How to get involved
If you can, go out for drives early morning and in the afternoon. If you see a swamp, pond or river, or any other body of water, look at the roads around it. Most likely there are turtles that live in those water areas. They will cross those roads. If you can catch them crossing before someone hits them you can really make a difference. When you see a turtle crossing, stop, put your hazards on, and carefully help the turtle to the side in which it was heading. Do not turn it around. See our Turtle in the Road section.
If you know of a place that a lot of turtles cross, grab a piece of plywood and some paint and make yourself a sign... our signs are the same size as a normal road sign, 2 feet by 2 feet. If people see the sign they might pay more attention. See our sign making section.
Ok... so you don't do a lot of driving, you don't have the handy work to build signs, and money is tight. You can still help turtles. Here's how...
You don't need to be a member of the TRL to help turtles - Make turtle friendly decisions in everyday life.
Educate yourself about turtles.
The internet is an amazing tool. There is a lot of information on here. Then you can educate others.
Make turtle friendly choices.
That can of tuna you eat may be dolphin safe, but that doesn't mean it is turtle safe... a lot of the fishers in the Pacific ocean (non-U.S. fleet) use trawling nets that catch and kill turtles. Turtles can't get to the surface in these nets to breathe and often die. The Atlantic ocean fishers use nets that have turtle excluders on them... turtles can get out and they can live another day. USA fishers are by law using turtle excluders on their boats and nets. Steer clear of Chinese or other foreign foods that come from the ocean. These countries have very poor records of dealing with turtles.
Use REUSABLE shopping bags!
These bags can end up in the oceans (some garbage is still dumped there) and turtles can mistake them for jellyfish and eat them, of course with bad results. Make sure your trash is secure when you put it out. Open trash containers and dumpsters cause predators to increase in numbers... Raccoons and skunks both eat turtle eggs and hatchlings. Remember, more predators means less turtles.
Mow your lawn a little less
An endangered species of turtle called the Wood Turtle is often killed when people mow fields or deep grass on their property. You can help by NOT mowing these areas between June and September. Or minimally set your cut height for 7 inches or higher. The Turtles will thank you!
Never take a wild turtle for a pet
Turtles taken from the wild will typically die from stress, they see you as a constant threat and the life of the turtle will be drastically shortened. See our Pet Turtle Page.