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Cape San Blas Turtle Eggs Relocated to Avoid Oil Spill Impact

Published on July 9, 2010 by Sherri Dodsworth under Beach Renourishment, Cape San Blas, FEMA, Forgotten Coast

Our beaches were busy this morning with crews of turtle patrol volunteers, representatives from NOAA, The Interior Department, National Fish and Wildlife, Florida Fish and Wildlife, news crews from CNN and the AP, FED EX PR guys and curious onlookers. The assembled were all there to either participate in or just watch loggerhead turtle eggs being removed from nests and carefully placed into styrofoam containers to prepare them for travelling via special climate controlled FED EX Custom Critical delivery vans to an incubator at Cape Canaveral on the east coast of Florida.

Turtle Nests on Cape San Blas Were Rescued on July 9 2010

Onlookers and Turtle Patrol Volunteers watched as eggs were removed from the nest located on the southern end of Cape San Blas across from Scallop Cove. They were huddled around the nest to try and keep as much sunlight out of it as possible to help shield the eggs. The area was roped off to keep too many people from crowding the nest. Today’s rescue was originally planned as an afternoon or early evening training session for the volunteers, but they received word late yesterday that FED EX had planned to make it a media event to promote their Custom Critical units, and everything was switched to early morning.

Turtle Eggs Being Carefully Removed From a Nest by Fish and Wildlife at Cape San Blas on July 9, 2010

Photo by Willa Cleveland

I handed my camera to my friend Willa who is a Turtle Patrol volunteer and she took this photo of eggs in the nest being removed by Jessica McKenzie, the Turtle Patrol Coordinator.

Turtle Eggs in Styrofoam Cooler for FED EX Transport to Florida East Coast Incubator

Photo by Willa Cleveland

The eggs were then carefully placed into two styrofoam coolers with sand to protect them during their travels. The coolers had to be held throughout the process to prevent their being jostled and disturbing the fragile contents. 107 loggerhead turtle eggs were rescued from the nest this morning. This was part of a carefully coordinated rescue mission to rescue eggs from all along the Panhandle coast.

CNN Reports on Turtle Egg Rescue Work on Cape San Blas on July 9, 2010

I saw crews from CNN and AP and possibly some other outlets. I just had a call from a friend who said CNN ran the story around mid-day today but I haven’t had a chance to see it. USA Today featured the story on page 4A today in an edition that had to have gone to press before the event took place, and NPR has posted the AP story on their website.

FED EX crews Prepare Turtle Eggs For Travel to Florida East Coast Incubator

The FED EX driver noted the irony of his needing to refuel at the BP station on the Cape before he could leave as the next nearest gas station is over 17 miles away.

2 Comments on 'Cape San Blas Turtle Eggs Relocated to Avoid Oil Spill Impact':

Pam Reedy on 07/10/10:

Hi Sherri, I was wondering when this would begin taking place, and am very grateful for your excellent pictorial review. I pray that all the relocations are successful, and hope that a majority of the hatchlings survive to reproduction age. This is a truly magnificent action to save our sea friends. Thanks for the great coverage. If you ever get tired of real estate, you could always take up reporting! Do I hear the phone ringing? It's CNN!!! Seriously, Thanks again. Pam

1 replies:

Sherri Dodsworth on 07/10/10:

Thanks, Pam! So many people are donating so much time and effort to help us through this challenge, it's just so uplifting to witness.

Sandra Clay Harrison on 07/10/10:

Sherry, I was looking thru the crowd on tv trying to identify you. Yes, vous! Great turtle job. I cannot seem to do this correctly so I must ask ....would you send Ann Van Harlingen your blog? I have been unsuccessful at getting it thru cyberspace so many times. I relate info from your blog, but it has yet to come up on her screen. The deals are too good not to have her interest! Gracias. H&K, Sandra :O)

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