The Danger in the Sea: Negative Human Impacts on Marine turtles

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Turtles have been around for about 230 million years (Dobbs 1). In that time, they have seen the rise and fall of the dinosaurs and the rise of mankind. Marine turtles have been around for about 65 million years (Dobbs 1). This family has withstood the test of time and is being threatened by human’s impact on the sea. All six of the marine turtles occurring on the shores of America are at least threatened. Marine turtles are very important to the ecosystem but humans are endangering this family directly and indirectly; if humans do not stop their destructive habits, we may lose the influence of marine turtles on the earth’s seas. Marine turtles play an important role in the ocean's ecology and without turtles we may see an ecological …show more content…
Ancient Romans and ancient Greeks used turtle scutes for combs and brushes used mainly by the Upper class (Musick 5). "The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped the sea and its animals. On many occasions marine turtles were depicted" (Shore). Marine turtle's habitats are always being altered. Either they are lost for human recreation or altered by human structures. Turtles are affected by these habitat alterations in a variety of negative ways. Beach armoring is hardened structures that are built to protect sand dune properties (Musick 389). Beach armoring, if ridged enough, are detrimental to the nesting turtle's ability to go to the nesting sites (Musick 389). This can make the nesting turtle decide not to nest that particular year. The biggest threat of beach armoring is the nesting area loss (Musick 389). Beach nourishment is another way the marine turtle's habitat is altered. Beach nourishment is where humans dump or pump sand onto eroded beaches (Musick 389). This usually only happens on more developed beaches. Beach nourishment is better than beach armoring, but it replaces rather than maintains the original nesting sites (Musick 390). Beaches that have been nourished may have high levels of clay, silt, and shell that make it too compact for hatchlings to get out off the nest (Musick 390). Different elements in the pumped or dumped sand may have an effect on the sex of the hatchling; since the sex is
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