Lawsuit Stops BP From Burning Sea Turtles in the Gulf

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Lawsuit Stops BP From Burning Sea Turtles in the Gulf

From Sea Turtle Restoration Project
July 2010

Good news! After we filed a lawsuit against BP, the corporation agreed to stop burning turtles alive in their controlled burns!

In response to a suit we filed Wednesday, BP and the Coast Guard have agreed to stop burning oil off the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Now, they must involve sea turtle experts to put in place a scientifically-sound plan to protect endangered sea turtles. All burning is currently halted. It can only begin again after a team of scientists has determined how to protect the sea turtles from any future burns.

BP and the Coast Guard backed down and agreed to the requirements of the federal judge overseeing the case. Now, they say, the horrifyingly cruel practice of burning sea turtles will end.

This is the first good news for sea turtles from the BP oil spill that I have heard in months - and especially needed for the highly endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle, which has suffered a tremendous setback in population recovery due to the oil spill.

Just a few months ago, the future of the Kemp's ridley sea turtles, which nest and forage in the Gulf of Mexico, was looking good. This small, endangered sea turtle has struggled back from near extinction when the population declined to just 300 nesting females in the 1980s.
But when the BP oil well blew out on April 20, it not only killed 11 men and brought devastation to Gulf states, it put the Kemp's ridley sea turtles' recovery in doubt and put all of the Gulf's sea turtles and other wildlife in harm's way. We must demand that not only do BP and the Coast Guard protect sea turtles from oil burning operations, but that they protect every single egg, every hatchling and every adult sea turtle to give them a shot at survival.

It is only with continued public scrutiny and pressure that we can ensure that they follow through with the actions needed to protect sea turtles. And I can guarantee you they will put up a good fight, because saving the sea turtles does not benefit them.

It is only with all of us speaking out that we will be able to pressure BP and our federal government to fully restore and protect marine wildlife and habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. I know that I can count on you to help in those efforts, and I greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for your support of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project's efforts, and for being a part of this tremendous victory!