South Walton Sea Turtle Watch Foundation www.southwaltonturtlewatch.org
Enf of Season 2013 Report

View our End of Season 2013 Report Here

California School helps South Walton Turtle Watch

SWTWG uses donations for educational purposes. Every year this wonderful school in Sacramento, California does a project and sends the money to us. This money is used to help our educational programs. We are so excited to have this happen. The school and class found us because one of the teachers folks used to be a big part of our group here in Florida and they have moved on to California. We love this card and love this class. Our sun visors go off to them. Thanks a million for you help.

cal school money

YOU CAN DO YOUR PART: Always use a red filter or red light emitting flashlight on our beaches!

Walton County Lighting Ordinance

Walton County has a Wildlife Lighting Ordinance which provides guidelines for proper light management. For information on local lighting regulations and to see the complete ordinance, visit Walton County’s website.

For information on sea turtle friendly lights go to the following:

www.seaturtlelighting.net

www.beaconproducts.com

www.electroelf.com

http://myfwc.com/conservation/you-conserve/lighting/certified

Walton County Lighting Ordinance

URGENT
When you see a sea turtle on the beach or a sea turtle in harms way please call South Walton Turtle Watch 897-5228 or Walton County Sheriff 267-2000

This turtle was released by the well meaning public with hooks still in it and will die, it should have been taken to help.

The women involved called me today and wanted me to know that some folks on the beach wanted to call someone but the fishermen there were under the opinion that if you cut the line the fishhook then would dissolve.  This is not true, they may rust away but that takes time and the hook can do a lot of damage to the turtle while waiting for this to happen.  Also the fishing line gets wrapped around different parts of the turtle some in it’s mouth.  This in itself can kill the sea turtle, I have taken fishing line off a turtle when it was wrapped around it’s neck and also around it’s flippers and can’t swim.  So just cutting the line is not enough.  If you have caught a sea turtle you must bring it to shore and call the proper people to get the turtle the medical help it needs.  Don’t just cut the line and let it become the problem for the turtle, when it is your hook and line.

South Walton – Beach Bonfire Guide

SOUTH WALTON PERMITS BONFIRES ON BEACHES, BUT A PERMIT MUST BE OBTAINED AND NO FIRES CLOSE TO SEA TURTLE NESTS, PLEASE, BE A GOOD TURTLE FRIEND.

Bonfire Guidelines

2010 Sea Turtle Watch Season

Who could have foreseen the BP oil disaster and how it was to affect sea turtle nesting.

The problems it brought were many, here are just a few.

Extra reports and interface with local, state and federal officials as well as with the media.

We watched different owners, condos, and hotels, take action into their own hands to keep the oil out with no regard to sea turtle habitat.

Extra work to do our daily monitoring while every kind of vehicle that was on our beaches day and night.

Working with day and night cleaning to keep everyone on track.

Try to keep all the different agencies on the beach off until we could do our daily monitoring.

Moving nests at the correct time.

Caging nest to prevent hatchlings from going into the oil in the gulf.

Educate folks to what was going on.

People handling, extra effort is given to explain what and why sea turtles do what they do.

And if that was not enough we had nest predated by red fox, coyote and dogs.  For the second year in a row we have had domesticated dogs digging up our nests and killing hatchlings, this is a problem to be addressed with Walton County.

ACTUAL NUMBERS

1 Kemps Ridley nest

30 Loggerhead nest

21 false crawls- as you can see this number is more than double or usual number

13 nests relocated to the East Coast

4 nests that hatched into cages and hatchlings moved to the East Coast for release

7 nest were Predated many hatchlings lost

SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS OF SOUTH WALTON TURTLE WATCH GROUP FOR ALL THEIR EFFORTS THIS SUMMER, I KNOW IT WAS VERY HARD GOING BUT YOU DID A GREAT JOB AND YOU DO MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.  I WILL KEEP YOU ON FOR NEXT YEAR.

Busy Morning

After relocating two nests this morning we got a call about a sea turtle in the surf near Camp Creek Lake, we were able to get her out of the water and she was alive but weak, she had some oil on her, and a gauze sample of this was taken. She is now at Gulf World, and I will check on her in a couple of days.

Mixing Sea Turtles & Oil in Walton County, FL

Transfer to East Coast Update

Great news out of the nests we caged and sent to the East Coast.  We sent 270 hatchlings out of 3 nests and only 1, yes, only 1 died on the way.  So thanks so much team.  Hope they come back to our white sandy beaches.