BOCA RATON, Fla. — A Florida sea turtle rescue is highlighting the toll plastic pollution is taking on sea turtle populations and the survival of the babies during what’s called washback week, when the tiny turtles that have made it to the ocean are washed back to shore.
A photo on Gumbo Limbo Nature Center’s social media page shows a dead turtle with more than 100 pieces of plastic lined up next to it, pieces of trash scientists found inside the baby during a necropsy.
"100% of our washbacks that didn't make it had plastic in their intestinal tracts," officials with the Boca Raton-based rescue said.
The turtle, which would fit in the palm of your hand, had eaten 104 pieces of plastic, the center said.
"We found a piece of a balloon. There was a wrapper that goes on the outside of bottles," Whitney Crowder, a sea turtle rehabilitation coordinator at the center, told the Sun Sentinel.
Crowder said the survival rate for the washbacks this year has been dismal.
“We have had 121 in our facility,” she said. “I can’t even count how many have passed. Dozens have died.”
The center urged people to take action.
"This is a sad reminder that we all need to do our part to keep our oceans plastic free."
Cox Media Group