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A Record Year For Green Sea Turtle Nests, Despite Hurricane Irma

Photo courtesy of Volusia County's Environmental Management Division
Photo courtesy of Volusia County's Environmental Management Division

It's another record year for green sea turtle nests on Florida beaches despite Irma's rampage.

Nearly 40,000 green sea turtle nests were counted on 27 beaches used to track trends. It is an astounding recovery. Thirty years ago under 500 nests were counted.

The numbers held steady for other species. Some 48,000 loggerhead sea turtle nests were counted, a slight dip from last year's record. More than 200 leatherback nests were counted.

Michelle Kerr of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the typical female nests more than once a season, ensuring at least some eggs mature.

Hurricane Irma wiped out thousands of sea turtle nests. The season ended in November.

The state is a globally significant nesting site. The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Melbourne Beach is among the most popular sites in the world.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.