As Dorian nears the Florida Coasts, activists are working to protect local wildlife.
According to Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol, there are currently 41 nests incubated in local beaches. So far this year, they have record 116 nests total. Their members have now taken steps to protect these nests ahead of Dorian.
“Every time we mark a nest, we take the GPS coordinates,” marine turtle permit holder Jennifer Burns said. “When there’s a storm coming, we put some sticks up there.”
Each nest is blocked off and numbered by the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol. In the event of severe weather, the nests have a secondary marker near the dunes.
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“Natural occurrences like storms and hurricanes are not the best environments for the nests to be in,” Burns said. “They can withstand some over-washes, water washing over them periodically. We have several successful nests that have had wash-overs, so it’s not necessarily a death sentence. But when there’s standing water, or they’re inundated for a specific amount of time. Is when we get concerned for the safety of the eggs.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommends not moving the nests. Burns said Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol has strict criteria that each nest has to meet in order to be relocated, and these local nests do not fit the criteria.
If a person were to see eggs outside of a nest, Burns recommends calling Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol. If a turtle is washed away, she also suggests putting it as close to the nest as possible.
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