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Southern California Sea Turtle Monitoring Project

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Citizen Scientists contribute to field data collection for a local Pacific green sea turtles as volunteers with the Southern California Sea Turtle Monitoring Project.

The San Gabriel watershed is a unique, urban watershed in Los Angeles County with a special feature: it is the northernmost known home for Pacific green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). The Aquarium of the Pacific has teamed up with the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority, Tidal Influence, and NOAA Fisheries conservation and wildlife management groups in order to learn more about this population of sea turtles. Citizen scientists volunteer with the Aquarium of the Pacific to collect observational data on these turtles through the Southern California Sea Turtle Monitoring Project.

The citizen scientists who volunteer for the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Southern California Sea Turtle Monitoring Project contribute observational data, which is used by NOAA, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority to learn more about the sea turtle populations in the river and wetlands areas that comprise the northernmost known year-round habitats for the Pacific green sea turtle. The data collected is recorded and used to understand how many individual sea turtles might be living in the San Gabriel River and to help with additional tracking, protection and monitoring efforts.

This program provides an exciting opportunity for individuals to participate in helping scientists better understand this local population of Pacific green sea turtles.

Pacific green sea turtles are protected under state and federal law. You can help the sea turtles and other species living in the river by participating in neighborhood cleanups in their local communities, by joining wetlands habitat restoration projects, or by participating as volunteers with the Aquarium of the Pacific. If you notice a sea turtle in distress, please report observations of injured or entangled turtles by calling 562-506-4315.