Saving Sea Turtle Eggs
After exiting the ocean at Coral Cove Park in Jupiter Island from a morning swim and snorkel, my son and I happened upon some white balls laying in the sand right in front of us. Once my eyes focused, I realized the masses of balls were really turtle eggs.
Being high tide and with a foot of swell, the waves were coming in fast and a few times washing over the turtle eggs.
We ran over to the lifeguard who said we might try Florida State Wildlife. Florida State Wildlife said it was just a part of nature and there was nothing that could be done. Not giving up, we called Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach. We ended up talking to Evan in education rescue. Evan told me that they would run out to Coral Cove and see if they could save the turtle eggs by covering the eggs up and then transporting and burying them at higher ground. Evan said the major concerns were (1) the heat exposure to the eggs and it’s also hard to move eggs when it’s hot, (2) When a nest gets displaced, the embryos can get destroyed by the waves moving them. However, the eggs buried below might still be okay.
We came back later in the day and the eggs were moved and buried with a stake marker of #3 and a pink ribbon. It’s a State/Federal offense to touch or move eggs in any way, so it’s imperative to get someone who can. Below are a couple of photos of the displaced eggs and the danger of the waves, the stake showing where they were moved late in the day, and a sample of the many nests that the turtles create. There was also a badly injured Loggerhead turtle that washed ashore that got hit by a passing boat, so it was quite the busy day at Coral Cove.
If you ever need to save sea turtle eggs, please call Loggerhead Marine Life Center. The facility is also open to the public and is great for educational purposes. Kids love to go to see the turtles the Center is nursing back to health.
Loggerhead Marine Life Center is located at 14200 U.S. Highway 1, Juno Beach FL 33408. Phone: (561) 627-8280.