Daytona Beach, FL – Strong winds and heavy surf are sending back washback and hatchling sea turtles by the hundreds on the east coast of Florida. The Marine Science Center has more than 200 of the little creatures, washed back and clinging to the sargassum seaweed.
Jennifer Winters explains that washbacks are sea turtles that made it out to the seaweed line. Hatchlings are barely making it into the ocean before getting washed back. Besides the more than 200 sea turtles found on Volusia County beaches, the Marine Center has taken another 100 from the Whitney Lab in St. Johns County.
Winters said that on Monday, October 7, 99 of the little sea turtles were found. On Tuesday (October 8), the number was down to 60. She said it does seem like the ocean is calming down a bit but they still will be diligently looking for the washbacks.
The hatchlings and washbacks will normally be seen in the fresh seaweed on the tide line. Winters said if you do see any sea turtles, please don’t put them back in the ocean. They are likely worn out from the rough seas and would probably not survive. Anyone finding a sea turtle should make sure it’s out of harm’s way and leave it on the sand, if possible. Provide shade if you can and before contacting Volusia Beach Safety at 386-239-6414, determine your location to the best of your ability. During off-hours, between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., call Sheriff’s Dispatch at 386-248-1777, extension 6.
You can find more information on sea turtles in Volusia County by clicking here.
Source:: News Daytona Beach