ANCIENT TREASURES OF THE SEA

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Description: From "Swiss Family Robinson" If you have read "Swiss Family Robinson," you know that the castaway family missed out on the adventure of snorkeling with sea turtles. Back then, 200 years ago when the creatures were everywhere, people were more interested in eating squishy, leathery turtle eggs and slurping gooey turtle soup than swimming alongside a gliding sea turtle. When Christopher Columbus explored the area in the Caribbean now known as the Cayman Islands in 1503, he was so impressed by the number of sea turtles that he called the place Las Tortugas - Spanish for "turtles." Times have changed. Sea turtles may have been around for more than 100 million years, but it only took a few hundred for humans to harvest them near extinction. Accidental capture in fishing nets, destruction of habitat, pollution and human consumption are just a few of the issues that have threatened the animals. Today, all species of sea turtles are listed as either threatened or endangered, according to the World Conservation Union. The isolated islands of Hawaii have provided a relatively safe zone for the turtles. And some Boy Scouts are doing their part to make sure it stays as safe as possible.
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