NOAA to determine cause of death for Kemp's Ridley sea turtle in Fort Morgan

 

We have sad news about an endangered species washing up dead on Fort Morgan. The sea turtle was found Saturday morning with a beach chair tangled around its neck.

Experts tell FOX10 News it was an adult female Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, which is the rarest species of sea turtles.

They're hoping this can be a lesson to beach goers to clean up behind themselves. A nightmare washing up on Fort Morgan.

"We did it, turtles will not encounter chairs if it were not for us," said Richard Brewer, a Dauphin Island resident and Volunteer with Share the Beach, an advocacy organization for sea turtles. "Heartbreaking. Truly heartbreaking."

For anybody it's hard to look at, but for sea turtle advocates it's that much more frustrating.

"Sea turtles are important enough that we will go to whatever lengths we can to protect them. It's very heartbreaking to know that its something that could have been prevented," Brewer said. "We had great news this morning, we believe that we have the first Kemp's Ridley nest ever found on Dauphin Island, to find out that we had a mature female Kemp's that just died because of something that could have been prevented is tragic."

Beach preservationists say it's our responsibility to keep the beach clean because we share it. They say it's simple house rules: You take it out, you put it up.

Brewer and his daughter work all summer to help keep the beach clean and safe for sea turtles. Nets, ropes, even refrigerant tanks are sitting in a pile outside of their home. Brewer says this is all the debris he's found left on Dauphin Island so far this season.

"Come to the beach, enjoy yourself, have a great time. Make sure you left the beach cleaner than it was when you've showed up."

Share the beach is preaching a simple saying when it comes to the beach, pick up all your trash and "only leave footprints."

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Toi Thornton is a Reporter. His Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism comes from Dillard University in 2014 and his Master's degree in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in 2016. He previously worked as the Fox anchor in Lafayette, LA.

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