Hawksbill sea turtle swimming near Akajima, Okinawa, Japan
© Robert Mallon/Getty Image
Shell-ebrating sea turtles. World Sea Turtle Day
Happy World Sea Turtle Day! Today people around the world gather to clean beaches and learn how to help turtles and other marine life thrive. It's a simple way to help our aquatic friends like this hawksbill sea turtle finds clean waters again. The largest populations of hawksbill sea turtles are found in the Caribbean, Indian, and Indo-Pacific Oceans.
This year's World Sea Turtle Day focuses on plastic's negative impact on ocean environments. People's careless disposal habits have made plastics a pervasive presence in the earth's oceans. From abandoned fishing nets in the water, to disposable drink bottles left on hatching grounds, to microplastics that travel from our drains into the ocean, plastics play a prominent part in turtles' present plight. These ancient creatures' existence is now threatened, with six of seven marine turtle species on the cusp of extinction. World Sea Turtle Day is observed on the birthday of Dr. Archie Carr, known as the 'father of sea turtle biology.'