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The sea turtle takes center stage on World Sea Turtle Day

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Today is World Sea Turtle Day. We honor those awkward creatures of the ocean who intrigue and entertain us on many a dive. On this particular day, June 16, 2014, we honor the sea turtle and highlight the crucial part that they play on the marine environment. Our beaches are bountiful as these turtles slowly make their way up the sand to nest so their population continues to carry on. The entire birth process is wildly scientific but quite magnificent.

So why is June 16th the day we call World Sea Turtle Day? This day specifically was chosen since it also is the birthday of Dr. Archie Carr. Divers, conservationists and ocean activists have labeled him as the 'father of sea turtle biology.' Dr. Carr devoted his entire life to ocean research and sea turtle conservation. Through his dedicated advocacy, he created a strong sense of awareness to some of the issues threatening our sea turtles in the global ocean community.

The most prominent sea turtles are the leatherbacks, loggerheads, hawksbills and the green sea turtle although there are 7 different species of which 5 of those 7 are considered "endangered." Each of these reptiles enjoy being the master of their ocean domain. Amazing as it may seem, sea turtles have evolved over a period of one million years, sharing the stage with dinosaurs in the very beginning of time.

We can all do our part on World Sea Turtle Day as part of a tribute to the sea turtle. If you live along the shoreline, make sure that you keep your lights dimmed or off so that the sea turtles are encouraged to nest and once the hatchlings are mature enough, they can head out to sea in the correct direction. Make sure to do your part to keep the beaches free of trash that could float out to sea and cause digestive issues for these inquisitive creatures. The trash even has the possibility to hinder the nesting process. Recyle plastic and keep it out of the ocean. Sea turtles are known to eat jellyfish as part of their diet and the plastic can easily be mistaken as jellyfish.

In celebration of this World Sea Turtle Day, Brio Tuscan Grille, located at the Gardens Mall off PGA Bouleveard in Palm Beach Gardens, is hosting 'Cocktails with the Turtles' tonight from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Come out and toast the amazing sea turtle. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Loggerhead MarineLife Center, a non-profit caring organization in Palm Beach County that focuses on the conservation efforts for threatened and endangered sea turtles.

World Sea Turtle Day is all about our sea turtles. We can all make sure that these creatures of the ocean deep do not continue to become endangered to the point of extinction. Spread the word and pass it on and Happy World Sea Turtle Day!

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