COLLEGE STATION - Pamela Plotkin, director of the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University, has been designated as a "Harte's Hero" for her work with endangered sea turtles on the Texas coast.
Harte's Hero awards are bestowed annually by the Harte Research Institute for the Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) to commemorate World Oceans Day. This year’s recipients were commended for their efforts to further the recovery of the critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.
“I am so grateful the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle is the focus of HRI’s celebration this World Oceans Day,” Plotkin said. “The recovery of this Gulf icon is a compelling case history of what can be achieved when people, institutions, states and countries work together toward common goals to restore our natural resources.”
The award cited her leadership role with Texas Sea Grant, which has been in the forefront in funding research about the Kemp’s ridley, and her own research on mass nesting behavior of sea turtles. Texas Sea Grant also is training shrimp fishermen to install and operate turtle excluder devices to reduce incidental capture of Kemp’s ridleys and other Gulf sea turtles, and Plotkin is spearheading efforts to call attention to the declining number of Kemp’s ridley nests in Mexico and Texas at the same time as reductions in federal funding for conservation efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.
Plotkin became the director of Texas Sea Grant in 2011. She is also a research professor in the Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University’s College of Geosciences.
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