What's Happening?!
October Monthly Meeting

We will be having a BOARD MEMBERS ONLY Zoom Meeting on October 12th.
Virtual Banquet

Every year SAT hosts a banquet to thank all of our volunteers and donors. In lieu of a live evening this year, we are planning an exciting virtual event in November.
Watch for updates for this truly unique event!
Nesting Season 2020 Update
As nesting season starts to wind down for 2020, most sea turtles are finished nesting in the Keys. But as the season does run through October, it is possible to still have nests occur and if so, they would most likely be Green turtles. With that said, we are thrilled to announce that the Florida Keys experienced lots of turtle action! It was a busier season than we anticipated with lots of false crawls, nests, and of course....HATCHLINGS! The numbers below represent activity on beaches monitored by Save-A-Turtle volunteers only, and not the entire Keys. These beaches include Sea Oats in Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and a small area on Sugarloaf Key. Hatchling numbers do not represent the total of all nests as some nests are not inventoried for various reasons.
Drum roll please.......
False Crawls: 106
Nests: 50
Hatchlings: 4,352
Washed out Nests: 3

Photo shows hatchling trapped in roots within the nest that was
rescued during a post hatch excavation by SAT Volunteers
SAT permitted volunteers counting hatched eggs.
Loggerhead egg found on the beach after TS Laura washed out several nests.
NOTE: ONLY those trained and permitted by the FWCC may conduct post hatch excavations.
It is illegal to disturb, touch or dig up turtle nests, eggs and hatchlings.
Save-A-Turtle Scholarships Awarded
Save-A-Turtle Board Members recently attended a virtual Scholarship Social with the College of the Florida Keys. Normally a live event offered by the college, this social affords the opportunity for scholarship recipients to meet their donors.  SAT awarded two $1000 scholarships for the spring 2020 semester. We’d like to share some information with you about each student.

Brandon Kincaid
Brandon is working on or has completed the BAS: Supervision & Management; AAS: Diving Business & Technology; Emergency Medical Technician; AAS: Marine Engineering, Management, & Seamanship; Professional Diving Medical Technician Certificate; Marine Propulsion Technology Certificate; Professional Dive Instructor Certificate; Fundamentals of Professional Diving Certificate and Introduction to Commercial/Work Diving Certificate. A veteran of the US Marine Corp, his goal is to work in the search and rescue field and start his own dive business here in the Florida Keys.

Sarah Pietraszka
Sara is currently working on a BS: Marine Resource Management and is working on or has completed an AS: Marine Environmental Technology; a Certificate in Tropical Ornamental Mariculture Technician and a Certificate in Professional Research Diving.
In order to qualify for a scholarship from SAT, students must be a Keys resident enrolled in a marine science/trade program at the College of the Florida Keys, and participate in one local beach/marine clean up per semester.

In continuing our mission of education, we are so excited to be offering four scholarships of $1000 each for the spring 2021 semester! Two of these scholarships will be afforded to non-Keys residents as well, provided the students meet the remaining criteria.

Depending on the course, students at CFK are attending both live and virtual classes this semester. For example, those enrolled in various dive programs are able to go out in the water for their dives. And while the college closed in March due to Covid-19, virtual classes took place for the remainder of the spring semester. New to the college this year is a Marine Resource Management Program with 22 students. The College of the Florida Keys also offers courses and degrees in nursing, hospitality, plumbing, HVAC and so much more. What a wonderful and diversified college we have here in the Keys with students attending from all over the country and the Bahamas.

Congratulations to Brandon and Sarah. We wish you the very best! Flippers Up!
Meet Chomper
Chomper, one of the newest patients at The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, is a 125 pound female Loggerhead who was rescued off of Duck Key on Sept 17th because of a very large FP tumor and entanglement. This tumor weighing in at 14.2lbs and bigger than a basketball is the largest tumor the folks at the hospital have ever seen.
Named Chomper because she kept biting at the boat during rescue, the veterinarian staff removed the tumor on Sept 20th.

Since then, the staff continued to try to save Chomper's flipper, which was quite compromised because of the tumor. She has received laser, oxygen and live leech (yes live leech) therapies along with PT to try to improve circulation to the flipper. Unfortunately, none of these therapies helped and Chomper's right flipper needed to be amputated. The surgery was performed by Dr. Douglas Mader, DVM of The Marathon Veterinary Hospital.

However, many sea turtles have lost a flipper due to shark bites, FP, boat strikes, entanglements and for other reasons as well. Many former patients at the Turtle Hospital for the same reasons have healed fabulously and have been released. Join us as we send lots of healing energy and love to Chomper. Flippers Up!

What is FPP
Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a herpes virus that causes tumors in predominantly Green and Loggerhead sea turtles. While the tumors are benign, they often lead to the death of sea turtles as they inhibit their buoyancy and their ability to swim. FP tumors are also commonly found in their eyes which effects their vision and ability to find food, ultimately leading to emaciation. Tumors are found both internally and externally. With a cauliflower like appearance, they can be as small as peas, or, as we see with Chomper, the size of a basketball. FP seems to be more prevalent in Green Sea Turtles and it is believed the cause may be linked to pollution and nitrogen in the oceans. Green sea turtles in particular graze on sea grasses which absorb the nitrogen (fertilizers) that runs off of the land and into the ocean. Fortunately for sea turtles and the health of the oceans, many facilities, including the Turtle Hospital, can successfully remove these tumors, and after post-op care, many of these reptilian patients are released back into the sea.
Where do Sea Turtles go After Nesting Season?
Check out this beautiful video from SeeTurtles.org about sea turtle migration
International Coastal Clean-Up
September 19, 2020 marked the Ocean Conservancy’s 34th Annual International Coastal Cleanup
This annual volunteer event is very important. The data on the trash collected is recorded and sent to the Sea Turtle Conservancy for analysis. Once the data is analyzed, it provides information on behaviors, trends and can identify specific areas of concern. That data is at times considered for areas of development, shoreline hardening, as well as waterway and ocean pollution concerns. Also the data is used to help with education in changing human behaviors. Due to concerns regarding Covid, Save-A-Turtle was unable to organize any large community cleanups, however our members continue to be active on a daily basis doing beach cleanups themselves. Over the course of 2 days, our President Harry Appel, and Board Member Jennifer DeMaria cleaned 8 oceanfront lots. Among the items collected were 2 entire recycling buckets full of plastic and glass, a large bundle of fire hose, huge bundles of rope and line, scores of lobster trap “throats” and countless micro-plastics, just a little of which is shown in the attached photos. In their educated estimate, they removed approximately 400 pounds of trash and recyclables, not including the fire hose which took both of them to haul in!
As we all understand, pollution is a worldwide and growing problem. It’s imperative that we include “refuse” in the “reduce, reuse, recycle” loop. By refusing to buy things that are packaged in ways that are harmful to the environment using excess plastic, we close the loop better. Buying in bulk makes a big difference as well, it’s also a great way to save money and we encourage people to buy in bulk with neighbors to split, or donate excess quantities to others in need when possible.
“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”
See you on the beach (with a trash bucket!)
Sea Turtle Rescue Mission
Enjoy this months sea turtle video from Alligator Reef in Islamorada courtesy of Mike Papish, owner of Underwater Exploring based out of the Florida Keys!!

What is your name?
Richard & Jennifer West

Where are you from? Jennifer grew up is Atlanta and I (Richard) grew up in Maine. Now we live in Key West.

What do you do for a living? Jennifer is a life coach and I am semi-retired and invest in Real Estate.
What beach do you survey for sea turtle nesting season? Sugarloaf Key

How many years have you volunteered for SAT? This is our second season volunteering with Save-A-Turtle.

What made your decide to become a beach walker?  Both Jennifer and I love the turtles and the environment and wanted to do our part to help out.

What is your favorite species of turtle and why? We love all of the sea turtles but are partial to leatherbacks due to their size.

Why do you love sea turtles? What's NOT to love about sea turtles?

What is your best eco-friendly tip? Recycle and pick up at least three pieces of trash whenever you walk the beach.
Now Available!
This beautiful "Sea Turtles Dig The Dark" necklace is now available for purchase on our website. There will only be a limited number available so make sure to get your orders in! 50% of all proceeds from the Dig The Dark necklaces will be donated back to Save A Turtle!
100% of proceeds sold goes back to Save A Turtle
We are looking for pictures & photos from our Save-A-Turtle Family! Do you have any photos of sea turtles, nests or turtle tracks? If so, please e-mail them to: Melissa_goldblatt@yahoo.com
Report Sick, Injured or Dead Sea Turtles in Florida- Call FWCC at 888-404-FWCC