Saturday, September 7, 2013

Coast Guard Gives Baby Turtles New Lease On Life


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Leather back Baby Turtle Courtesy Blog Outgo

The U.S. Coast Guard, which usually saves sailors and helps keep America safe, gave a new lease on life to throngs of baby turtles. The turtles were pulled out of Florida turtle nests where they were taken to a scientific facility and cared for. Now, it is time for the turtles to go out on their own. Someone has to transport and release them. They left that job to our men in white.

"I'm very passionate about the environment," said Chief Cannon Schider-Heisel with the U.S. Coast Guard. "And my job affords me the chance to do that sometimes, where I get to help educate the public about the environment. It's a facet of my job that I love."

"A lot of these I literally pulled out of a nest," said scientist Melanie Stadler as she held a baby turtle in her hand to show a Coast Guard crew member. "I have a connection with a lot of them, as do the rest of the turtle specialists. We all rescue these little guys every morning and knowing that we get to release them and they are healthy and ready to go is pretty awesome."

The Coast Guard, along with marine scientists, release 311 loggerhead and 194 green sea turtles on Thursday. Normally, only 1 in a thousand of the young hatching's survive their run on the beach and early life.

The Loggerhead is threatened and the Green and Leather back Turtles are endangered. It is illegal to molest any turtle during the nesting season. Each turtle was hand placed onto a bed of sea grass for it's own comfort and protection.

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