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Conservation Efforts

March 29, 2017

Devocean Co. at Turtle Fest 2017

 

Every year during the spring the Loggerhead Marinelife Center dedicates a day to host TurtleFest, a whole day of awareness for sea turtles, ocean pollution, and marine conservation. This past Saturday, the Devocean team joined other like-minded individuals to partake in an event dedicated to sea turtles! Throughout the festival were various stations, vendors, and sponsors educating the public about the negative effects of ocean pollution, most specifically plastic pollution, and how it effects marine life and the food chain in the ocean. 

 

The name itself, TurtleFest, suggests that the main point of the festival is to raise awareness for sea turtles throughout the world who are in danger and in need of our help. The Loggerhead Marinelife Center works with injured sea turtles and young hatchlings much like the FAU Research Lab at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. Many of the turtles that are brought to the facility have been impacted in some way by marine debris and are a prime example of how our everyday trash becomes their everyday problem. We are also happy to say that TurtleFest was a "waste-free" event, meaning that little to no plastic was used during the event to prevent plastic from potentially making its way into the ocean where sea turtles fall victim to the debris. No plastic utensils or cups were handed out during the day and people who attended were encouraged to bring their own reusable shopping bags or purchase some at the festival. 

We are happy that the Devocean team was able to be a part of this great festival and we look forward to this upcoming Sea Turtle Season to see how many sea turtles we can help make their way to the big, blue ocean!

March 20, 2017

Remember the Turtles This Spring Break!

March is officially the first month of Sea Turtle Season - and also the start of spring break for many colleges throughout the state of Florida. Beginning the first week of March thousands of spring breakers made their way to the beaches of South Florida, Broward county, which is the #1 nesting beach for female sea turtles to lay their eggs, is also one of the most popular beaches during spring break.
The litter and trash left behind by spring breakers and tourists alike do not just leave the beaches looking dirty and unpleasant to be on, it is also an extreme hazard for nesting turtles. South Florida beaches are home to Loggerheads, Green Turtles, and Leatherbacks. These turtles typically come ashore during the night to lay their eggs when the beach isn't as crowded. However, during spring break, the party does not stop when the sun goes down. Many people during this time still continue to crowd the beach through the night. When a female sea turtle comes to shore and is ready to lay her eggs but is startled or scared, she will turn around and go back to the ocean, sometimes completely missing an opportunity to nest altogether. 
The Devocean Co. Team wants to remind everyone to bring home what they brought to the beach with them, or to dispose of it properly. This also means that if you go to throw away your trash in the nearest trash can and it is overflowing, to find another that is not as full. If everyone helps to do their part, it will make for a much healthier and calmer environment for nesting female sea turtles this Sea Turtle Season.

A friendly reminder that

TRASH BELONGS IN THE CAN, NOT IN THE SAND! 

March 01, 2017

Sea Turtle Season Has Officially Begun!

Good news, Devotees! It's March 1 which marks the official start of sea turtle season! This means that in the next few months thousands of female sea turtles will make their way to the beaches from South Carolina to South Florida to lay their eggs. Then, a few months later, our beaches will be crawling with thousands of new born hatchlings! 

Last year in the Boca Raton, Florida region alone there was a reported 729 Loggerhead nests, 37 Green sea turtle nests, and 17 Loggerhead nests. This year we are hoping there will be even more nests than in 2016!

The FAU Research Lab will soon be releasing the very last of the young sea turtles from last season that have grown up in the lab. These turtles are cared for by the FAU professors and lab technicians where they are constantly monitored and fed a special diet created in the lab. This enables them to grow up in a safe and healthy environment until they are big and old enough to make their way back to the ocean. 

Once these turtles are released, the lab in the following months will begin to prepare for a set of new sea turtle hatchlings and the process will start over again. Each year, the lab will care for hundreds of hatchlings which requires time, effort, and funding which is where Devocean Co. comes in and helps out! Thanks to all of our Devotees, we are able to make great contributions to not only the FAU Marine Research Lab but Gumbo Limbo Nature Center as well where adult sea turtle are rehabilitated from sickness and injuries.

February 13, 2017

The Countdown to Sea Turtle Season Has Begun!

Good news, Devotees! On March 1, now less than one month away, the official Sea Turtle Season will begin and we will soon start to see nesting females come to shore to lay their eggs. Sea Turtle Season runs from March 1 - October 31. In this time, thousands of females will travel hundreds, some even thousands, of miles to return to the beach where they were originally born at. Loggerheads, Green Sea Turtles, and the rare Leatherbacks are the three sea turtles who utilize Florida's beaches for their nests.

During the season, these yellow signs will line the coastlines and beaches ranging from Broward County in South Florida to the coast of South Carolina. Broward County is the county with the most nests laid every year. Devocean Co. is lucky enough to be based out of South Florida where we are able to actively help as many hatchlings as possible. Each sea turtle season, the FAU Research Lab cares for hundreds of hatchlings where they are fed a special diet and closely monitored until they are old enough and strong enough to be released back to the ocean. 

Keep up with our blog to find out when the first sea turtle nest has been laid, the number of nests laid, and more during this 2017 Sea Turtle Season! 

 

January 30, 2017

First Male of the 2016 Lab Hatchlings Discovered!

Sea turtles are unique in that their sex is determined by temperature. This is known as Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination (TSD). The temperature of the sea turtle nest will result in either female or male hatchlings. Warmer temperatures will produce a majority of females while cooler temperatures produce mostly males.
Although Sea Turtle Season (March 1 - October 31) has been over for quite some time, there are still many young sea turtles ready to be released to the ocean. Before these young turtles are released, a laparoscopy is done to help determine the sex of each turtle. At least 200 laparoscopies have been done with Loggerheads and Green Sea Turtles this past 2016 season thus far. Of that number, the first male sea turtle was just discovered this past week! The male was a Loggerhead and will be released with 35 other female Loggerheads and 3 Green Sea Turtles this coming week.
In 2015 there were only 2 males compared to roughly 400 females out of all of the sea turtles that were taken care of in the lab and released back to the ocean. There are still another 250 sea turtles whose sex is yet to be determined from this past 2016 season, so we are hoping to have a few more males in the next few weeks!
Look for a new blog post every Monday to find out the latest happenings in the lab, information about releases, and much more! 
January 24, 2017

Help Us Save The Endangered Animals!

A new president for the United States could mean new laws put in place for wildlife and old laws taken away. For the past decade it has been debated whether or not the Endangered Species Act established in 1973 is doing its job in helping the 41,415 current species on this list. Some argue that helping certain endangered species like polar bears is ineffective because we cannot stop the natural phenomenon of global warming. Others argue that since the Endangered Species Act became established, very few animals have made any significant recovery.
Worldwide, 6 out of the 7 species of sea turtles are considered threatened or endangered. Both the Hawksbill and Kemp's Ridley sea turtles are listed as critically endangered, meaning these two species are currently at an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. Officials in Congress argue that this conservation act is hindering drilling, logging, and other activities - all of which can cause unrecoverable impacts on the environment in which these endangered species live. An example would be the Deep Horizon offshore oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that happened back in 2010. 7 years later, there is still marine life being affected by the tar and oil that remains in the gulf and in our oceans. 
Without the Endangered Species Act, thousands of animals, including some species of sea turtles, could face extinction if they are no longer protected. The Devocean Team encourages you not to just help the sea turtles, but all animals that face extinction equally.
Sign the petition below to have your voice heard and make a difference!

Click on the link below to sign the petition and learn more about what the new bill (Bill S.1731/H.R.3533) opposes and how it weakens the Endangered Species Act, the greatest conservation tool we have to protect and restore these species of threatened and endangered animals.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-the-endangered

January 16, 2017

New Year, Same Turtles (for now...)

Sea Turtle Season runs from March 1 through October 31, but that does not mean the FAU Marine Research Lab is empty during off season! The newborn hatchings that were gathered from the beaches in Palm Beach County in South Florida have grown up in the lab. During their time in the lab they were monitored daily and were fed a special diet to ensure a healthy development. 
Now that these turtles are healthy, strong, and big enough to return to the ocean, they are being released offshore where they have a better chance of survival from predators. We are so happy to have been able to save hundreds of hatchlings this past year, and we could not have done it without all of you!
Before we know it, all of the sea turtles from last season will safely be set free to explore the ocean! Just in time... for new baby hatchlings! In a few months all of the older hatchlings will be gone and the new hatchlings from this upcoming season will take their place. We are so excited for the next upcoming Sea Turtle Season! Check our blog to stay connected with what is going on in the lab. 
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