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.
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.
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.