On Saturday, January 20, Diana and I attended a sea turtle release held at St. George Island State Park. Here’s some background on this story.
Sea Turtles live in the Gulf of Mexico along the north Florida coast. Many of them feed in the shallow bays along the coast. Turtles are cold-blooded creatures, so their body temperature matches the temperature of their surroundings. In early January, the air temperature in this area dipped below freezing for several nights in a row and that made the water in the shallow bays very cold. Turtles that were in the bays got so cold that they were unable to move or eat. The term used to describe this condition is cold-stunned. Without help, many of them would have died. Volunteers rescued the cold-stunned turtles and took them to the Gulf Specimen Lab in Panacea, Florida, where they were nursed back to health by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). By January 20th, the turtles had recovered enough to be released back into the wild. St. George Island State Park was one of the locations chosen to release some of these turtles. These are the vehicles used to bring the turtles to the park.