Cold weather keeps sea turtle rescue groups busy

The cold weather hitting Central Florida is impacting sea turtles.

The Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet said it’s dealing with an influx of sea turtles brought in over the weekend, and it’s anticipating more in the coming days.

“We got six turtles Saturday, seven on Sunday and two on Monday, and they have continued to come,” said turtle rehab manager, Allie Bernstein.

She said most of the turtles were already in poor health to begin with.

“What we’re seeing during this time of year are chronically debilitated turtles, turtles that are already immune-compromised that are now cold stressed,” she said.

Bernstein explains the cold weather sends them over the edge.

“Colder water temperatures, air temperatures and rougher surf this time of year tends to be that extra stresser that brings those turtles in,” he said.

When the turtles arrive at the center, they receive a full evaluation and checked for injuries before they begin rehabilitation.

“Is that turtle entangled, or boat strike wounds, things like that,” explained Berstein.

She said the ultimate goal is to mend them back to health so they can return to the wild.

“It’s great to see them get back out there and have future generations of sea turtles,” she said.

If you see a stranded sea turtle, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife.