SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hurricane Hermine may be long gone, but the storm is having an impact on the area’s sea turtle population.
Scientists at Mote Marine Lab say thousands of baby sea turtles were washed away or killed when Hurricane Hermine struck the area this month.
Over the past few weeks, Mote researchers have been scouring and digging at beaches throughout Sarasota County. They’ve determined that 668 nests are total washouts that will not produce any hatchlings.
Each nest carries nearly 100 eggs.
“We can’t really do much when a hurricane comes in,” said Mote Marine Senior Biologist Kristen Mazzarella.
Sarasota County beaches serve as an important nesting habitat for both the threatened loggerhead sea turtle and the endangered green sea turtle.
“The survival rate is usually about one in a thousand,” explained Mazzarella.