Walton County has a Wildlife Lighting Ordinance which provides guidelines for proper light management. For information on local lighting regulations and to see the complete ordinance, visit Walton County’s website.
For information on sea turtle friendly lights go to the following:
Walton County Lighting Ordinance
This turtle was released by the well meaning public with hooks still in it and will die, it should have been taken to help.
The women involved called me today and wanted me to know that some folks on the beach wanted to call someone but the fishermen there were under the opinion that if you cut the line the fishhook then would dissolve. This is not true, they may rust away but that takes time and the hook can do a lot of damage to the turtle while waiting for this to happen. Also the fishing line gets wrapped around different parts of the turtle some in it’s mouth. This in itself can kill the sea turtle, I have taken fishing line off a turtle when it was wrapped around it’s neck and also around it’s flippers and can’t swim. So just cutting the line is not enough. If you have caught a sea turtle you must bring it to shore and call the proper people to get the turtle the medical help it needs. Don’t just cut the line and let it become the problem for the turtle, when it is your hook and line.
SOUTH WALTON PERMITS BONFIRES ON BEACHES, BUT A PERMIT MUST BE OBTAINED AND NO FIRES CLOSE TO SEA TURTLE NESTS, PLEASE, BE A GOOD TURTLE FRIEND.
Who could have foreseen the BP oil disaster and how it was to affect sea turtle nesting.
The problems it brought were many, here are just a few.
Extra reports and interface with local, state and federal officials as well as with the media.
We watched different owners, condos, and hotels, take action into their own hands to keep the oil out with no regard to sea turtle habitat.
Extra work to do our daily monitoring while every kind of vehicle that was on our beaches day and night.
Working with day and night cleaning to keep everyone on track.
Try to keep all the different agencies on the beach off until we could do our daily monitoring.
Moving nests at the correct time.
Caging nest to prevent hatchlings from going into the oil in the gulf.
Educate folks to what was going on.
People handling, extra effort is given to explain what and why sea turtles do what they do.
And if that was not enough we had nest predated by red fox, coyote and dogs. For the second year in a row we have had domesticated dogs digging up our nests and killing hatchlings, this is a problem to be addressed with Walton County.
1 Kemps Ridley nest
30 Loggerhead nest
21 false crawls- as you can see this number is more than double or usual number
13 nests relocated to the East Coast
4 nests that hatched into cages and hatchlings moved to the East Coast for release
7 nest were Predated many hatchlings lost
SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS OF SOUTH WALTON TURTLE WATCH GROUP FOR ALL THEIR EFFORTS THIS SUMMER, I KNOW IT WAS VERY HARD GOING BUT YOU DID A GREAT JOB AND YOU DO MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. I WILL KEEP YOU ON FOR NEXT YEAR.
After relocating two nests this morning we got a call about a sea turtle in the surf near Camp Creek Lake, we were able to get her out of the water and she was alive but weak, she had some oil on her, and a gauze sample of this was taken. She is now at Gulf World, and I will check on her in a couple of days.
Great news out of the nests we caged and sent to the East Coast. We sent 270 hatchlings out of 3 nests and only 1, yes, only 1 died on the way. So thanks so much team. Hope they come back to our white sandy beaches.
On June 2, 2010 Kelly found a Loggerhead Sea Turtle nest in Walton County. This nest was to close to the high tide line and was moved straight back. Because of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico the nests were to be relocated into coolers and transported to the East Coast of Florida. When this nest was dug into to be relocated it was found that some eggs were already piping. Piping is when the sea turtle hatchlings brake open the egg. The nest was quickly reburied and a cage put over it to catch the hatchlings so they would not hatch and go into the Gulf of Mexico. Two days later an indentation appeared in the nest and that night volunteers Sherry and Anthony watched the nest. About 9 p.m. the hatchlings started to appear. They wanted to go to the water. The hatchlings, 91 in all were gathered up and up into two separate coolers and kept overnight. Early the next morning Bob Reddick and his Fed Ex truck were waiting to take the hatchlings to the East Coast to be released into the Atlantic. With great care the coolers were strapped in for their ride to meet Bob. The coolers were labeled and the volunteers present introduced Bob to our Hatchlings. The hatchlings in the coolers were very happy to be going to the water. Bob took his time and got the coolers securely into the truck and away the hatchlings went with the words “Come back and nest here in Walton County.
On May 08,2010 An endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle was seen by a Walton County Life Guard nesting in the Dune Allan area. We were called and marked this nest. At this time the Deep Water Horizon Oil disaster was ongoing. We marked the nest according to our sea turtle permit. As this oil disaster continued it was decided that all sea turtle nests on the Gulf Coast be dug up and hatched in coolers at the Kennedy Space Center. So at day 49 the eggs were dug up by a group of trained people and moved to Kennedy. This was the very first nest on the Gulf Coast moved. The eggs hatched and out of 67 eggs, 57 hatchlings came out. These endangered sea turtle hatchlings were released into the Atlantic Ocean. As the summer goes on we will continue to relocate our nests to this area. We are having a very big part in protecting the endangered sea turtles.