Hello fellow turtle warriors! Our 2013 nesting season has begun here in our beautiful Florida Keys, and so far we’ve got two loggerhead nests, and 1 false crawl. Here’s a photo of one of the nests!
We’ve got other news to share too, and I would like to take this opportunity to bring you up-to-date on other Save-A-Turtle news. Allow me to formally introduce myself to you; my name is Harry Appel, and I am Acting President of Save-A-Turtle of the Florida Keys, Inc. Our former President for the past 2 1/2 years, Rick Sall, has resigned in order to pursue other causes. Under Rick’s leadership there was tremendous growth within our organization, and I am grateful to him for his dedication and leadership through the last 2+ years. As the Vice President to Rick’s President position, I have assumed the position of Acting President since Rick’s resignation. I will be Acting President until 2014 Board elections. An updated list of SAT Board leadership is going up on the web site in the immediate future.
I have many goals to continue to grow Save-A-Turtle of the Florida Keys, Inc. which include continuing to recruit new members; continue our educational efforts regarding threats to sea turtles concerning lighting issues, pollution, sea level rise, and loss of habitat, and continue to grow the stranding and salvage network for sea turtles within the Florida Keys. In order to do this, I will also focus efforts on fundraising for our non-profit organization. Save-A-Turtle of the Florida Keys, Inc. plans to partner with other like-minded organizations for joint fundraising efforts, and also I plan to continue our presence at all local and grassroots festivals, events, and celebrations to continue to show our presence in the Keys, and excite people young and old about imperiled sea turtles.
I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as Acting President, and plan to maximize my efforts during my tenure. Along with Save-A-Turtle’s dedicated array of Board members I am confident all these goals will be met and exceeded. I call upon all members to help us spread the vital message about endangered and threatened sea turtles and encourage your friends, families, colleagues and acquaintances to join our organization. Here in the Florida Keys there is much work to be done, and I truly look forward to this opportunity to do my part.
Acting President, Save-A-Turtle of the Florida Keys, Inc.
Plastic Bag Bill Announced
GREAT NEWS! A PLASTIC BAG BILL IN TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA
February 8th, 2013: Senator Dwight Bullard and Rep.Kione McGhee have filed a Plastic Bag Bill. The bill was written by Fausto Gomez who represents a community in the Miami-Dade area. Here is the link to Sen. Bullard’s Plastic bags bill:
The Bill proposes to give local governments/municipalities the option to adopt the Bill provisions by a local ordinance – it is not mandatory across the state. Participating Stores would be affected by this ordinance if their local government adopts this which means DISPOSABLE PLASTIC BAGS PROHIBITED-A participating store may not provide to a customer a disposable plastic bag. Customers can use their own bags in the store or, reusable paper bags may be dispensed for a fee of which 50% of the fee is distributed to the local school district, 50% back to the store.
As a State-wide bill it gives each local municipality the option to adopt these provisions based on the will of their local communities. This is a very practical approach and realistically we know that will take some time to become accepted State-wide. In the meantime, the idea that such a bill may exist gives groups like Got Your Bags? Florida Keys the motivation to keep with our campaign on plastic bag reduction.
If you support this effort, please EMAIL, CALL OR WRITE Senator Bullard AND THANK HIM FOR HIS BILL AND LET HIM KNOW YOU ARE BEHIND HIM. His contact info is:bullard.dwight.web@Flsenate.gov
10720 Caribbean Blvd. Suite 435
Cutler Bay, FL 33189
Senate VOIP: 43900
PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH OTHERS WHO MAY BE INTERESTED.
Please join us on Monday, April 1st, 7:30 pm to hear Robert Glazer, Associate Research Scientist with FWC, report on the status of Conch Caribbean-wide and discuss strategies for restoring Florida’s conch population.
We meet at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon. Our board meeting is at 6:30 pm and all are welcome to attend.
See you there…….
Two charged with butchering protected loggerhead turtle
By KeysNet Staff
Posted – Monday, March 25, 2013 04:35 PM EDT
FWC Lt. Roy Payne (left) and Officer Jimmy Johnson display parts of the butchered loggerhead turtle.
Two men have been charged with butchering a loggerhead sea turtle, protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, off Key West.
Friday, Officer Jimmy Johnson and Lt. Roy Payne with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission discovered the gruesome catch while conducting a plainclothes operation in the area of the Stock Island Lobster Co.
Charged with felony possession of a marine sea turtle are Alejandro Alvarez, 63, of Miami, and Israel Bonochea Ruiz, 29, of Key West.
“That’s one case I’ve never made in my 24 years, a turtle case,” said Bobby Dube, Keys spokesman for the FWC.
Here’s what happened, according to Dube:
Payne, scoping out the scene from a tree, saw two men, later identified as Alvarez and Ruiz, driving their small wooden skiff to a mangrove shoreline — and they tied up only four feet from where he was hiding.
He called Johnson on his cell phone for assistance, and then watched as the two men carried a large mesh bag containing what appeared to be saltwater products to the bed of a Ford pickup, which was parked a few feet away.
When Johnson arrived, Payne revealed his position and the officers then identified themselves as FWC officers to the two fishermen. Payne looked in the back of the pickup truck and “observed the bag to clearly possess a federally protected butchered loggerhead sea turtle.”
Alvarez and Ruiz were arrested.
Johnson then saw another skiff return to the same location and inspected a bucket the two men aboard had put on the seawall. In it were 47 lane and yellowtail and mutton snapper, 44 of which were fillets and undersize.
Roberto Torna, 43, of Key West, and Michael Navarpo, 21, of Key West didn’t have commercial fishing licenses and were each charged with possession of 44 snapper not landed in whole condition and 27 over the daily recreational bag limit of snapper.
Florida beaches proposed as turtle “critical habitat”
BY CURTIS MORGAN
Nearly 150 miles of Florida beaches, including all of Palm Beach County and stretches in northern Broward and the Florida Keys, could be designated by federal wildlife managers as “critical habit” for loggerhead turtles.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which released the proposal on Friday, stressed that the designation wouldn’t affect landowner rights and was largely intended to draw attention to the importance of 90 beaches in six southeastern states which are prime nesting areas for the threatened species.
In Florida, much of the proposed area runs from Brevard County south to Palm Beach County. An eight-mile section of northern Broward would be included as well as Long Key and Bahia Honda in the Keys.
“Identifying this habitat will help us work with coastal communities to protect loggerhead nests and ensure that more hatchlings reach the water and begin their lives at sea,” said Cindy Dohner, the Service’s Southeast Regional Director. Major threats to turtles including artificial lighting, beach erosion and climate change.
Monroe County will be voting April 18, 2013 on a Comprehensive Plan Amendment to allow dredging of submerged lands with benthic resources (including sea grasses, sponges, and corals) in waters located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. A private developer has introduced this amendment to change our county laws to enhance his private development of 8 houses. The area targeted for dredging is a seagrass flat with an average depth of 1.5 feet known as Walker’s Island. This island is a marine habitat that supports all manner of sea life, including but not limited to endangered sea turtles via nesting habitat and habits. It is presently against county, state and federal law to dredge this area. If this amendment is passed it will lead the way to legalizing previously illegal dredging. Monroe county staff estimates that there could be as many as 200 other potential users of this amendment thus re-establishing dredging in the Florida Keys. Please tell your county commissioners to VOTE NO on April 18 on the Little Conch Key Development Corp. Comprehensive Plan amendment. Tell them to please protect our nation’s natural resources by not allowing dredging of submerged lands with benthic resources.
MONROE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CONACT INFO:
Sylvia Murphy Murray Nelson Center 102050 Overseas Hwy Suite 234 Key Largo, FL 33037
305 453-8787 email@example.com
Danny Kolhage 530 Whitehead St. Key West, FL 33040
305-292-3440 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor George Neugent 25 Ships Way Big Pine Key, FL 33043
305-872-1678 - Neugent-George@monroecounty-fl.gov
Heather Carruthers 500 Whitehead St. Suite 102 Key West, FL 33040
David Rice 9400 Overseas Hwy #210 Marathon Airport Terminal Marathon, FL 33050
305-289-6000 - Rice-David@MonroeCounty-FL.Gov
MARINE TURTLE PERMIT TRAINING SCHEDULE
Yes, it’s that time of year once again. Please reference the training schedule below. Anyone who did not attend last year’s training and wishing to volunteer for the nesting Beach Surveys or Stranding and Salvage Network need to attend the “MANDATORY” training session offered below to be permitted for the 2013 nesting season. Staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) – Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) will be conducting this year’s training.
NOTE TO PROSPECTIVE NESTING BEACH SURVEYORS:
This year we will be focusing on fewer beaches, in the hope of getting better coverage and data. This means that volunteers will be asked to work with a beach coordinator to survey one of the following beaches.
Sea Oats Beach, Lower Matecumbe Key
West End, Long Key
Coco Plum Beach, Marathon
Key Colony Beach
Sombrero Beach, Marathon
Upper Matecumbe Key
Long Beach, Big Pine Key
Key West Beaches
MANDATORY FWC-FWRI NESTING BEACH SURVEY PERMIT TRAINING
LOCATION: MARATHON GOVERNMENT CENTER (EOC)
DATE: APRIL 17, 2013 TIME: 6:30 PM TO 9:30 PM
“LOCAL STRANDING AND SALVAGE & BEACH SURVEY TRAINING SCHEDULE”
THESE “HOW TO” TRAINING SESSIONS, FOR STRANDING & SALVAGE AND BEACH SURVEYS, WILL ALSO BE OFFERED AT THE LOCATIONS LISTED BELOW. ALTHOUGH NOT MANDATORY IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. THESE TRAINING SESSIONS WILL FOCUS ON DAY TO DAY ACTIVITIES SUCH AS SPECIES ID, FILLING OUT FORMS AND REQUIRED REPORT ACTIVITIES. ALL SURVEYORS ARE WELCOME.
LOCATION: NANCY FOSTER ECO-DISCOVERY CENTER
STRANDING & SALVAGE & BEACH SURVEY CLASS COMBINED
DATE: MARCH 19, 2013 TIME: 6:30 PM TO 9:00 PM
LOCATION: MARATHON FIRE STATION
STRANDING & SALVAGE CLASS
DATE: MARCH 21, 2013 – TIME: 3:00 PM TO 5:00 PM -
BEACH SURVEYOR TRAINING CLASS
DATE: MARCH 21, 2013 TIME: 6:30 PM TO 7:30 PM
NOTE TO NESTING BEACH SURVEYORS:
THIS REQUIRES A COMMITMENT OF TIME, ON A REGULAR BASIS, APRIL 15 THROUGH OCT. 31. YOU ARE ALSO REQUIRED TO FILL OUT REPORT FORMS, SUBMIT THEM IN A TIMELY FASHION, AND ATTEND THE MONTHLY SAVE‑A-TURTLE MEETINGS TO PROVIDE UPDATES AND INFORMATION EXCHANGE.
NOTE TO THE STRANDING AND SALVAGE NETWORK:
FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE STRANDING AND SALVAGE NETWORK, THIS IS A YEAR ROUND COMMITTMENT, TO BE PART OF AN ON CALL NETWORK.
Sue Schaf, FWC-FWRI
Marine Turtle Program
Pat Wells, Technical Advisor
Marathon Wild Bird Rescue Center
The Marathon Wild Bird Center became incorporated in 1998 and became a not-for-profit 501-3 in 1999. Kelly, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who specializes in migratory birds, works closely with local veterinarians and other interested individuals dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and return to the wild of sick, orphaned and injured birds in the Middle Florida Keys. People throughout the Florida Keys know the MWBC as one of the leading wild bird rescue centers for the care and rehabilitation of wild birds in Monroe County. Facilities in the Lower Keys and Key West Birds often transfer their patients to the Bird Center for consultations and advanced care. In addition to the operation of a year-round rehabilitation clinic, the Bird Center also participates in a variety of educational programs and research projects. Centrally located in Marathon, Florida, their home office and wildlife rehabilitation center are nestled in a 64-acre hardwood hammock as part of the Museums and Nature Center of Crane Point at mile marker 50 bayside. On March 5th there is a Fun(d)raiser for Kelly and the birds. Long time Marathon resident Richie Morett and founder of the Turtle Hospital has offered to match up to $10,000 of funds raised on this special day. There will be a celebration at Cabana Breezes, March 5th, Tuesday Trivia – Birds of course. Richie and Kelly will be on US1 Radio live that morning and evening speaking about what human impacts, with plastics and other issues, have on wild birds and sea turtles. Check out their website at http://www.marathonwildbirdcenter.org/
You can send your donations to: The Marathon Wild Bird Rescue Center P.O. Box 501328, Marathon, FL 33050