These extreme storm conditions create wrack line by pushing large amounts of sargassum seaweed onto the beach. Juvenile sea turtles, commonly referred to as washbacks, can become trapped in the seaweed, resulting in exhaustion and a need for medical attention. Beach visitors are asked to refrain from making contact with any washback turtles or attempting to return them to the water. Volunteers, coordinated by St. Johns County, known as the “Washback Watchers” will be conducting surveys throughout the weekend to recover washback sea turtles.
Beach visitors are not encouraged to enter the water during this time. In addition, there is a potential for vehicular access to be restricted intermittently throughout the weekend due to the extreme surf and high tides associated with the storm. St. Johns County staff will continually monitor the storm to ensure public safety remains a top priority. Please visit www.noaa.gov for updated weather and sea condition forecasts related to Hurricane Sandy.
Beach visitors who observe a dangerous situation or a marine animal stranded on the beach are asked to call the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department at 904.824.8304. For information regarding beach conditions or coastal wildlife, please contact St. Johns County Habitat Conservation at 904.209.0331. For more information regarding hurricane preparedness, evacuation zones, and disaster planning, please visit www.sjcemergencymanagement.org.