Turtle Island Restoration Network 2020 Update
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Theresa Morris and Joanie Steinhaus
Theresa@ tirn.net and Joanie@tirn.net
Microplastics- We began this project in 2016 and we have been awarded grant funding from the Galveston Bay Estuary Program to expand this project with UH Clear Lake. Our current monitoring is on hold due to COVID, and school closures and we will return to our work as soon as possible.
Balloons- TIRN has launched a new program where we encourage the public to participate in a Balloon Busting Crew. We have started a Facebook page for this group and have an online reporting system on our website; https://seaturtles.org/campaigns/balloon-busting-crew/
The goal of this program is to acquire data that will support legislation changes to the current Texas litter laws to include a ban against intentional balloon releases.
Straws- The Final Straw Galveston campaign is on hold until the COVID-19 quarantine is lifted. Our goal is to reduce and eliminate single-use plastic straws in Galveston, so please take the pledge to go straw free. https://seaturtles.org/campaigns/the-final-straw-galveston/
Bags- We recently were able to put Remember your reusable bag signs up at Kroger, but otherwise this program is on hold due to COVID-19. This program relies heavily on outreach events and will resume as soon as events are rescheduled. Unfortunately, many municipalities and states are ruling back bans on single-use plastic bags due to COVID-19 although there is little evidence to support that reusable bags transmit the virus. Please join our campaign;
Patrols- Sea turtle nest patrols are delayed until May 18th for the safety of our volunteers and staff. Nests have been found on other areas of the Texas coast, and patrols are limited everywhere due to the virus. TPWD has been assisting the program with surveys and responding.
Monofilament- While the fishing piers were closed, volunteers are unable to collect the monofilament. As soon as these areas reopen, volunteers will continue pick-ups. This program has collected, cleaned and recycled over 1,000 pounds of fishing line.
Beach cleanups- Our beach cleanup program is on hold and we plan to reschedule events in late summer.
Cigarette Butlers- Cigarette butlers are installed on the two fishing piers in the Gulf and at Sea Wolf Park. We are seeking funding to replace the current receptacles and extend the program to place them on the seawall near benches.
Turtles about Town-The Turtles About Town maps have been created for the first year’s turtles. People continue to check these statues out, even with the quarantine. This year’s statues are also being installed as they are completed and clear-coated.