Washington, D.C. – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2023
Contact: Edie Guy, Edie.Guy@mail.house.gov
This morning, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s amendment to the Sea Turtle Rescue Assistance Act of 2023 (H.R. 2560) was passed by the House Committee on Natural Resources with unanimous bipartisan consent.
“Florida offers state-of-the-art rehabilitation programs to help care for stranded sea turtles, who already face endangerment. In fact, many sea turtles who are rescued across the United States are sent to us for care,” Rep. Luna stated. “I’m very proud that my amendment was passed because it will allow Florida to have more access to funding so we can continue rehabilitating stranded turtles. This is a huge win for our state, and of course, all of our beautiful sea turtles who will benefit as a result!”
Currently, all six sea turtle species found in U.S. waters are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The Sea Turtle Rescue Assistance Act of 2023 would establish a federal grant program to recover, care for, and treat stranded sea turtles in the United States; as well as funding for scientific research on such turtles.
As originally written, however, the act would have limited Florida’s access to the program’s funds. Much of the work Florida does with sea turtles focuses on their rehabilitation, which was omitted from the Sea Turtle Rescue Assistance Act.
The Luna Amendment levels the playing field and allows Florida to have greater funding access by ensuring rehabilitation efforts would qualify for these funds, making Florida the perfect recipient of this grant program. Specifically, the amendment made technical changes to the bill text by adding the word “rehabilitation” throughout and changing the name of the bill to the Sea Turtle Rescue Assistance and Rehabilitation Act of 2023.