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Seven different species of sea turtles (green, hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, leatherback, loggerhead, flatback and the olive ridley) swim around in our waters looking for a happy and comfortable life filled with good snacks and lots of water to dance around in. Nearly all species of sea turtle are classifies as endangered. The greatest threat to sea turtles, of course, are humans. Currently, we kill an estimated 4,600 turtles every year. These killings are from:(1) fishing, which they are wrapped in the nets or hooked on bait lines set for fish. (2) People that ride their boats carelessly when a turtle is coming up to breathe can accidentally hit one of these beautiful creatures and kill them. (3) Many countries have stopped poaching for sea turtle eggs, but many still do. Due to this, sea turtles are killed for their shell and skin to make different products such as jewelry, guitar picks, books, wallets, and even soup!! (4) Most importantly, PLASTIC BAGS! Sea turtles feast on jelly fish, and it is quite a delicacy for them, so once trash like plastic bags end up in the ocean, they act as a "jellyfish in disguise." The sea turtle will start to chomp away on the plastic bag and end up choking to death. Then there are those questions everyone might start to ask.. "why do you care so much about these creatures?" “why are sea turtles so important?” Easy! This is a question with many answers. Sea turtles are important to ocean ecosystems. They maintain marine habitats, help cycle nutrients, and are part of a balanced food web. As they decline, it affects the health of the world’s ocean. It is up to us, as human beings, to be stewards of the environment and work towards conserving our oceans and stabilizing sea turtle populations.

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