Loggerheads and Greens Are Coming to St. George Island
EASTPOINT, Fla. — Summer sea turtle season is right around the corner. Starting in May, sea turtles—including loggerhead sea turtles, green sea turtles and, very rarely, leatherback sea turtles—will come ashore on Florida’s coastlines and barrier islands to nest. A lucky few visitors and residents might catch a glimpse of these mothers-to-be during their brief return to shore.
Perhaps a more common summertime scene for folks in Franklin County is the St. George Island Volunteer Turtle Patrol. Easily identified by their emblematic ocean-blue shirts, this volunteer group from Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) scouts the beaches in search of fresh turtle tracks to observe and chart. They are often seen up to their elbows in the sand or hauling flagging tape to the next nest in need of marking.
This patrol is a long-established and well-known part of Apalachicola NERR’s sea turtle monitoring program. Sea turtles aren’t coming home only to St. George Island (SGI) to nest; their second-favorite stretch of Franklin County is the 9 miles of undeveloped beach on Little St. George Island (LSGI), which lies between St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge and SGI.