Florida Fish and Wildlife Monitors Tropical Storm Colin’s Impacts On Sea Turtle Nests
By Space Coast Daily // June 8, 2016
In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Colin, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is assessing damage to sea turtle nests along Florida’s coasts. High water from the storm flooded many nests from Northwest Florida through the Southwest Gulf Coast.
FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley visited St. George Island, one of the areas where sea turtle nests were most impacted by the storm.
“This is a top priority for the agency,” said Wiley.
“We want Florida’s sea turtles to have another successful nesting season and we will continue to work with FWC’s Marine Turtle Permit Holders to help make that happen.”
Sea turtles have a natural nesting strategy that accommodates for natural events like storms. The FWC will be coordinating with FWC Marine Turtle Permit Holders on affected beaches to determine the level of impact on the nests.
FWC Marine Turtle Permit holders are volunteers who are permitted to monitor and observe Florida turtle nesting sites. Damaged nests will be re-marked so that Permit Holders can determine if they hatch.
People can help ensure the survival of remaining and future nests by following these guidelines:
• Clear the way at the end of the day – remove beach furniture and other objects before nightfall.
• Fill in holes dug in the sand at the end of the day.
• Do not disturb nesting females or hatchlings observed on the beach. If you see nesting females or hatchlings that are in distress, contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at (888) 404-3922(FWCC) or *FWC.
• Make sure beachfront lighting is wildlife friendly by keeping lights low (wattage and mounting height), long (wavelength – amber or red), and shielded so the light is not directly visible from the beach.
• Turn off lights on beachfront properties when not in use.