Pearl Jam, R.E.M, and U.S. Olympic Swimming Champs Dive In To Save Sea Turtles

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Conservation International and National Geographic Combine Science, Celebrity Talent and Action Packed Fun to Help Protect Endangered Leatherbacks in Great Turtle Race

Arlington, VA (April 8, 2009)– Conservation International (CI) and National Geographic will hold a telephone news conference April 15 to kick off the “Great Turtle Race,” with 11 leatherback sea turtles competing in an epic journey from feeding areas in chilly waters off Canada’s Atlantic coast to breeding areas in warm tropical waters throughout the Caribbean.

Participants in the call include Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard, NBC announcer Rowdy Gaines, Olympic champions Jason Lezak and Eric Shanteau, as well as scientists and experts from Conservation International, the Canadian Sea Turtle Network and National Geographic.

The call-in # is 1-800-894-5910 – the pass code is “Turtle” and the program title is “The Great Turtle Race.” To RSVP, please email [email protected]

Race fans can see the action online at www.GreatTurtleRace.org, created in partnership with NationalGeographic.com, which puts the spotlight on one of today’s most iconic animal species and what can be done to protect them and their ocean home.

Who: Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard, NBC announcer Rowdy Gaines, Olympic champions Jason Lezak and Eric Shanteau, Conservation International and Canadian Sea Turtle Network scientists and representatives from National Geographic

What: Press Call for The Great Turtle Race: An exciting event that allows people worldwide to witness these magnificent creatures journey from their feeding grounds off Canada’s Atlantic coast to nest on Caribbean beaches, and to learn about the challenges and threats they face along the way.

When: April 15, 1:00 pm EST USA

Where: www.GreatTurtleRace.org, hosted by National Geographic.

Why: To raise awareness and support for protection of leatherback sea turtles and the world’s oceans.

How: A suspenseful race combining science and action-packed fun via the interactive website, www.GreatTurtleRace.org. The site will feature a map following the journey of each turtle, with daily updates by guest bloggers including champions of surfing and swimming, marine scientists and conservationists.

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