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 ocean pollution & sea turtles

Sea turtles are vulnerable to ocean pollution at all stages of life, from eggs to hatchlings to juveniles to adults. Pollutants include things like oil spills, toxic metals, pcb's, petroleum products, and agricultural and industrial runoff of contaminants such as fertilizers, chemicals, nutrients, and untreated waste. Pollutants may cause immediate harm to sea turtles through direct contact or can build up in tissues over time and lead to immunosuppression resulting in disease and death. 

Degradation of sea turtle habitat from pollution also poses a threat and can occur over large areas. Sea turtle habitat overlaps with areas most likely to be affected by offshore oil exploration and production. Petroleum pollution occurs from intentional discharge from vessels, vessel groundings, offshore oil exploration and production, transport of oil products, spills, and runoff of oil from land based sources. Oil from spills far offshore concentrate along convergence zones (where currents meet) which is are important areas for young turtle development. Oil from spills offshore also washes up on beaches where it degrades nesting habitat, and can impact nests, nesting females, and hatchlings making their way to the water.


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Sea turtles are vulnerable to ocean pollution at all stages of life, from eggs to hatchlings to juveniles to adults. Pollutants include things like toxic metals, pcb's, petroleum products, and agricultural and industrial runoff of contaminants such as fertilizers, chemicals, nutrients, and untreated waste. Learn more: https://www.seeturtles.org/ocean-pollution #SeaTurtleWeek