Read her incredible opinion piece here.
If you believe in something, you should always stand up for it. That’s what we’ve learned from Nickelodeon star and YSBnow fave, Lilimar, after reading about what she’s been up to lately. Not only has she been working hard on her new show Knight Squad (watch her talk about it here!) and starring in new shows (details here!), but she’s been using her platform and her voice to make a positive difference outside of the entertainment industry.
When we told you about Lilimar’s work to save the sea turtles last, she had gone to the White House to meet with administration about saving the sea turtles. However, the work she and Oceana did has been stalled. Now, Lilimar isn’t taking no for an answer and she’s standing up for what she believes in. Here’s what she wrote about the situation in an open letter.
Secretary Ross: Save Sea Turtles for the Next Generation of Kids
Last year, I was fortunate enough to help be a voice for thousands of kids from across the country when I visited the White House on World Sea Turtle Day and asked our administration officials to save the thousands of endangered and threatened sea turtles that are needlessly being killed every year in U.S. shrimp trawl fishing boats.
I was there with Oceana and One More Generation to deliver more than 12,500 letters and drawings from the next generation of sea turtle lovers, calling on the federal government to require a “simple solution” to protect sea turtles from shrimp trawls in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. We were urging the government to require Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) on all shrimp trawls in U.S. waters, which are devices inserted into nets that allow captured turtles to escape before they drown. Only about half of the U.S. shrimp fleet is currently required to use TEDs, even though they are 97 percent effective at saving sea turtles!
These letters came from all 50 states, and truly showed that kids in this country care about the future of our oceans and are inspired to take action to help protect these magnificent creatures.
And it worked!
In December, the government released a proposal to require TEDs on more than 5,000 other shrimp boats in the region, which would save as many as 2,500 sea turtles every year. This proposal would be a big win for sea turtles.
Unfortunately, the proposal stalled, putting more sea turtles at risk every day. We need this rule to be finalized, before more sea turtles needlessly die.
Sea turtles have played a vital role in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans for more than 100 million years. They help maintain healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs that provide key habitats for other marine life and help balance marine food webs. Sadly, the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, the smallest species of sea turtle and one of the most endangered, is frequently caught in shrimp nets. This species cannot afford any further decreases in population, especially when a solution already exists and is proven to work.
With the simple solution of requiring all shrimp boats in the Southeast to use TEDs, we would dramatically improve the survival and recovery prospects of sea turtle populations in the United States.
President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, please listen to the future of this country. We want to protect sea turtles so we can still have them swimming in our oceans for our own kids to enjoy. Finalize this important rule and require TEDs for all trawls.
Thank you for your hard work, Lilimar!