Texas has a state bird, flower, song, small and large mammals, fish, shell, tree, insect, plant, fruit, stone, shrub and many other symbols, and now it has an official sea turtle, the endangered Kemp's ridley!
The Fourth Grade Green Team at Oppe Elementary in Galveston and their teacher, Katie Blazer, solved this problem. Working with STRP Gulf Office Director Carole Allen, the students researched the incredible history of the Kemp's ridley. They wrote a resolution asking that the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle be proclaimed the official sea turtle of the state of Texas. They asked Texas Representative Craig Eiland of Galveston to help them and he introduced their HCR 31 to the Texas legislature in January. It was approved by the House of Representatives and also the Texas Senate after being introduced by Senator Larry Taylor. Governor Rick Perry made it official by signing the bill on Friday, May 10.
The last paragraph of the resolution sums up the document:
Once the most imperiled of all sea turtles, the Kemp's ridley is today becoming a more common resident of the Gulf Coast waters; its comeback is a testament to its resilience and to the admirable work of those Texans who have aided its recovery, and this noble animal is indeed a fitting symbol of the Lone Star State.