Posted May 17, 2010
Itís Turtle Nesting Season
By Bill Wargo, AP Sea Turtle Patrol
Nesting time for us is approaching. Several nests to our west have been found which means that the turtles are out there and moving our way. Of course, there's no way yet to determine if the oil spill will affect nesting activity. You've probably heard comments about the "Loop Current" that swirls out in the Gulf in a clockwise rotation and migrates in and out depending on conditions. This is just another name for the "Gulf Stream" which sea turtles enter and follow once they come in from the Florida Straits or from the Caribbean, thus the reason why they approach the western Gulf first and then follow the stream eastward toward us.
Most seasons our first crawls appear May 28-30 or during the first week of June. However, we have had crawls before those dates and as early as May 12. So, keep your eyes open and don't forget to look into the dunes or over escarpments as well as the open beach.
Thanks to all of you who have been HAZMAT trained and certified. This training/certification is required for any of us who will work directly with oiled sea turtles, hatchlings, and other wildlife. FWC is sending chemical suits, gloves, boots, containers, plastic bags, cages, etc. In the event that we will have to contend with any of this, I will call an organizational meeting to discuss and plan the mandates and strategies associated with the process. Hopefully, it won't be necessary.