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Riverhead Foundation Seeks Beach Walkers to Look Out for Sea Turtles

The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation says today, Friday, has the “perfect storm” of conditions for cold-stunned turtles to wash ashore on Long Island Sound beaches, and beach walkers are needed.

Between the winds and high tides, Riverhead Foundation reports it expects a high number of cold-stunned sea turtles to wash onto north facing beaches.

According to the foundation, cold stunning is a process that causes sea turtles to become immobile due to the dramatic decrease in water temperature—usually below 50 degrees Fahrenheit—making it impossible for them to escape the cold water and migrate to warmer water.

The foundation notes that a cold-stunned turtle may appear to be dead while it is actually still alive. However, it is urgent that marine biologists respond, so the turtles can be revived.

Spotters and beach walkers are asked to call the foundation’s 24-hour hotline at 631-369-9829.

Just this morning, the foundation responded to a report of a cold-stunned turtle in Sag Harbor that also showed signs of a boat strike.

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