Dear MoveOn member,

News recently emerged from the Gulf Coast that BP is burning endangered sea turtles alive.1
That’s right. BP is using “controlled burns” to contain the oil spill, and any turtles that are not removed from the area before the fire is lit are literally burned alive.

A boat captain who has been leading efforts to rescue the endangered turtles says BP has blocked his crews from entering the areas where the animals are trapped, effectively shutting down the rescue operation.

With BP already facing so much public outrage, we can stop this. Our friends at Credo Mobile launched a petition demanding that BP stop burning turtles alive, and you can add your name by clicking the link below:

http://pol.moveon.org/seaturtles/?id=21503-13520203-93.Ettx&t=5

The petition says: “BP: Stop blocking the rescue of endangered sea turtles before you burn them alive in your ‘controlled burns.'”
Then, after you’ve signed, be sure to share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or by forwarding this email.

The way controlled burns work is that shrimp boats create a corral of oil by dragging together fire-resistant booms and then lighting the enclosed “burn box” on fire. Any animals not removed from the burn area are trapped.

The sea turtle most affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is the Kemp’s Ridley, which is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.2

“They ran us out of there and then they shut us down. They would not let us get back in there,” said turtle rescuer Mike Ellis in an interview with conservation biologist Catherine Craig that was posted on YouTube.3

Environmental groups including the Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network have called on BP to end the practice, but BP has refused, denying that there’s really any problem. Yesterday, these groups filed a lawsuit demanding that BP take action to protect the endangered turtles.4 But the legal system can work very slowly, and the turtles need help now.

Tell BP to allow the rescue boats back in and stop burning endangered sea turtles alive. Click the link below to sign the petition:

http://pol.moveon.org/seaturtles/?id=21503-13520203-93.Ettx&t=6

Thanks for all you do.

–Steven, Jeff, Duncan, Amy, and the rest of the team

1. “BP ‘burning sea turtles alive,'” The Raw Story, June 20, 2010 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89247&id=21503-13520203-93.Ettx&t=7

2. “Sea Turtles Among Oil Spill Victims,” NPR, June 10, 2010 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89248&id=21503-13520203-93.Ettx&t=8

3. “Venice, Louisiana, Boat Captain, by Catherine Craig,” YouTube, June 13, 2010 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89249&id=21503-13520203-93.Ettx&t=9

4. “Gulf of Mexico sea turtles may be burning with oil, groups plan to sue BP,” Miami Herald, June 30, 2010 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89252&id=21503-13520203-93.Ettx&t=10

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