Monday, May 2, 2011

Turtle nesting season, 2011

There is SO much interesting stuff happening at the GTM Reserve this month, including a nature walk down at the GTM Center at Marineland. For those of us who came of age in northeast Florida, the very word "Marineland" evokes the Florida of the 1950s and '60s: dolphins jumping through hoops, movies being filmed (remember "The Creature from the Black Lagoon"??), a bar we'll always remember for its design and the manager, Norton Baskin, husband of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. In later years the facility became more and more closely associated with world-class research through the Whitney Labs and GTM proudly takes its part in the legacy of research, learning and preservation. So much to talk about, so much to share.

Most timely? It's May! This means the sea turtle nesting season is officially underway. Many of you will remember 2010 as the most stellar year since we started recordkeeping for sheer numbers of sea turtle nests in the GTM Reserve. There were more than TWICE the average number of nests last year, so we're all watching with extra interest as this season gets underway. We'll try to keep you posted here, and in the meantime all your efforts are much appreciated. Remember that lights on the beach at night disorient turtles and may prevent successful nesting. Holes you dig on the beach, if not filled in before you leave, may be deadly to baby turtles heading out to sea. Pick up garbage and take it with you when you leave. And not just your own. Things wash up. Things like fishing line and old balloons are also potentially deadly to wildlife. Every cleanup effort is meaningful and micro-cleanup is perfectly painless.

Other volunteer opportunities are often available, so visit the Education Center, email ( or call 904.823.4500 if you can help.

Updates coming soon!

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