Turtle Tracks Newsletter October 2017
Post Irma Update
Things have forever changed in the Florida Keys. Time will now be referred to as "before Irma" and "after Irma". And what we regarded as normal is gone and will eventually be replaced by a "new normal"
Well, the same holds true for our turtles as we speak about this seasons nests.

BEFORE IRMA: As you know, the Florida Keys were off to a rather slow nesting season, but we did start seeing more nests later in the summer which resulted in lots of successful hatches. Numbers are not available at this time, but should be by the time we do the November newsletter.

While we do not have large beaches with lots of pretty white sand, we had just enough beach to attract loggerhead and green sea turtles who would nest as high up as they could as well as near or under the various tropical bushes and trees that protected our little paradise from erosion. And we at Save-A-Turtle work effortlessly with the homeowners to make sure that the beaches are free from anything that may discourage them from nesting such as boats, furniture, etc. And of course, we are always diligent in regards to turtle friendly lighting.
AFTER IRMA: Sadly, most of the beaches, if not every beach in the Keys sustained major damage. Many beaches are gone, dunes have been decimated, and erosion is a major problem. With that said, none of the nests waiting to hatch survived. Again, we don't know the exact count, and we never will, but its safe to say that thousands of eggs were washed out to sea.

Irma brought a 10' ocean surge. wiped out everything in its path, and has left behind thick heavy coverings of pulverized and broken rocks, trees and other debris. Massive chunks of concrete now clog the beaches and block nesting habitat. Thick wrack and trash litter the beaches.The trees have been scrubbed clean, and in many places there is no longer enough sand depth to support future nests. It will take a long time, with many volunteers to clear the debris. Work is already in progress for dune restoration, but we have a long way to go!

On a happy note, sightings of sea turtles have been reported by boaters, and if our beaches can be restored in time, we have high hopes for next years nesting season.
Photo's Above: Left to Right Photo Credits: Jennifer De Maria, Sherri Crilly
Row 1: Before & After Notice the beach erosion, lack of trees & thick wrack line
Row 2: One of our rare large nesting areas, now littered with debris, erosion & thick wrack
These 2 areas above were very popular spots for nests.
Row 3: Evidence of 10' surge and dead trees; 1 of many large pieces of concrete
Please Note:
This year's Banquet has been Cancelled
Due to "Irmageddon", most of our Board Members, Officers and Beach Walkers sustained damage to their homes, some catastrophic. Our banquet venue was also damaged. But don't worry.....we are all Keys Strong and will be back next year with a bigger and better banquet, hopefully with lots of great turtle news to share as well!
Meet our Ambassador of Hope
This little green preemie was discovered during an emergency excavation in July still in his egg, attached to his yolk. At first, we thought he was dead, but he suddenly lifted his tiny head as if to say "I'm alive and I need help".

While his chances of survival were very slim, thanks to the efforts of the Save-A-Turtle team who discovered him, along with Sue Schaaf, FWC and the folks at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, he survived!

We have appointed him as our "Ambassador of Hope" for all of the hatchlings prior to "Irmageddon", in hopes that they survived her wrath. However, HE needs a name!

Enter our Contest to Name our Ambassador! $5.00 Donation!
Winner receives a FREE Limited Edition "I Survived Irma" T-Shirt $20 Value

Some Happy Hatchlings Before Irma
Note: All persons seen handling turtles & excavating nests in these photos are PERMITTED by the State of Florida and Save-a-Turtle. photo credit: Sherri Crilly
SAT T-Shirts make GREAT Stocking Stuffers!
Pre-Order Special $16.97 + shipping Reg. $20. Oder Today! Limited Quantity
Ok....so it's a little early to be thinking about the Holidays, but our little preemie was early arriving to this world as well!

Our Limited Edition "I Survived Irma" T-shirt is on sale at a Pre-Order price of only $16.97 + shipping. Reg $20.

Featuring our soon to be named "Ambassador of Hope", your turtle lovers will be proud to sport this little guy.

Gilden 100% Cotten T-Shirt
Adult & Youth Sizes

Limited Quantity available so don't wait!
Sale ends Oct 31st.

100% of all proceeds go to help Save-A-Turtle rebuild AFTER IRMA and restock our education and nesting supplies for the upcoming season.

And while you're ordering, scroll down to enter the contest to name him! Flippers Up!
Click below to Order today
Now, more than ever we need YOUR help.
Please consider clicking one of the links
above to help today. Thank you!