Dr. Donna Shaver Newsmaker of the Year

The Coastal Bend Sierra Club congratulates Dr. Donna Shaver, Chief of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery at Padre Island National Seashore, on being named the Corpus Christi Caller-Times 2011 Newsmaker of the Year.

The Sierra Club has long been a proponent of the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Recovery Program at the Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS), helping to protect against a variety of threats to the Kemp’s ridleys, including shrimping trawler and oil drilling activities (2000; 2002) and proposed military use of the beach (2001). Sierra also participated in helping achieve the annual Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) five-mile closure in the Gulf (2000), which is credited with having contributed to a significant reduction in strandings during nesting season. Most recently, the Sierra Club has supported the lowering of the speed limit on Padre Island during nesting season (2010).

Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, and especially to the over-thirty-year work and dedication of Dr. Donna Shaver and her staff, the Kemp’s ridley has begun to experience an exponential increase in its U.S. nesting population. At least that was true before the BP disaster. Whether it is true in the future cannot be at this time. This unprecedented oil catastrophe occurred just as the 2010 nesting season began.

To read the account of Dr. Shaver’s remarkable story, see:



Submitted by Mina Williams and Venice Scheurich, January 2012

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