Turtles face endangerment

Maram Ibrahim, Staff Writer

Marine animals, specifically sea turtles, are slowly becoming more endangered. Of the seven turtle species, six of them are facing the threat of extinction because of their contaminated environments. 

Many people are concerned about the well-being of turtles, including some of our own students. “I think it’s important that we do something to save the turtles because they affect our lives in a way, whether we realize it or not” Senior Saara Ahmed said. 

When turtles see the plastic in the ocean, they mistake it for food and consume it, which when they ingest, messes with their digestive system and eventually kills them. According to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, nearly 100 million marine animals die annually due to the abundance of ocean debris. 

Others are more worried about the environment itself. “I think we should be saving the whole environment, not just the turtles,” Junior Annie Nguyen said. 

The tons of plastic in the oceans has gained much media attention; however, it is the plants and animals on land that are most threatened by it. Little of the plastic that humans regularly discard is recycled, and instead ends up in landfills where they take years to decompose.

Americans currently use half a billion plastic straws, many of which are not recyclable and later end up in the ocean, harming our marine life. 

As a result of the negative effects of plastic straws, many major companies, including Starbucks, have banned the use of the straws, considering they are majorly responsible for the utilization of them. 

Even students have taken it upon themselves to do the same and replace their plastic straws with metal ones, regardless of the consequences.  “People say that it helps the environment more, so I want to also have an impact on it,” Sophomore Kayla Carrion-Cortes said, “It’s kind of a bother, but it’s for a good cause because one small act at a time can make a bigger effect throughout everything.” 

Organizations dedicated to preserving turtles have been formed as well. For example, the non-profit group, Save-A-Turtle is committed to protecting our marine turtles as well as improving their habitats.

The hope is for turtles to get rid of their endangered title and eventually enhance their environments, giving them the chance to be better once again.