Two sea turtles released into the Mississippi Sound
Dozens of locals prepared to say farewell to two sea turtles that were rescued earlier this year.
They say there’s no place like home and for rehabbing turtles Fig Newton and Scar, they were ready to return to that very place. IMMS President Dr. Moby Solangi said, “They are the indicators of the environment. So, these are also threatened and endangered species. When that link is broken your ecosystem is broken so that’s what they were telling us.”
After rescuing both turtles right here on the Gulf Coast, Dr. Moby Solangi and the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies rehabbed the turtles back to health.
Now, fully healthy and clamoring to return home, IMMS sent them back, but with a mission. “Well, the animals have satellite tags which are basically just cell phones. Every time they come to breathe, they would send a signal to the satellite and we will know their position. So, by knowing their position, we will know what part of the habitat they are using 24/7. Only the animals can tell us if this home is safe for them.”
A safe home not only benefits them, but the entire Coast. The Bonnet Carre Spillway’s extended opening in 2019 appears to have had lasting effects on Mississippi’s ecosystem and monitoring these turtles could hold the key to determine how much damage was actually done. DMR Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Paul Mickle said, “The majority of our infrastructure, our communities, our culture, everything is based on the Mississippi Sound as far as fisheries production, tourism, recreation, commercial production, everything is based upon this estuary we live next to.”
And if you ask Dr. Paul Mickle, he expects everything back to normal in no-time. “The Mississippi Sound is going to rebound. It’s hopefully going to rebound very quickly. We’ll get our fisheries production back up, our ecosystem’s functioning as they were.”
If you’re interested in tracking Fig Newton and Scar’s whereabouts you can visit IMMS website at IMMS.org. A live tracker should be up and running by the first week of December.