Thirty years ago, a film called "The Heartbreak Turtle" alerted the world that the smallest sea turtle species would soon be extinct if drastic measures weren't taken. The number of Kemp's Ridley nesters was less than 800. Poaching at nesting beaches and drowning in shrimp trawls had taken a terrible toll on this sea turtle that nests only on Gulf of Mexico beaches.
In 1978, the United States and Mexico began working to prevent the extinction of the Kemp's ridley. The film described how the people of Mexico gave 2,000 Kemp's ridley eggs to the United States each year to incubate. The tiny hatchlings were raised for almost a year to give them a greater chance to survive when released back into the Gulf of Mexico. (This program was terminated in 1993.) Although times have changed, this small resident of the Gulf continues to need protection. Work must go on to save the Kemp's ridleys. Public education is the key to its recovery.
The good news is that nesting has increased on the Texas coast and the overall population in the Gulf is also increasing. We need our new documentary to tell the story of not only the successes of the past 30 years but continued threats to the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle which remains critically endangered. If you can help us finish the film, please go to the STRP website.
The Sea Turtle Restoration Project has been compiling interviews with the experts for three years thanks to funding from The Meadows Foundation of Dallas. With additional funding, we can complete and distribute the new version of "The Heartbreak Turtle." Donors making significant contributions will be listed in the credits of the completed film which will be seen all over the world. Donations may be made in honor or in memory of family or friends. Donors are welcome to make suggestions for the title of the new documentary. If you want to help us and leave a lasting mark in conservation history, please go to the STRP website.