When sea turtles hatch, they are used to climbing up. About two, to three and a half feet out of their shell and through sand — just to get to sunlight.
Hurricane Dorian made harder for new baby turtles to be able to do that. The storm moved a lot of sand onto Broward County beaches. Baby Green and Loggerhead sea turtles could now have a longer journey to their ocean home.
"Now they have 18-20 more inches of sand to crawl up through," Glenn Goodwin said.
Goodwin is an assistant manager with the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program. He’s also working to get his PhD from Nova Southeastern University in Marine Biology and Oceanography.
"Just because the storms aren't right on top of us, just like with Dorian, doesn't mean that the sea turtles aren't getting impacted." He said.
The team with the county conservation program has been working to re-establish, or check up on and re-mark each nest after the storm. There are more than 3,300 of them in the program so far in the season. Normally, the season ends October 31.
Broward sea turtles nests received more sand because beaches north of the county were eroded during the hurricane.
"What Dorian did, because we were south of that and the way the storm was rotating, it actually pushed all that sand onto our beaches," Goodwin said.
Goodwin said, less sea turtles may make it from their shell to the ocean now. Sometimes, this happens in nature without a hurricane... and it turns out okay.
"They just keep digging, keep workin' their way up through the sand," Goodwin said. "This may impact how long they actually incubate for, so we may still have some Thanksgiving and Christmas babies, perhaps, out there."