Californians: There’s Still Time to Help Sea Otters

If your life is anything like mine, then you’ve got a lot of hands in your pockets: the mortgage, utilities, gas, groceries, school fees, credit cards…

The list seems to go on and on. Sometimes – and especially in this economy – things are tight.

But on Monday, April 18, the last day to file your income taxes, I ask all Californians to take a moment to help save our sea otters. It’s as easy as donating $1 to the California Sea Otter Fund, found on line 410 of your 540 state income tax form.

The fund must hit a target amount of $260,890 set by the Franchise Tax Board to return on the form next year, and we’re not there yet.

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Related: Listen to Jim Curland discuss the tax check-off program on Public News Service radio.

These sleek swimmers really need your support. California’s southern sea otters are struggling to survive. Last year saw a record number of deaths. And for the second straight year, researchers recorded a drop in the population’s 3-year average.

The California Sea Otter Fund supports a long-term study that aims to better our understanding how toxic chemicals and disease-carrying pollution harm sea otters. But marine biologists suspect that many unknown forces may also have a hand in dragging otter numbers down. Researchers are hopeful, however, that the clues revealed by the study will help to buoy sea otters back to safety.

This vital research wouldn’t be possible without your help! So don’t miss this opportunity to save these charismatic marine mammals.

Check out this short video featuring renowned ocean advocate, Philippe Cousteau, to learn more.