As summer heats up, Galveston Island in Texas will see more and more tourists this summer. While that's great for tourism, it's also a bit of a disaster for our friends the sea turtle!

Galveston beach
Justin Wolff via Unsplash

Texas beaches are visited by several species of sea turtles, with the most common being Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle. It is the most notable and frequent visitor to Texas beaches. It is critically endangered and is known for its mass nesting events called "arribadas," where large groups of females come ashore to nest simultaneously.

Texas sea turtles

Other species of sea turtles that can be seen on Texas beaches include Loggerhead Sea Turtle, they are known for their large heads and strong jaws, which they use to crush hard-shelled prey. And the Green Sea Turtle, named for the greenish color of their body fat, are another species seen along the Texas coast.

And while many of us do our part to help save the sea turtles, it turns out that plastic straws and plastic soda rings aren't fully responsible for endangering sea turtles around this time of year. According to the Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research, the biggest threat this season to sea turtles are humans!

The GCSTR is reminding those who will be visiting Texas beaches this summer to pick up after themselves! And a reminder that if you're bringing tents and chairs to be mindful of where you set them down as they can disturb nesting turtles and hatchlings!

Next time you're on a Texas beach, remember who you might be harming! You can learn more here.

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