All sea turtles that occur in US waters are listed as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Maintaining an active stranding network has been identified in each of the sea turtle recovery plans, developed jointly by the Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries Service, as a task necessary for the conservation and recovery of listed sea turtles.
The Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) was formally established by NOAA Fisheries Service in the southeastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico in 1980. The STSSN has since spread to encompass the entire east and gulf coasts of the U.S., from Maine through Texas, as well as parts of the Caribbean.
The STSSN was established in response to the need to better understand the threats sea turtles face in the marine environment, to provide aid to stranded sea turtles, and to salvage dead sea turtles that may be useful for scientific and educational purposes. Actions taken by stranding networks improve the survivability of sick, injured, and entangled turtles; while also helping scientists and managers to expand their knowledge about diseases and other threats that affect sea turtles in the marine environment and on land.
In the Northeast Region there is an active network of organizations that participate in the STSSN. While NOAA Fisheries Service coordinates the network, it is participating organizations that respond to stranded turtles, rehabilitate sick and injured turtles, and help educate the public, for the overall goal of sea turtle conservation.
All data collected by the Northeast Region STSSN is housed in a National STSSN database, maintained by the NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC). For more information on the National STSSN Program and Database, please visit the SEFSC and National STSSN Website.
NOAA Fisheries Service, NER Stranding Hotline: 866-755-NOAA (6622)