County reports record year for turtles

Also: Decorations will benefit Halifax Health Hospice
By: 
Nov. 25, 2016

Volusia County’s beaches were visited in record numbers by sea turtles this year. From May to October, 676 sea turtle nests were made in the dunes (each nest contains about 100 eggs). This is the second highest nesting year on record for the most common sea turtle species in Florida, the loggerhead. Volunteers and staff counted 667 loggerhead nests in 2016. The highest year on record, 2012, had 885 nests.

In addition to the loggerhead nests, four greens, four leatherbacks and one rare Kemp’s Ridley nests were also counted, according to Volusia County sea turtle expert Jennifer Winters,

“While our season officially ended Oct. 31, Hurricane Matthew abruptly brought the season to an end Oct. 7, when the high surf from the storm washed away the remaining 13 nests we had on the beach,” Winters said.

Along with the record number of sea turtle nests, there were a record number of washback sea turtles found this year: more than 1,200. Washbacks are hatchlings that made their way off shore but were washed back in. Many were washed back because of the high surf caused by the hurricane. The washbacks were kept in rehab facilities to recuperate and then released back into the ocean in cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Call 238-4668 or visit volusiaseaturtles.org.

 

Get a card from Santa

 

Santa’s making his list and checking it twice at Volusia County’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Division. As part of an annual tradition, recreation employees will send personalized postcards from Santa to children up to age 12. Parents can have their children added to Santa’s mailing list by sending the child’s full name and address to elves@volusia.org by Dec. 12.

 

Ornaments will benefit hospice

 

The Halifax Health — Hospice annual Tree of Remembrance Holiday Collection of ornaments and collectibles will be available to shoppers from noon to 7 p.m. (5:30 p.m. Sunday) at the Volusia Mall from Nov. 19 through Dec. 24.

This collection includes angel tree toppers, handcrafted beach-themed ornaments, the annual Always in Our Hearts ornament, peace dove and butterfly ornaments, as well as plush Teddy bears and more.  Items can be purchased with a donation varying from $10 to $500.  Proceeds will support the Halifax Health-Hospice Patient Memorial Fund.  

 In recognition of each purchaser’s donation, by their request, a loved one’s name will be placed on a signature memory/honor tag and put on the Halifax Health — Hospice Tree of Remembrance located inside the Volusia Mall, near JC Penney.

 Visit halifaxhealth.org/hospice or call 425-4747. 

 

Kids can go to Busch Gardens

 

Children ages 11 to 15 can enjoy a county-sponsored trip to Busch Gardens on Friday, Dec. 17. The trip is coordinated by Volusia County’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Division, which will provide adult chaperones, according to a press release.

Register from 2 to 6 p.m., Dec. 7 and 8, at the Strickland Park Recreation Center, 1698 Strickland Range Road, Daytona Beach. Children who attend Holly Hill School can register at the school.

The cost is $80 per child and the deadline to pay is Dec. 9. Refunds will not be issued because the tickets must be purchased in advance.

The bus will leave from Robert Strickland Park, Daytona Beach, at 8 a.m. and return at midnight.

For more information, visit volusia.org/recreation or contact David Hinson at dhinson@volusia.org or 736-5953, Ext. 12663.