Within California one area where green sea turtles can be seen is the San Diego Bay. The National Wildlife Refuge in the South San Diego Bay provides a protected zone for the green turtles to forage for food and rest. This protected area is critical for the turtles safety and survival. There are about 60 turtles that call this area home base. Frequently, they may be seen surfacing out in the bay. This is a prime study site for turtle biologists.
Caution: All boaters cut down your speed in the bay so the turtles will be safer.
The turtles’ greatest threat in San Diego Bay is being hit by boats traveling over the 5-mile/hour speed limit present throughout the southern portion of the bay.
The endangered Green sea turtles of San Diego Bay are often found from July through September off the coast of California. The southern portion of San Diego Bay supports a year-round population of approximately 60 turtles, who can often be seen foraging in eelgrass beds throughout South Bay
Local researchers have used genetics and satellite telemetry like the device seen on the back of the turtle in the photo to determine their migration patterns. These green turtles are part of the Indonesian nesting populations that migrate thousands of miles to lay their eggs on beaches off the coast of Mexico.
While traveling on there ancient migration route toward the North America coast, the turtles face many possible perils like entrapment in fishing gear, swallowing plastic bags in the garbage can area of the Pacific, speed boats on the bay areas and illegal harvest in coastal lagoons of Baja California. International conservation efforts are focused on reducing this mortality to enhance population recovery.
Excerpts courtesy of swfsc.noaa.gov
Image turtle returning to sea courtesy of neaq.org