Take a Time Out for Turtles: Volunteers Needed for Nesting Beach Clean Up Day

01 October 2019

The annual spiny softshell turtle beach cleanup day is on Saturday, October 26, and Vermont Fish and Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help.  Participants are asked to arrive at North Hero State Park between 10 and 11 a.m., as the group may move to another site by 11. 

Volunteers will pull up vegetation on nesting beaches to prepare turtle nesting sites for next year.  They may also find a few hatchlings that occasionally remain in nests underground this late in the year.  In addition to threatened spiny softshell turtles, these nest sites are also used by map turtles, painted turtles, and snapping turtles. 

Vermont Fish and Wildlife biologist Toni Mikula will have hatchling spiny softshell and other turtles on hand and will talk about the long-term turtle recovery efforts.  Some of these hatchling turtles will be raised in captivity by the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain while they are small and most vulnerable to predation.  They will be released back into Lake Champlain next spring.

“This is a great way to help conserve threatened wildlife right here in Vermont,” said Mikula.  “It’s also a fun way to learn more about the turtles and to see some recently-hatched baby turtles.”

Participants are asked to dress in layers of warm clothes and to bring work gloves, a leaf rake, short-handled tools such as trowels, and their own lunch.  Families and kids are welcome.  The cleanup may run until 4 p.m., although participants can choose how long to assist.

“This has turned into a very popular annual event for people interested in conservation,” added Mikula.  “We’re always glad to see so many people care about wildlife.”

To get to North Hero State Park, follow Route 2 north past Carry Bay in North Hero.  Take a right on Lakeview Drive, just before Route 2 swings west toward Alburg.  Follow Lakeview Drive almost to the end until you reach the North Hero State Park entrance sign on the left.  Drive to the end of the road always bearing right. 

For more information, please contact Eric Lazarus at lazarericus@gmail.com.

For Immediate Release:  October 1, 2019

Media Contact:  Toni Mikula 802-622-4525; Eric Lazarus 802-288-9570

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Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
Commissioner Louis Porter

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The mission of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is the conservation of all species of fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the people of Vermont.