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580 baby sea turtles just got a head-start on life thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Sea turtle populations are dangerously low, but conservation efforts like this could bring them back.

580 baby sea turtles just got a head-start on life thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The life of a sea turtle is not nearly as delightful as Hollywood films would have us believe.

No pizza. No surf lingo. The real adventure? Survival.

Because all seven species of sea turtle are considered endangered or at-risk.


Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Their nests and habitats are under constant threat from commercial fishing gear, boats, and even light pollution.

But this week, baby sea turtles got a leg, er, flipper up from the Coast Guard and a team of marine turtle specialists.

Staff at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, Florida, teamed up with the U.S. Coast Guard to release hatchlings, aka sea turtle babies, back to the ocean.

Marine turtle specialists from Gumbo Limbo Nature Center climb aboard with tubs of turtles. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

The human helpers returned 580 hatchlings to the ocean.

The hatchlings, which were mostly loggerhead and green sea turtles, had been born in turtle nests on beaches across Florida.

Some of the hatchlings were as young as one day old. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

The U.S. Coast Guard was a vital partner in the mission, providing the vessel and crew for the marine turtle specialists' undertaking.

The team released the hatchlings in the Sargasso Sea, a large seaweed bed five to 10 miles from shore.

The team releases the turtles into the Sargasso Sea. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings survives to adulthood, so ferrying the hatchlings often gives them the best chance for survival.

Sea turtles are born in nests on the beach. They hatch from eggs, burrow out of the sand, and make their way to the ocean. Many die of dehydration if they don't make it to the water quickly enough. The tiny turtles, around two inches long at birth, are also an easy target for birds and crabs.

Delivering the hatchlings directly to the Sargasso Sea skips over this treacherous journey so early in their young lives. This way the hatchlings can live and grow in a "floating nursery," eating tiny prey and hiding from predators in the natural cover for the next three to five years until they're big enough to survive on their own.

If they remain healthy and safe, these hatchlings could live for 60 to 100 years! Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Though life isn't easy for sea turtles, these lucky hatchlings are off to a good start.

Through hunting, poaching, and development, there's no doubt humans have done irrevocable harm to the sea turtle population.

But education and conservation efforts like this one give hope that their numbers will continue to climb, and more sea turtles can live long, healthy lives.

Cowabunga, little dudes! Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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