SCCF Sea Turtle Volunteers are Island Stewards
Sea turtle nesting surveys are done for the season, though three final green (Chelonia mydas) nests are being checked daily by volunteers. Now that standardized nesting surveys are finished, SCCF staff will start analyzing the data collected from another successful season. The success of SCCF’s program wouldn’t be possible without invaluable volunteers, who not only locate and monitor nests, but also work hard to maintain clean, natural beaches and act as island stewards and ambassadors.
Every day, volunteers educate the public about sea turtles, fill in holes, identify beach furniture left out overnight, and pick up trash. In fact, this season, SCCF’s East End volunteers picked up 1,470 gallons of trash off the beach—roughly enough to fill a standard bathtub 40 times! Not only did this help maintain the aesthetic of the island’s world-renowned beaches, but it also helped ensure natural nesting habitat for turtles and prevented these trash items from entering the Gulf. Pollution can entangle, impede, or be ingested by turtles at all life stages with dire consequences. Trash and plastic pollution is a big problem facing our marine environments and wildlife, but everyone can do their part to help! Next time you’re on the beach—fishing, shelling, or just relaxing—bring a container with you and pick up a few pieces of trash here and there. Every little bit can make a difference!