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Hurricane Dorian Threatens Thousands Of Sea Turtle Nests

As Hurricane Dorian's wrath continues to pound the Atlantic coast, concerns have surfaced about what will happen to Florida's sea turtles.

This has been a record nesting year for green turtles, so they're particularly vulnerable to being eroded away because of the storm. David Godfrey is executive director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy, based in Gainesville.

"It's likely that thousands of sea turtle nests will be lost because of the erosion that's going to happen as Dorian makes its way up the east coast," he said.

If you come across a nest, Godrey says you should leave it alone.

"It is unfortunate and somewhat tragic to think about," he said. "Many of these beaches where the turtles are, we're expecting them to be completely overrun, completely washed out. And so even if you move them back or up into the dune, that's not going to survive either."

But the adult turtles? They are going to be okay. Godfrey says the conservancy is tracking one loggerhead that has been sitting off the coast of the Bahamas throughout the storm, coming up to breathe only during a break in the waves.

"What seems to be an unsurvivable climactic event to people," he said, "isn't neccessary harmful to a sea turtle."

Sea Turtle
Credit Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media
WUSF Public Media
Sea turtle tracks on Sunny Isles Beach

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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