Heavy waves can spell trouble for tiny sea turtles. Over the past week, we have taken in 39 green and loggerhead sea turtle “washbacks” that were pushed ashore when their Sargassum habitat was broken up by heavy wind and waves.
When they hatch, sea turtles rely on energy stored in their yolk sacs to make the multi-mile swim to offshore weed lines, which provide shelter and food. If a storm disturbs the seaweed, the little sea turtles can be washed back to the beach, having lost the energy to make that long swim again.
These washbacks, which came to us from all over the Brevard County coast, have been sent to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton. Today they will be transported via boat back into the weed lines, where we hope they will remain.
Sea Turtle Preservation Society (STPS) has been transporting the turtles to our Healing Center. If you find a washback, you should immediately call STPS at 321-676-1701 or Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922 for rescue instructions.