USPS just released a new sea turtle stamp collection — and they're adorable

A brown loggerhead turtle swims on a sandy coast

The U.S. Postal Service wants to save the turtles. 

Announced this week, the USPS unveiled a new Forever Stamp design, dedicated to the awareness of endangered sea turtles — and the work to protect them.

“Sea turtles are majestic creatures who play an important role in marine ecosystems,” David Camp, the USPS Texas 2 District manager, said in a statement.

“As you send letters to your friends and family using these stamps, we hope they will serve as a reminder that we can all do our part to help save these incredible ancient mariners.”

Four envelopes adorned with sea turtle stamps
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service

A dedication ceremony was held at the Texas State Aquarium, where one of the stamp’s stars was present: Daisy, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle who resides at the aquarium.

“We are especially humbled and proud that one of our residents, Daisy… has been immortalized as an honoree in this new stamp series,” the aquarium shared on social media. “Special thanks to the United States Postal Service for highlighting this significant effort in sea turtle conservation nationwide.”

The book of stamps includes six different designs, featuring different species that are dependent on U.S. coastal waters for their habitat and survival. 

The First Day Of Issue Stamp Dedication Ceremony at the Texas State Aquarium. A banner displays the new turtle designs in a bright atrium
Photo by Jason Page/Texas State Aquarium

Aside from Daisy, the Kemp’s ridley turtle, they include: a black and white leatherback, an olive ridley, a green sea turtle, a mottled orange-brown loggerhead, and a brownish-yellow hawksbill. 

All six of these turtle species are listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The stamps are available in post offices or online and cost $12.24 for a book of 18 stamps. For collectors, the post office also offers collectable postcards and pins, and commemorative “First Day of Issue” books, featuring the collection’s June 11, 2024 release date.

A book of stamps from the U.S. Postal Service shows six different species of sea turtles: Kemp's ridley, green turtles, leatherback, loggerhead, hawksbill, and olive ridley.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service

Beyond adorning one’s snail mail with these regal reptilians, the USPS is sharing more about the plight these creatures face — and what we can all do about it.

Sea turtles face numerous threats across the globe, including accidentally being captured in fishing nets, habitat loss, artificial lighting on beaches, boat strikes, and illegal harvesting.

That’s not to mention the evolving threats of climate change, like warming sands that harm nesting beaches and alter conditions for hatchlings.

“All sea turtle species in the U.S. are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act,” said Dr. Shannon Bettridge, chief of the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Division of NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Protected Resources.

“These species face multiple human threats, and their recovery is further challenged by climate change impacts.”

While federal, state, and nonprofit agencies are dedicated to the conservation efforts of sea turtles, the USPS suggests a few tips and precautions for turtle lovers — especially those who live on the country’s coasts:

  • Choose ethical seafood that is caught in ways that do not harm or kill turtles
  • Minimize beachfront lighting during nesting season
  • Do not disturb nesting sites
  • Boat at safe speeds to help reduce the likelihood of striking a sea turtle

Sticking a postage stamp on an envelope won’t eliminate the threats sea turtles face on U.S. shores, but the idea is that it will help generate an added layer of appreciation for a species that needs it now more than ever.

Bettridge continued: “The Protect Sea Turtles stamps are a long-lasting symbol to raise awareness of the species’ plight and engage the public in their conservation.”

And it doesn’t hurt that they’re adorable.

Header image courtesy of the U.S. National Park Service

Article Details

June 13, 2024 11:24 AM
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