Florida turtle eggs may have been buried

May 23, 2006

Construction crews may have accidentally buried a protected sea-turtle nest at Florida's New Smyrna Beach because biologists might not have marked it.

However, a Volusia County, Fla., environmental consultant on sea turtles, Bob Ernest, told the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel a nest might not have been there in the first place.

"This was our fault," Ernest told the newspaper. "We didn't have the proper procedures in place."

The incident is said to be the first reported problem involving the federally protected sea turtles and a $14 million, 5-mile-long dune restoration project.

Although turtle nesting officially started May 1, dune restoration was allowed to continue and Ernest's Ecological Associates Inc. of Jensen Beach was assigned to monitor the nesting and move nests at risk from the construction work.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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