Thursday, June 28, 2012

Compass Turtle Adventures: Dodging the Storm

On Friday, June 22, 2012, we headed back to the beach for our second turtle adventure. This time, we were greeted by volunteers who shared two common elements: a passion for saving turtles and the name Debbie. 

Debbie Kline and Debbie Willis have been involved with the Turtle Walk program for four years. We walked a four-mile stretch known as Laguna Key, which is broken down into several sections monitored by designated volunteers throughout the week. With Tropical Depression Debby brewing in the Gulf, many were concerned that high winds could raise the tide line and potentially wreak havoc over turtle nesting. A storm will push water in and potentially affect the turtle nests, said volunteer Debbie Willis.  When the tide line rises, the crawl of the turtle is washed away, making it challenging for volunteers to locate nests. However, the biggest fear is the safety of the eggs themselves. As the tide line rises, the risk of water entering the nest and drowning the hatchlings during the incubation period is increased. Debby (the storm, not the volunteer) veered east, sparing the turtles this time.

But, given the added challenges of our Gulf hurricane season, volunteers remain vigilant scouting for turtle nests and doing everything they can to prepare these little guys, and girls, for their big arrival here along the gulf coast.

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