PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Wildlife officials say it’s been a record turtle nesting season along Pensacola Beach and Gulf Islands National Seashore.
According to data collected by National Park Service biologists and volunteer turtle monitors, more than 6,600 turtle hatchlings have made their way from 104 nests to the Gulf of Mexico along a 30-mile stretch in Florida’s Panhandle since May 1.
The Pensacola News Journal reports the busy nesting season occurred during major sand-pumping and dredging projects along the area’s beaches.
Biologist Cassity Bromley says the area is “starting to reap the benefits of years of good sea turtle management.”
She and other park service biologists and volunteers work around the clock to monitor the nests. They’ve also been relocating nests that are in the path of the dredging project.
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