Coast Guard Turn Turtle to Save Endangered Species

SeaDiscovery.com
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
GofM Turtle Release: Photo courtesy of USCG

Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale and Melanie Stadler, a marine scientist with Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, are to release 300 sea turtle hatchlings into the Florida Guflstream. In related news, Coast Guard members from Sector Corpus Christi have also helped return 7 endangered sea turtles to the Gulf of Mexico.

In support of the service's commitment to protecting endangered species, Coast Guard crewmembers from Station Fort Lauderdale assist marine scientist Melanie Stadler in releasing 300 sea turtle hatchlings, by hand, off the coast of Boca Raton, Fla., into the Florida Gulfstream. These sea turtle hatchlings come from turtle nests located in beaches throughout Florida, which is a primary nesting ground for Loggerhead sea turtles. The turtles are being released as part of a release program run by the center.

A few days earlier, Coast Guard members from Sector Corpus Christi helped return seven endangered sea turtles to the Gulf of Mexico, as part of a release program run by the Animal Rehabilitation Keep. Five green sea turtles, one loggerhead sea turtle and one Kemp's Ridley sea turtle were released.

"The Coast Guard provided valuable assistance to the Animal Rehabilitation Keep by escorting the sea turtles to their home in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Lee Harrison, Coast Guard Auxiliary member and executive director of Friends of the ARK. “Marine Protected Species are a vital component of the Coast Guard’s Ocean Steward program that investigates and educates the public about such things as throwing debris, plastics and other pollution in our waters. All seven released turtles had to be rehabilitated after being injured by mostly human errors in judgment, causing severe injuries to our sea turtles. It only seems right that human intervention then helped these beautiful creatures return to the sea."

 

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