Coastal Seniors to learn about sea turtles

Special to GateHouse Media Florida

SANTA ROSA BEACH — Full-time residents and millions of visitors that come to Walton County each year share the beautiful beaches with several species of sea turtles.

Although sea turtles have existed for millions of years, today all species are listed as endangered or threatened, and face an uncertain future. Habitat encroachment and degradation, pollution, incidental capture in commercial fisheries, and strikes by watercrafts are only some of the hazards they face in their struggles to survive. In today’s environment, mankind has created other obstacles that are detrimental to sea turtles, such as beach house lighting, firepits, trash, holes dug on the beaches, sandcastles, beach chairs and toys.

Beth Coppedge, founder/president of Friends of South Walton Sea Turtles (FOSWST), and several members will join the Coastal Seniors to educate attendees about sea turtle conservation. FOSWST’s objective is to help residences and visitors understand the obstacles sea turtle face, and what can be done to help protect endangered and threatened sea turtles by keeping the beaches clean, dark and flat.

The presentation will be at noon on Sept. 17 at the CSSW location, 70 Logan Lane in Santa Rosa Beach. Lunch will be available, and a raffle will follow the presentation.

A $5 donation is requested for non-member participation at the event.