Volunteers support endangered turtle species by cleaning up the beach
NORTH HERO, Vermont (WCAX) – Residents of Vermont traveled to North Hero State Park on Saturday to support one of the state’s most endangered species.
The Spiny Softshell uses the shores of Lake Champlain as nesting sites. Volunteers cleared vegetation on the beaches of North Hero and Swanton to prepare for egg-laying next spring.
Toni Mikula of Vermont Fish and Wildlife says this effort not only maintains the habitat, but also educates the public about its importance.
“Everyone here is learning what this species needs to survive and thrive in Vermont,” Mikula said. “What they need is a beach like this, and it takes some human effort to make it suitable for turtles.”
Jane Malago, a biology student, was one of more than 20 volunteers in attendance.
“More work is always needed to help protect and encourage wildlife to continue and move,” said Malago. “It’s definitely a small step, but all the small steps are what add up to make the big steps happen. So that’s great. “
Some of the newborns will be raised by the Echo Leahy Center of Lake Champlain while they are still vulnerable. Then they will be released on the beaches next spring.
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