BSO INMATES HELP SAVE TURTLES
Armed with shovels, Broward Sheriff's Office inmate work crews will soon be digging in the sand for the benefit of endangered and threatened sea turtles.
Again this year, the Broward Sheriff's Office Department of Detention and Community Control is helping the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program. Beginning about 7:30 a.m. on Monday, January 13, 2003, inmate volunteers will start removing old sand from hatcheries on the beach at the east end of Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach. Then, they’ll replace the old sand with new sand. Doing so helps ensure a more successful nesting season by insuring that bacteria possibly left over from last year’s nesting won’t contaminate this year’s nests. After four to five days in Pompano Beach, the BSO inmate work crews will move on to beach locations in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood. Their work should be finished by the last week of January.
Sea turtle nesting season in Broward begins with loggerhead turtles in early April, although the less predictable leatherback may begin nesting as early as February. At night, female turtles crawl up from the ocean, dig a hole in the sand, deposit dozens of eggs, covers the eggs with sand, and head back to the water. Nearly two months later, hatchlings emerge from the nests and make a beeline for the water. Some estimates indicate that only one in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood.
According to the Sea Turtle Conservation Program, the number of turtles has been drastically reduced for a number of reasons, including the over development of coastal areas and the killing of turtles for meat, leather, and their shells.
Broward Sheriff's Office jail detainees are volunteers convicted of non-violent offenses and who are near the end of their sentence. They regularly provide labor for publicly funded and non-profit organizations in the county. Typical community improvement projects for these inmates include road debris cleanup, painting, playground construction, and removal of overgrown vegetation. It’s estimated that BSO’s inmate work units save Broward taxpayers more than $1.2 million dollars each year. The work done this year by BSO detainees would otherwise cost the Broward Sea Turtle Conservation Program nearly $4,500.00 according to the program’s manager.
Attention media: Photo and interview opportunities will be available on Monday, 1/13/03, beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Pompano Beach location mentioned above. Members of the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program will be on hand from 8-10 a.m. to answer questions about the program.
This release by:
Hugh Graf / Media Relations
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