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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Turtle People. They're Out There.


Unprecedented. And heroic.
A wild turtle crossing in the news. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, extraordinary measures were taken to rescue loggerhead hatchlings, in areas where their natural habitat -- massive floating beds of seaweed -- had been destroyed.

Sea-turtle eggs laid on the beaches in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle were dug up, packed in Styrofoam coolers and shipped by FedEx to a climate controlled warehouse at the Kennedy Space Center. There, after hatching, they were released into oil-free waters.


An extreme turtle home make-over -- tracking mother turtles, locating nests, collecting and protecting eggs -- this effort was orchestrated by a vast and well-organized infrastructure of volunteers already in place and known universally up and down the coast as the Turtle People.


For the full article by Jon Mooallem: The BP-Spill Baby-Turtle Brigade - NYTimes.com

Photo Credit: Kathrine Wolkoff of the NYTimes

Caption: The Crawl Loggerhead turtle hatchlings follow a volunteer made trench to the water.


(EXCERPT)
"For some, being a turtle person is a colorful seasonal interest — an excuse to wake up early and take a stroll on the beach; for others, it’s an identity. Ask the head turtle person in Walton County, Fla., to pick you up at your hotel one morning, and a 68-year-old woman with three turtle tattoos on her legs will arrive in a truck with turtle-printed seat covers, plush-toy turtles on the dash and a turtle decal on each door. You’ll know it’s her because the license plate says TURTLE."

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