BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Hurricane Dorian hit in the heart of sea turtle nesting season in Brevard County, causing trouble for some turtle eggs on the beach.
Whenever huge storms and hurricanes threaten county beaches, the Sea Turtle Preservation Society begins to worry.
Dave Cheney explained to Channel 9 how exposed nests can mean destruction for turtle eggs.
"The waves will erode nests," said Cheney. "They'll open up some of the nests."
Even though many eggs may have been lost, experts said the sea turtles plan ahead.
"The mama turtle will lay sufficient eggs each season," said Cheney. "She'll lay anywhere from four to seven nests and each nest will have 80 to 120 eggs."
If volunteers spot turtle eggs or nests, they are only allowed to cover them back up with sand due to strict laws. The act of picking up the eggs is outlawed.
Cheney told Channel 9 that volunteers will be on the lookout for baby turtles over the next few weeks.
Turtles that are found will be sent to the Brevard Zoo to be nursed back to health.
As of Friday, the zoo's Sea Turtle Healing Center is nursing 15 baby green sea turtles back to health and two Loggerheads too tiny to release.
"We were getting premature sea turtles even before Dorian hit and a lot of these nests are predated by animals like foxes or raccoons," said Jess Patterson, coordinator for the Brevard Zoo Sea Turtle Healing Center.
The zoo has not yet received any "washbacks," which are young sea turtles that wash ashore due to heavy winds and surf.
Cox Media Group