Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
boardwalk trail through a grassy meadow
Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Wellfleet

New “Protect Sea Turtle” Stamps at Wellfleet Bay

Special Event: Wednesday, June 12

2:00-4:00 pm

The U.S. Postal Service has announced a new "Protect Sea Turtles” stamp, which features a collection of familiar sea turtles, some of which have been known to visit Cape Cod.  

To mark the release of these new stamps, we’re hosting an unveiling celebration at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on June 12, and making the stamps available for purchase.  

Protect Sea Turtles stamps on five colorful envelopes

Sea Turtle Conservation on Cape Cod

While sea turtles don’t nest in the northeast, four species of sea turtles can be spotted on Cape Cod including the Kemp’s ridley, loggerhead, green, and leatherback. These sea turtles make their way into Massachusetts waters and the Gulf of Maine, including Cape Cod Bay, to feed in our nutrient-rich waters. 

If these marine reptiles don’t leave before water temperatures drop in late fall, they can become “cold-stunned” and wash ashore. For over 40 years, Wellfleet Bay staff, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, rescue cold-stunned sea turtles from Cape Cod Bay beaches and transport them to the New England Aquarium and National Marine Life Center for rehabilitation.  

It is this close connection with sea turtles on the Cape that makes us so excited to be able to adorn future mailings with these beautiful USPS commemorative stamps.  

volunteer wearing nitrile gloves holding a sea turtle

Miniature Works of Art with a Message

“Stamps are miniature works of art and often tell a story that highlights our American culture, our people or an important point in our history,” says Lisa Bobb-Semple, acting Stamp Services Director for USPS. “Stamps also allow us to show what’s important to us as we carefully select which stamp adorns our mail pieces.” 

The ongoing protection of sea turtles is the message conveyed in this commemorative collection. As described by the USPS, “The pane of 18 stamps features close-up photographs of six species—the loggerhead, leatherback, hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley, olive ridley, and green sea turtle—that depend on U.S. coastal waters for foraging and migratory habitats during various stages of their life. All six are listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act.” 

Fifteen different variations of the "Protect Sea Turtles" forever stamps

Celebrate Their Release on June 12

A stamp unveiling and celebration for the release of the “Protect Sea Turtles” commemorative stamps is planned for Wednesday, June 12 at 2:00 PM at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.  

A representative from the South Wellfleet Post Office will be on-site selling panes of the featured stamps and Mass Audubon staff will share information about the sea turtle rescue and research conducted on Cape Cod. Sea turtle exhibits and artifacts will also be on display at this free family-friendly event. 

Admission to the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will be free on June 12 between 2-4 pm for this celebratory event. Light refreshments will also be served. Stamps can be purchased during the event, however sales are cash-only.