House committee advances Anna Paulina Luna measure to fund sea turtle rehabilitation
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna. Image via Facebook.

Anna Paulina Luna
The St. Petersburg Republican wants sea turtle research grants open to rehabilitation facilities.

A program to rescue and rehabilitate sea turtles coasted through a congressional committee Thursday.

The House Natural Resources Committee approved a measure filed by U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna. The St. Petersburg Republican filed an amendment to the Sea Turtle Rescue Assistance Act (HR 2560). The legislation would establish a grant program to recover, care for and treat stranded sea turtles and would fund research on turtles.

Luna said the original legislation limited access to funding for rehabilitation programs, including any efforts based in Florida. Her amendment would expand who could access the granting.

“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,” Luna told Florida Politics.

“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.”

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay since 2019 has managed a Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center, requiring maintenance of four rehabilitation pools, a foraging pool and a veterinary suite. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has permitted sea turtle rehabilitation centers in Panacea, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City and Navarre.

Luna’s measure passed unanimously, with the support of bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, a Massachusetts Democrat.

A companion measure (S 2086) for the bipartisan legislation is being carried by U.S. Sens. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and John Cornyn, a Texas Republican. The two reintroduced their measure in June on World Sea Turtle Day.

Lawmakers say the measure will ensure the sustainability of research programs across the country.

“Passage of the Sea Turtle Rescue Assistance Act will reduce the strain on non-profit organizations doing the vital work to save these endangered animals,” Keating said.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Cris Dosev

    October 26, 2023 at 11:43 am

    “If you were shocked by the moral lapses at the Super Bowl you ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” Johnson wrote. “Experts project that homosexual marriage is the dark harbinger of chaos and sexual anarchy that could doom even the strongest republic.”

  • My Take

    October 26, 2023 at 1:41 pm

    Sea turtles.
    Because they’re shaped like flying saucers I bet.

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