Urge Costa Rican Legislative Assembly to Protect Leatherback Turtles

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Originally Posted: 31 August 2009

Urge Costa Rican Legislative Assembly to Protect Leatherback Turtles

From National Resource Defense Council (NRDC)

Reject proposed legislation and work with local environmental groups to move forward with plans to protect and consolidate the boundaries of Las Baulas National Marine Park - one of the last remaining sanctuaries in the Americas for the critically endangered leatherback turtle.

Today, less than 1,000 remain in the entire eastern Pacific. Leatherback turtles will only return to nest in the beach where they hatched.

CONTACT

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And/Or better yet, make direct contact:

Maureen Ballestero Vargas
President of the Permanent Special Commission on Environment
email

INFORMATION

I am writing to express my deep concern regarding a bill now pending before the Environment Commission of the Legislative Assembly, which would downgrade the status of the Las Baulas National Marine Park - one of the last remaining sanctuaries in the Americas for the critically endangered leatherback turtle. I urge you to oppose this bill, which would allow development in sensitive areas near the turtle's nesting beaches.

Over the past 20 years, the population of leatherbacks in the Pacific Ocean has plummeted by 90%. Today, less than 1,000 remain in the entire eastern Pacific. Leatherback turtles will only return to nest in the beach where they hatched. Many of the turtles in the eastern Pacific return year after year to lay their eggs on the beaches of Costa Rica's Las Baulas National Marine Park.

Encroaching development already threatens the park's turtle nesting beaches and this bill would increase the pressure on the leatherback turtle. If passed, the bill would represent the first time that Costa Rica decided to downgrade a national park and would be a real blemish on your country's well-deserved reputation as an environmental leader.

I urge you to reject the bill and work with local environmental groups to protect the leatherbacks and move forward with plans to protect and consolidate the boundaries of the park.


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