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(DiverWire) The entire world over, sea turtles are imperiled and populations are declining due to hunting, mistaking plastics for food supply, illnesses and coastal activities that threaten their fragile nesting grounds.  Right now Hawaiian sea turtles are facing the greatest threat, delisting from their protections by lawmakers in the state of Hawaii.

Though Hawaiian green sea turtles have seen healthy population growth since their protection in 1974, it does not change the fact that this species on is in sharp decline on the global stage.  Though widely protected, sea turtles are still the victims of accidental catch, they suffer from a variety of diseases such as fibropapilloma growth that impairs their vision and mobility and ultimately can kill them.  These sea turtles are living in an ocean that is suffering measurable changes to acidity that comes from increasing carbon dioxide levels and warming trends that are triggering mass coral die off.  We cannot afford to decrease any protection of the ocean right now, and we absolutely cannot allow Hawaii to pass this legislation.

As divers we hold a stake, and our voices must be heard.  We vote with our tourism dollars, so please make sure to let the state of Hawaii know that you are watching.  Please take a moment to write to (or even better call) Hawaiian lawmakers to inform them about how they will hurt their ecotourism economy if they vote to pass Bill H.C.R. No.14 which seeks to delist the green sea turtles throughout the state of Hawaii.  This Bill has already passed a house vote, so we need to write state senators now before they cast their votes.  It is not too late.  Send your e-mails, make your calls, and post this to every social media outlet you can.

Here is who to contact:

Senator Russell Ruderman

Senator Mike Gabbard

Senator Donna Mercado Kim

Senator Brickwood Galuteria

Senator Gilbert S.C. Keith Agaran

Senator Malama Solomon

Senator Maile Senshimabukuro

Information courtesy of Michelle Hoffman Trotter