Of the seven sea turtle species in the world, six nest in the United States, and all of them are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act -- harmed by bycatch, marine debris, boat strikes, pollution and many more threats. In honor of World Sea Turtle Day -- which falls on the June 16 birthday of leading conservation biologist Archie Carr each year -- Oceana is raising awareness for these adorable marine animals. Take a look at the beautiful images below to learn more about what you can do to protect sea turtles, especially now that nesting season is underway in the U.S.
1. Minimize beach lighting. The moon's natural lighting guides sea turtle hatchlings and nesting females, so walking on the beach at night with flashlights or leaving on beach house lighting can disorient turtles. Turn off your exterior lighting, keep blinds shut and place red cellophane on flashlights when walking on the beach at night.
A Loggerhead sea turtle heads back to the ocean after nesting on Bald Head Island, North Carolina in 2009. (Photo: Oceana / Jeff Janowski)