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Gulf Shores 2011

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Alabama Sea Turtles - Share the Beach

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gulf Shores - 2010

 

Because of the Deepwater Horzion drilling disaster, 2010 was a very tough year for sea turtles on the Alabama Gulf Coast. 

 

8/7/10  Here is the full video of the 8/7/10 DAYTIME hatchingThese are very rare.

 

8/7/10  Another daytime hatching!  We are working on the full video.  Here is an excerpt:

 

7/13/10  Our first nest was relocated from Laguna Key Beach to Cape Canaveral Florida.  Members of Share the Beach Laguna Key Team very carefully dug up eggs from the nest and loaded them in specially prepared Styrofoam crates.   The crates were shipped to Cape Canaveral for free by FeEx that sent a special truck just for the mission!   Many news organizaions were present5.  Liz Hurley with Channel 48 in Huntsville did a great job.

   

6/30/10  NBC Nightly News ran a story on our organization, Share the Beach, and how our efforts to to save baby turtles are being hampered by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.   NBC Correspondent Mark Potter interviewed the leader of Share the Beach, Mike Reynolds.

 

 

 

6/26/10  Each night at Gulf Shores, Alabama, cleanup crews are using machinery to clean the beach.  A tractor pulls a screening device that digs a few inches into the sand and moves it on to a vibrating screen.  The sand falls out and the globs of oil are retained in a hopper.  It is a far superior system to using individual workers with shovels and sieves.  The work is done at night while the oil blobs are in more solid form. 

Members of the Share the Beach organization have been working alongside the nightly clean-up crews.  The members are riding ATVs and watching for mama turtles as well as tracks that mama turtles have made while laying their eggs.   On the June 25-26 overnight shift, Laguna Key Team Leader Sherry Parks spotted turtle tracks and insured the cleaning equipment did not disturb the nest.  Later that morning, Team Members Ken and Jan Taylor also found the nest during their daily morning nest patrol.  Team members responded and the group moved the nest further inland where it would be safe.   The video is below.

 

June 26, 2010 Laguna Key, Nest B2, Gulf Shores, Alabama

 

The happy crew that moved Nest B2

6/24/10  Below are pictures from my Thursday am turtle walk in Gulf Shores, AL.  After viewing these pictures perhaps it will be evident as to why Mama turtle did not lay on that stretch of beach.

 

 

                                                                               

Tar balls in the surf                   This is what high tide left behind                        Notice the sheen on the                                                                                                               water where the heron is standing

 

 

6/22/10  Below is a video showing the sharks coming next to the shore as they feed on the bait fish.  This is likely a result of a lack of oxygen offshore, according to the scientists at Dauphin Island.

 

 

 

 

6/20/10 Here is a very impressive video from Press Register TV of submerged oil at the shoreline of the Bon Secour National Wildlife refuge.  Bait fish are being driven close to the shore as they search for oxygen.  This has brought the sharks close to the shore as well.   It appears that the ladyfish are mistaking the small clumps of oil for minnows.

 

Submerged oil at Bon Secour shoreline

 

6-19-10  I just received these great Arial photos.  They were made by John Spottswood.

Looking South towards the Gulf of Mexico.  To the left is Weeks’ Bay, the oil slick is in Mobile Bay.

 

 

 County Road 1 Baldwin County looking south from Point Clear to the mouth of Weeks Bay

 

 

Magnolia Springs Fire Dept took things into their own hands and are lining up barges to block the entrance into Weeks Bay an extremely important estuary.

 

Weeks Bay with entry into Mobile Bay

 

 

Mobile Bay South of Point Clear, Alabama

 

6-17-10   Last night I was privileged to go with the volunteers from "Share the Beach" to the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge to observe. I am not a professional, I am simply a retired individual that has chosen to become involved in whatever capacity I can to help/educate people with the crisis on the coast. I was in awe last night about the clean up efforts at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. I believe the group that was running the machinery was Ike's Beach Cleaning from Gulf Shores, AL. They were wonderful. There was such pride in their work and I was so impressed with the red head lights they used in an attempt to help us with our sea turtle nesting period. What a hard job this is going to be for all of us.

 

6-17-10  This is one of the new pieces of equipment used on the Refuge last night to sift the sand and bring tar balls from underneath the surface to the top where they can be eliminated from the sand.

 

6-17-10  This is the boom that was supposed to be offshore protecting the Wildlife Refuge.  It has washed ashore.

 

6-17-10  This is an example of the huge battle.  These oil "veins" are beneath the surface of the sand

 

 

6-17-10  This is what is pulled by the shrimp boats when they are skimming oil offshore. It is referred to as a pompom. It apparently became unattached and came to shore.

 

6-17-10  You are looking at what one of the other pieces of machinery is picking out of the sand. This machine finds the smaller pieces that the other equipment cannot capture.

 

 

 

6-17-10  Another victim of the BP oil spill - an oiled crab

 

6-17-10  This is simply disgusting. This is what was in the surf last night coming ashore. Notice how small the oil globs appear. This will have to be picked up with shovels or big equipment.

 

6-17-10  More of the same. The guys on the beach were working so hard and here in the surf, more of the same. It is going to be a long, arduous fight.

 

This is from the larger machinery "hopper" last night. This is some of the debris it will pick up. This is so much quicker, more efficient and effective than the laborers hired by BP that can only work 15 minutes an hour in this heat.

 

I don't know who these guys are running the heavy machinery but they were awesome and did a spectacular job. The way the sand was "fluffed" from their cleaning was simply amazing. The Refuge had been ignored since the onset of the oil and it was so nice to see such a change in the sand.

 

 

 I was simply awed at the extremes that are being used on the Bon Secour Refuge to try and right a wrong. Unfortunately, this will go on for a long time along the entire Alabama coastline.

 

6-17-10  Now, if you were a turtle wouldn't you prefer to lay your eggs in that beautiful fluffy white sand?

 

 

 

 

 

 

6-14-10   Today we found tracks where a mama turtle came in, apparently saw the oil line, turned around and went back in the Gulf.

 

6-11-10 This video shows more clearly what we are dealing with at Gulf Shores.   The oil is coming in with the tide.

 

6-11-10 from West Beach, Gulf Shores Alabama

 

6/11/2010 The following event occured three miles west of the video I shot of oil coming ashore on the beach at Gulf Shores.

 

On June 9, I took a video of some homeowners in Gulf Shores who, in the absence of any clean up crew,  were cleaning their own beach.  The oil globs, if not picked up daily, get buried in the sand by the next high tide. 

 

6-7-10   No crawls were found today but the oil on the beach has increased dramatically.  I hope the mama turtles can make it through this mess to lay their eggs.

 

Oil on the Beach 6-7-10

Oil on the Beach 6-7-10

 

6-7-10  I was working cleaning the beach today and was interviewed on ABC News!

 

 

6-6-10  Below is a link to an article in which Mike Reynolds, the Program Director of Share the Beach is interviewed on June 6, 2010.

 http://blog.al.com/live/2010/06/spill_threatens_turtle_protect.html

 

6-3-10  An oiled Loggerhead Turtle was found at Perdido Pass.  Here is a photo of the turtle.

He was taken to a wildlife refuge for treatment and is expected to be released after a three week rehabilitation period.

6-1-10  A nest was found by Share the Beach volunteers on Laguna Key, in Gulf Shores.

"THE CRAWL"  or the tracks the mother turtle makes as she come to the beach to lay her eggs.

 

PHOTO SHOWING THE TRACKS BOTH COMING TO AND GOING AWAY FROM THE NEST

 

 

LOOKING FOR THE EGGS

 

THE EGGS WERE LOCATED BASED ON THE MOTHER TURTLE'S TRACKS

 

VOLUNTEERS FROM SHARE THE BEACH WORKING TO RELOCATE A NEST

 

On May 22, 2010 Debi Gholson reported a Kemps Ridley was spotted nesting near Fort Morgan.  Kemps Ridley mother turtles typically nest (lay their eggs) during the day.  The photo below shows her digging the clutch.

 

 

 

 

 

On June 1, Debi Gholson reported a Kemps Ridley was spotted nesting near Fort Morgan.  Kemps Ridley mother turtles typically nest (lay their eggs) during the day.  The photo below shows her digging the clutch.

 

 

6-1-10  A nest was found by Share the Beach volunteers on Laguna Key, in Gulf Shores.

"THE CRAWL"  or the tracks the mother turtle makes as she come to the beach to lay her eggs.

 

PHOTO SHOWING THE TRACKS BOTH COMING TO AND GOING AWAY FROM THE NEST

 

 

LOOKING FOR THE EGGS

 

THE EGGS WERE LOCATED BASED ON THE MOTHER TURTLE'S TRACKS

 

VOLUNTEERS FROM SHARE THE BEACH WORKING TO RELOCATE A NEST

 

 

 

6-3-10  An oiled Loggerhead Turtle was found at Perdido Pass.  Here is a photo of the turtle.

He was taken to a wildlife refuge for treatment and is expected to be released after a three week rehabilitation period.

 

 

6-6-10  Below is a link to an article in which Mike Reynolds, the Program Director of Share the Beach is interviewed on June 6, 2010.

 http://blog.al.com/live/2010/06/spill_threatens_turtle_protect.html

 

6-7-10  I was cleaning the beach today and was intereviewed on ABC World News Tonight!

 

 

6-7-10   No crawls were found today but he oil on the beach has increased dramatically.  I just don't see how the mama turtles can make it through this mess to lay their eggs.

 

Oil on the Beach 6-7-10

Oil on the Beach 6-7-10

 

On June 9, I took a video of some homeowner in Gulf Shores who, in the absence of any clean up crew,  were cleaning their own beach.  The oil globs, if not picked up daily, get buried in the sand by the next high tide. 

 

 

 

6-11-10 This video shows more clearly what we are dealing with at Gulf Shores.   The oil is coming in with the tide.

 

6-11-10 from West Beach, Gulf Shores Alabama