The Texas coast is one of the most dangerous places in the world for nesting and migrating Kemp's ridley sea turtles. On June 28, 2012, the Department of the Interior released the Proposed Oil and Gas Leasing Program which included five proposed areas located in the Western Planning Area (WPA) of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The general area proposed for these WPA lease sales, encompasses approximately 20.7 million acres in the western portion of the GOM (excluding whole and partial blocks within the boundary of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary).
In order to implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is preparing a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The BOEM must consider the potential impact to this area from among other things, the Deepwater Horizon explosion, oil spill and response. Further development of the GOM can damage marine life, causing sea turtles to be displaced and disrupting their feeding and mating behaviors.
Federal officials are asking for public comments and will hold a meeting in Galveston, TX. A representative from Sea Turtle Restoration Project will attend this meeting, so if possible would you please join her and add your voice in support of sea turtles.
Galveston, Texas: Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Courtyard Galveston Island
Gulf Front Marriott
9550 Seawall Blvd
Meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m.
To learn more about the area impacted and to submit comments please click here.
Your comments may include:
Near shore Gulf of Mexico waters serve as a prime foraging habitat for post nesting Kempís ridley turtles, adults migrating between breeding and foraging habitats, and by post-hatchlings and juveniles during early life stages.
A foraging corridor exists in nearshore Gulf of Mexico waters and underscores the need for international cooperation for conservation of Kempís ridley sea turtles.
Thirty-one platform transmitter terminals were deployed on Kemp's ridleys that nested at Padre Island National Seashore and Rancho Nuevo over a 13-year period between 1998 and 2011. The results of this study define critical foraging area hotspots for this species and specifically for post-nesting Kempís ridley turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico.