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These ‘majestic creatures’ face many threats

USPS celebrates sea turtles with new stamps

A sea turtle swims in an aquarium
A sea turtle swims at the Texas State Aquarium.

The Postal Service dedicated its Protect Sea Turtles stamps on June 11 at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi.

One of the oldest groups of animals on Earth, sea turtles spend most of their lives in the ocean, coming ashore only to lay their eggs, and in some places, to bask. They migrate long distances, sometimes crossing entire oceans.

“Sea turtles are majestic creatures who play an important role in marine ecosystems,” said Texas 2 District Manager David Camp, who spoke at the event.

Sea turtles face many threats worldwide, including being accidentally captured in fishing trawls, nets and lines; habitat loss from development; artificial lighting on beaches; boat strikes; and illegal harvesting. In addition, rising ocean levels swamp nesting beaches and warming sands cause a decline in the number of male hatchlings.

“All sea turtle species in the U.S. are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act,” said Shannon Bettridge, chief of the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries’ Office of Protected Resources.

Other speakers at the event included Jesse Gilbert, president and CEO of the Texas State Aquarium; Jeff Fleming, deputy regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s southwest region; and Eric Brunnemann, superintendent of Padre Island National Seashore.

Jay Bigalke, editor of Linn’s Stamp News, was the emcee.

The stamps feature the six species that forage in U.S. waters or nest on American beaches: loggerhead, leatherback, hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley, olive ridley and green sea turtles.

Derry Noyes, an art director for USPS, designed the pane of 18 stamps using existing photographs.

The stamps are available at Post Offices and