PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Fearing a high mortality rate among sea turtles, volunteers in the Panhandle are moving 700 nests and as many as 7,000 eggs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Coast.
Biologist Karen Frutchey says if the nests aren't moved, it's very likely that the hatchlings will head straight for mats of vegetation where oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill was collected.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was called in to help Friday. The eggs will sit in a climate-controlled warehouse at the Kennedy Space Center for a few days, until they hatch.
The 2-inch-long hatchlings from northwest Florida and Alabama will be released on Atlantic beaches. Experts say leaving the eggs buried in the sand for a while will allow the turtles to imprint on their native beaches.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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