The US is indicating that it's for real about saving some neglected victims of the Gulf oil spill: The turtles. Officials will relocate 50,000 sea turtle eggs from beaches in the gulf regions of Florida and Alabama to a safer area of Florida's coast.
In order to save the turtles from an oily fate, trained professionals will mark nests with turtle eggs as they are laid. They will wait until a fairly late stage in the wee turtle's incubation, dig out the nest, transport them to a safe beach, and release the hatchlings into clean water.
A turtle nest relocation on this large scale has never been attempted before. Scientists acknowledge that many hatchlings will not survive the journey, but that the risk of moving is worthwhile compared to the sure death by oil they would face in the gulf.
The research, development, and execution of the plan has been done through the coordination of several government and nongovernmental environmental agencies, who say they have sufficient funds to carry out their plan.
Currently, this mission is stand-alone. There are no plans to do a similar turtle relocation in other areas or in other seasons, although this may change depending on the development of the crisis in the gulf.
What can you do?
One of our Do Something Awards Alumni, Alexander Srodes, wrote a free workbook on how to educate and preserve endangered sea turtles. Lead some Turtle Talks and teach others about saving these rare animals.