End of April summary of Sandy Point turtles!

Since our last update, we said goodbye to some great research volunteers and welcomed new ones! We also hosted Duke University Marine Lab’s Sea Turtle Class for six days. They helped us out with all kinds of projects on the refuge, including replacing stake markers at the vegetation line to protect nesting least terns, patrolling with our team at night to encounter nesting turtles and helping us deploy sand temperature loggers. They also led a beach cleanup and measured nests that were due to hatch! It was a great few days!

Tristan, Cindy and Brandon (Duke University Marine Lab) replace beach stake markers to protect least tern nesting habitat (at left).

We also have updates on new turtles found nesting. Here’s the summary and once again, thank you to all our turtle adoptees – you really help make this project happen!

Turtle #14 arrived on 19 April. This was Sadie (flipper tag: AAC374). She’s another oldie turtle, having nested at Sandy Point since 1999. She was adopted by Martha Henderson in honor of her friend’s mom, Sadie.

On 20 April, we found Wahine Honu (roughly translated is surfer turtle girl!). Wahine Honu (SPP140) was adopted by subscribers to REEFBOX, led by Megan and Renee Heil. Thanks to all their subscribers for submitting names!

Turtle #16 is March Madi (or Madi for short). She was adopted by Molly Murray, a big supporter and cheerleader of our project! Madi first was identified and tagged in 1992 (PPQ148), so she’s an older turtle, very faithful to Sandy Point. She nested on 26 April.

Katrina (TTZ475) came to visit us on 28 April. She was adopted by Andy Simler for her granddaughter Katrina! Katrina has been nesting at Sandy Point since 2007.

Amy Semple, one of our reliable and most fun annual volunteers, adopted Jenny for her nature-loving mom. Jenny the turtle (AAV942) first showed up to nest this year on 28 April, during a 4-turtle night! Jenny was first tagged in 2000.

And last but not least for this update, Turtle #19 is Jadie (SPP274). Jadie was adopted by Sheila Wayne, in honor of her daughter Jade, who visited the project in 2017. Jadie is a turtle from 2014.

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A fantastic beach cleanup on 27 April, with Duke Marine Lab students and wonderful new volunteers at Sandy Point! Thank you everyone for cleaning the beach for the turtles!

The St. Croix Leatherback Project is supported by the Sea Turtle Census Initiative, which is sponsored by  The Ocean Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) organization, based in Washington, D.C., but working globally to protect our oceans.







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