Researchers persevere through challenges at start of endangered sea turtle study
"PORT O’CONNOR – Marine biologists and research assistants hopped on Capt. James Helms’ boat on a recent Saturday morning and sped to Decros Point in search of sea turtles.
The temperature hovered around a chilling 46 degrees Fahrenheit and the team shivered as they threw two nets out in Matagorda Bay, near sea grass beds where sea turtles have been known to feed.
Those nets, each about 100 meters long, were checked every 20 to 30 minutes as the sun rose and crouched toward setting, but sea turtles never showed.
“It’s frustrating, but that is what is so cool about this project. No one really knows where they are going,” Kimber De Salvo said from the shores of King Fisher Beach, where she waited for hours with a research assistant for the boat crew to arrive with turtles.
De Salvo is a communications program assistant with Texas Sea Grant, which is directed by Pamela Plotkin, who is a co-principal investigator on Matagorda Bay Ecosystem Assessment – a two-year project that started in May with $2.7 million in funding from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts." Continue reading.