‘Tea for Turtles’ Aids Gulf Cleanup

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Farmington Hills, Michigan, is far from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

But the plight of turtles affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster is near and dear to a group of teenagers there. They staged a “Tea for Turtles” fundraiser recently to help raise money and awareness for The Nature Conservancy’s long-term Gulf cleanup efforts. Talk about a creative idea. This was a high-class tea party that included a talk from a marine biologist.

Two recent grads of Mercy High School, Lauren Madison and Bethany Rizik, organized the event. About 25 girls came out, and more than $300 was raised during the tea party, at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan.

These days, we mostly hear about the Tea Party in the political sense. This “tea party” featured the drink, along with scones, mini-sandwiches and desserts. Jeffrey Carrier, a marine biologist and Albion professor, lent his voice to the event. His work includes research on nurse sharks in the Florida Keys.

Each guest also left with a gift bag.

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You can send your own gift by donating to The Nature Conservancy’s efforts online. Or perhaps you can stage your own tea party (the turtle kind).

The BP oil spill is straining the survival of five threatened or endangered turtle species, notes The Daily Green.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has gone as far as to relocate 70,000 turtle eggs to give more turtles a fighting chance. There have been reports of turtles being burned alive as part of BP cleanup efforts.

Unsettling, to say the least. The Nature Conservancy will use donations to its Fund for Gulf Coast Restoration to protect coastal wetlands and marshes, re-establish critical habitats for threatened species and help restore the Gulf’s ability to heal itself.

— Photos: Gina Guzzardo, Flickr.


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