The work I am doing here in Puerto Rico with the ATMAR (Amigos de las Tortugas Marinas) organization is very important. Many sea turtles are critically endangered including the Hawksbill sea turtles. Only about 1 in 1,000 baby sea turtles will survive to reach adulthood and reproduce. Due to this staggering statistic they need all the help they can get. Sea turtles face many challenges such as natural predators like crabs, birds, and sharks, getting caught in fishing nets,  ocean pollution, trash, light pollution, and poaching. Now they are facing another challenge, rising temperatures. The sex of sea turtles depends on the temperature of the sand they are born in. Warmer sand produces females and cooler sand produces males. Recently there has been concern due to the rising temperatures because more and more females are being produced. This skews the male to female sex ration and could potentially lead to a big problem in the future. With fewer males less eggs will get fertilized which leads to less sea turtles overall. The other challenges I listed above are being confronted such as TED’s which stand for Turtle Exclusion Devices and allows sea turtles to escape nets, turtle friendly lights are used around beaches, and beach patrols are discouraging poachers. This new problem however can not be so easily solved as it involves the entire planet. What can people do to help mitigate this extremely daunting problem? Change your light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs last 10 times longer and use two-thirds less energy than regular light bulbs. Only use heating and air conditioning when you are home and turn them off before you leave. Try to drive less. And last but certainly not least conserve electricity. Turn off lights and unplug electronics and kitchen appliances when you are not using them. You don’t have to travel to Puerto Rico for an internship to help sea turtles. You can help right at home by making a few simple changes. IMG_0088 IMG_0077

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