Governor Scott Releases Endangered Sea Turtles In Key Biscayne
Gov. Rick Scott was in South Florida Monday to help release three endangered sea turtles into the ocean. The loggerhead turtles had been rehabilitated by the Miami Seaquarium and were released at Bill Baggs State Park in Key Biscayne.
Andrew Hertz, president and general manager of the Seaquarium, said the release was significant because the turtles were just getting to reproductive age. “They are the best hope for the next generation of sea turtles,” he said.
Scott joined Hertz and Seaquarium staff in setting the turtles off from the shoreline. “It’s fun to be here,” he said. “It’s fun to release these three tortugas.”
The governor has been criticized for spending too much time away from the Capitol during the special legislative session, which has lawmakers grappling over a state budget.
Scott said he is continuing to work with lawmakers, “but the most important thing I can do is keep jobs going.” He said sea turtles like the ones released are important to the state’s tourism industry, which is thriving.
“Last year we had 98.9 million tourists, this year we’ll have over 100 million tourists,” Scott said. “That’s a lot of jobs… We’ve gotta keep on promoting what’s going well in our state.”
Beachgoers in Key Biscayne seemed to be pleasantly surprised by the event and by the governor’s presence.
Eric Jacobs was visiting from Northern Virginia with his wife and son.
“It was just a total surprise,” he said, “but it was wonderful seeing the turtles and getting my little guy to see the turtles and see them released. ... It’s awesome to have the support of the governor here. I mean, that says something. That’s impressive.”
Christine Miller, of Jacksonville, FL, posed with her child and the governor for a photo. “I think it’s amazing that he’s supporting sea turtles and the rehabilitation of them."
On Tuesday, Scott traveled to Jacksonville and then headed back to Tallahassee for a meeting with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.