RIPR News
7:07 am
Mon July 11, 2011

Sea turtle season starts in Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island is coming up on the Sea Turtle season. Boaters and Beach-goers should be on the lookout as the endangered animals head north for the summer.

The sea turtle season in the Ocean State typically starts in mid to late July. The first turtles to appear are usually the medium sized loggerheads. After them come the leatherbacks, which can reach size comparable to a mini-cooper. Boaters sometimes phone in sightings of these giants from the water.

But Janelle Shuh, the stranding coordinator at the Mystic Aquarium, says most of the Sea Turtles that appear on Rhode Island beaches are in rough shape.

"We're kind of in a funny spot," she says. "A lot of the live sea turtles that strand are seen in either New York or Massachusetts. We're kinda in a spot where we see dead sea turtles."

Shuh says the Mystic Aquarium uses shovels to bury smaller sized Sea Turtles. If they are large, the aquarium gets the help of local town backhoes to dig holes 12-15 feet deep on the shore.

If you come across a stranded seat turtle, Mystic Aquarium asks you to call them at (860)572-5955.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@wrni.org.