Clearwater Marine Aquarium Needs New Nest Vehicle
Clearwater Marine Aquarium is responsible for the discovery and safekeeping of sea turtle nests along the 26 miles of Pinellas county shoreline.
The sea turtle nesting program is a very successful and important part of CMA’s mission. This season was flourishing with more than 120 nests located on Pinellas County beaches in the first months.
Tropical Storm Debby hit the Clearwater Beach area June 24 with high winds and flooding.
Unfortunately, the storm took a great toll on the turtle nesting that had already occurred: we lost about 80 percent (99) of our nests due to beach erosion, and the remaining 20 percent (24 nests) were affected by the high tides.
The CMA team is optimistic that a good number of these nests will still hatch. The storm has not affected the increase in turtles nesting along our shores – we have located 33 new nests since the storm. It is still early in the season, and we are hopeful that we will continue to locate nests in high numbers.
The CMA team is now facing a new challenge and an urgent need: a new truck for patrols, to replace the truck that recently died.
Volunteers rely on this vehicle to complete their daily patrols. Without it, they must walk the beaches, adding hours onto the daily routine and limiting our ability to effectively protect these endangered species.
CMA staff and volunteers are asking the public to help support the aquarium’s mission and sea turtle populations by making a contribution to support the purchase of a vehicle.
Contributions can be made online at: http://shop.seewinter.com/Support-Our-Animal-Care-Fund-c-256/