Finally, some good news about the environment. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, green sea turtles dug 14,152 nests at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge during 2015, shattering the previous record of 12,846. See full story here.
Not too long ago, this species of turtle was expected to simply die out due to pollution, excessive lighting along developed beaches (which confuses hatchling turtles trying to make their way toward the sea) and habitat destruction, but it's finally making a comeback. The federal government is actually considering changing their status from endangered to threatened.
The turtle rebound is due, in large part, to the fact that the federal government created the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in 1991 specifically to protect sea turtle nesting areas. The refuge, which consists of 248 acres and 20 miles of beach between Melbourne and Wabasso Beach, is the most significant green sea turtle nesting site in North America, and the state, county and federal officials partner to manage the dune habitat the turtles need to reproduce.
Watch the video below of a family visit to a Melbourne beach, which suddenly turns into the best day ever when they realize that they are surrounded by recently hatched baby sea turtles heading to the ocean.