St. Johns County Beaches’ Sea Turtle and Beach Stewardship Program volunteers needed

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — St. Johns County is seeking volunteers to walk county beaches to remove marine-related beach debris and to survey the line of seaweed, also known as the wrack line, for washback sea turtles.

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Marine biologists say that a washback is a post-hatchling sea turtle that is slightly larger than a hatchling, as it has left the nest and has been traveling the ocean. Once the sea turtles hatch, from their nests, they swim in search of a large mass of seaweed where they find refuge from predators. They forage there for an unknown amount of time while the seaweed floats with the currents and tides.

Sometimes, storms and high tide events from August through November push marine debris, the mass of seaweed and washbacks back onto the beach. Marine biologists explain that these baby turtles are typically extremely tired, dehydrated and in need of medical attention. It is the job of the beach steward to find these critters and get them the help they need.

For more information on the program and to apply as a beach steward, CLICK HERE.