Have you heard about the sea turtle rescue efforts being coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, the U.S. National Park Service, NOAA, the Sea Turtle Conservancy and other conservationists, and even NASA, along the U.S. northern Gulf of Mexico coast?
An expected 700 sea turtle nests that were laid along the north Gulf coast (particularly in Florida & Alabama) are being excavated and moved into a climate-controlled NASA facility in Cape Canaveral until they hatch. FedEx carried the special cargo to the facility.
I’m very happy to pass along news that the program has had its first success! Baby Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles have successfully hatched and been released into the Atlantic off of Florida’s east coast at Cape Canaveral. The Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, an endangered species in the United States, is one of three sea turtle species known to migrate into Canadian waters (on the east coast) during the summer and early fall months.
Who’d have thought that the multi-billion dollar space program would ever benefit endangered species so directly?
Image credits: NASA, Kennedy Space Center (Photos were shot with a red filter to protect the newborn turtles)