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St. Lucie County Partners with Ecological Associates for Sea Turtle Hikes in August

St. Lucie County Partners with Ecological Associates for Sea Turtle Hikes in August

St. Lucie County Partners with Ecological Associates for Sea Turtle Hikes in August

 

HUTCHINSON ISLAND – St. Lucie County Environmental Resources Department is partnering with Ecological Associates, Inc. to bring sea turtle hatching walks to the Guided Nature Program series. These special programs will take place every Friday in August from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. Registration opens July 15 and will fill up fast as space is limited.

These free hikes are designed for participants ages 6 and older, who can walk one mile in the sand and be out on the beach for at least two hours.

Participants can start their day by watching sea turtle hatchlings race to the water to start their lifelong adventure. Participants will enjoy a morning beach walk, learn about the fascinating lives of the threatened and endangered sea turtles that nest on our beaches. They will also observe the excavation of a loggerhead sea turtle nest by trained individuals, who are permitted by Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to conduct such activities.

Space for these special guided hikes is limited to 15 people, so dates are expected to fill up quickly. Registration opens Friday, July 15 at 9 a.m. online at www.slchikes.org.

Hutchinson Island is a popular nesting ground for three species of threatened and endangered sea turtles, including Loggerheads, Leatherbacks and Green Sea Turtles. Last year was a positive year for sea turtle nesting in St. Lucie County with 2,619 nests being laid: A 7.5% increase over 2020. Loggerheads produced 2,193 nests in 2021, followed by Green Turtles with 381 and Leatherbacks with 45 nests.

St. Lucie County officials ask residents, businesses and visitors to help us protect these threatened and endangered species by practicing sea turtle-friendly habits such as proper beachfront lighting, filling in holes, knocking down sandcastles and keeping our beaches debris-free. Anyone witnessing sea turtle nest poaching or harassment of sea turtles on the beach should call 911 or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.

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