Communities grant & turtle release both a success!

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Communities grant & turtle release both a success!

Climate change is warming our oceans and our beaches, and given the sex of a sea turtle is determined by the temperature of the nest during incubation, we are seeing more and more female turtles. This means that nests in cooler climates, such as NSW, produce mainly male offspring, and hence are of vital importance to the survival of the species.

In addition to this, we are seeing an increased number of sea turtles strand along our coastline in need of veterinary care. The cause of disease is often difficult to determine and animals can be in care for up to 12 months before they are healthy enough for release.

To address these issues, Dolphin Marine Rescue applied for, and was successful in achieving a Communities Environment Program grant. Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said: “Turtles and other marine animals are extremely important inhabitants of the Coffs Coast and Solitary Island Marine Park.

“The Morrison-McCormack Government’s Communities Environment Program has helped many grassroots, community organisations like the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park deliver important environmental projects. This project, delivered with assistance from $20,000 from the Federal Government, is great as it helps local wildlife and connects local residents to their beautiful coastal environment.”

The crux of the grant is building community capacity to save our sea turtles. Dolphin Marine Rescue will assist National Parks and Wildlife Service in gaining a better understanding about the nesting locations and frequencies in NSW and will conduct a series of educational workshops for the public on what to do if you find a nest or an injured sea turtle and how you can get involved in helping these animals out.

The project will not only collect data associated with nesting behavior, but will also investigate potential causes of disease in stranded animals.

Once the data has been collected, the marine-conservation focused youth group EcoGroms will deliver the results to school groups across the region. The goal of the program is to engage as much of the community as possible in protecting a local asset- sea turtles- for future generations to come.

Pictured here is Albert, rescued from Arrawarra on the 4th of January, released by Eco-Grom member Hadley March after four months in care. Albert is one of three turtles that Dolphin Marine Rescue have released this week a final attempt to get animals back into the ocean before cold-winter temperatures
set in.

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