Saturday, October 02, 2010

Saving The Loggerhead Sea Turtle

The efforts to save a species from BP oil oblivion;

The BP-Spill Baby-Turtle Brigade

...The hatchlings from this season’s first nests, however, were on schedule to scramble into the Gulf of Mexico only a few months after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, at what looked to be the height of one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in history. By June, the sargassum in that part of the gulf was heavily oiled. Soon, it appeared to be largely gone: incinerated in controlled burns, maybe, or hauled up by skimmer boats. And so state and federal wildlife agencies came up with a radical plan. Sea-turtle eggs laid on beaches in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle would be dug up during their very last days of incubation, packed into Styrofoam coolers and shipped to a climate-controlled warehouse at the Kennedy Space Center on the opposite coast of Florida. There, after hatching, the baby turtles would be released into the oil-free Atlantic. When I arrived in Alabama in late July, tens of thousands of turtle eggs, from hundreds of nests, were already in the proc­ess of being relocated — all during a point in their development when even a slight jolt to the egg could be lethal. In short, America was orchestrating the migration of an entire generation of sea turtles, slow and steady, overland, in a specially outfitted FedEx truck...


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