Our official statement on the upcoming Lantern Festival

beach-cleanup-bannerSea Turtle, Inc.’s Statement on Lantern Festival

Many folks and organizations have asked for our opinion on the South Padre Island Holiday Celebration and Lantern Festival scheduled for December 2, 2016. During this event, hundreds of bio-degradable, illuminated lanterns will be released and will likely float over the Laguna Madre. Rates of decomposition for the various materials within the lantern can be from weeks to months. Although this may create a beautiful image, many are concerned for the wildlife of the Laguna Madre, including sea turtles. Unfortunately, we can find no information about interaction between sea turtles and these lanterns. However, the official position of Sea Turtle, Inc. is that NO trash should intentionally be sent into our oceans and lagoons.

South Padre Island spends considerable effort on keeping our beaches and surrounding waters free of trash. They issue tickets for litter and having glass on the beach. Local non-profits tout “Unlitter” campaigns, all in an effort to keep our beautiful Island and beaches a memorable place to live and visit.
The consequences of trash are all too apparent in recent dolphin rescues and many sea turtle rescues each year.

Sea turtles may or may not interact with these lanterns, but we believe it is the wrong message to send to the thousands anticipated to attend.