Sea turtles are marine reptiles with streamlined bodies and large flippers that are well-adapted to life in the ocean. Six species are found in U.S. waters, all of which are listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act. Learn more about NOAA's efforts to protect sea turtles and how national marine sanctuaries benefit these populations.
A Day at the Turtle Spa
Over time, sea turtles and other marine animals accumulate algae and small parasites. But without hands to pick them off, what’s a sea turtle to do? Call in the fish! In Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) – or honu – regularly visit “turtle cleaning stations.”
Sea Turtles in Gray’s Reef
Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is an important habitat for sea turtles year round. The ledges and overhangs of the reef provide sea turtles with places to rest and forage for food.
Five species of endangered sea turtles are found throughout the marine waters of the Florida Keys
Sea turtles have roamed Earth's ocean for millions of years, with the first sea turtles appearing on Earth 150 million years ago. The ancestors of the turtles we see today entered the ocean 60 million years ago.
In the United States, NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have shared jurisdiction for recovery and conservation of threatened and endangered sea turtles.
Fun Facts About Terrific Sea Turtles
All six species of turtles in U.S. waters are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Here you can find out more about them and why their numbers have been declining.
Sea Turtle Week 2022: Celebrating Sea Turtle Conservation
Let's dive into Sea Turtle Week! This week-long celebration of sea turtle conservation is centered around World Sea Turtle Day on June 16.
Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network
Members of the network work together to inform the causes of sea turtle strandings by collecting data, documenting wounds and abnormalities, transporting sick and injured sea turtles to permitted rehabilitation facilities, and helping to educate the public about sea turtle conservation.