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A. Chantelle Cornet ENG102-04-OLC-1819-2 - English Composition II 9/22/18 Research Essay Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia Mydas) by A. Chantelle Cornet 1 | P a g e
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A. Chantelle Cornet ENG102-04-OLC-1819-2 - English Composition II 9/22/18 Most of us remember Crush, the surfer dude, father turtle from Disney’s Finding Nemo. When Marlin asks Crush how old he is, Crush replies that he is 150 years and still young. Do we really have green sea turtles that live that long in the oceans? Due to years of poaching, trapping and pollution our beloved sea turtles have dwindled in numbers to the point they have been put on the endangered species list. Sea turtles have been depicted in folklore, literature, television, and film for centuries as the wise or ancient all-knowing and caring beings, yet we have allowed them to become non- existent in our world and have failed to protect them. Luckily, there are some organizations that have made it their mission to do just that; protect and repopulate the beloved green sea turtle. Green sea turtles are an endangered species around the world, but they still nest in increasing numbers on the east coast of Florida. “The green sea turtle was listed in the United States under the Endangered Species Act as endangered in 1978.” [Sea04] This was shortly after former President Richard Nixon signed the Act in 1973, preserving habitats for various species including the green sea turtle. According to Sea Turtle Conservancy, “The greatest threat is from the commercial harvest for eggs and food. Other green turtle parts are used for leather and small turtles are sometimes stuffed for curios. Incidental catch in commercial shrimp trawling is an increasing source of mortality.” [Sea04] There are other threats to these gentle giants. When hatchlings are struggling to find their way back to the ocean there is a phenomenon call light pollution also known as skyglow that disrupts their natural process. The nesting and 2 | P a g e
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A. Chantelle Cornet ENG102-04-OLC-1819-2 - English Composition II 9/22/18 hatching go like this, every two to four years, adult females choose a spot on the beach -- often the one where they were born --lay roughly 100 to 200 eggs, then cover the eggs with sand before returning to sea. After incubating for about two months (or longer once the sands cool), the hatchlings emerge, burrow out of the sand and scurry towards the brightest light they see. That should be moonlight over the ocean. Instead, many end up racing in the opposite direction, towards the headlights of cars and illuminated beachfront homes. The glow of these artificial lights is known as skyglow. "Hatchlings use light to find the ocean. And if they don't find the ocean, they will die. They depend on a natural light field that is brighter over the ocean than it is over the land, but
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  • Fall '17
  • Steve Weigenstein
  • Green turtle, Leatherback turtle, Sea turtle

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