leading and assisting with projects that monitor turtles and track their progress. We’re protecting beaches in both the Atlantic and the Pacific that are home to some of the world’s most important remaining communities of sea turtles.

At the same time, the Conservancy is working to change fishing practices and make the ecosystems that support turtles sustainable at every level. And we’re working with communities of people that have traditionally depended on turtles for food and trade to find new livelihood opportunities that protect turtles and promote economic growth.

The Conservancy is working around the globe to bring one of our oceans’ most treasured species back to prominence. Sea turtles have taken some pretty astonishing journeys, but you can join us on a quick trip through some of the Conservancy projects that are preserving this amazing creature for future travel.



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