BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) — When it was time to release three baby sea turtles into the Atlantic Ocean, marine biologists from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton had to get creative. They teamed up with the Coast Guard because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Collaborating with the Coast Guard, the three female baby green sea turtles were released into the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream Current on March 27.

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The Coast Guard had to do it because of closed beaches and scuba boats not permitted to travel.

Green sea turtles are different than loggerhead turtles because they are stronger swimmers and are more likely to burrow into sargassum, which is floating brown algae out on the high seas. Green sea turtles are rarely observed in the open ocean and very little is known about where they go once they enter the sea as hatchlings to when they appear as large juveniles or adults in nearshore waters.

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To keep tabs on these turtles, scientists outfitted them with small solar powered satellite transmitters. They have already received information on the whereabouts of the 6-month-old sea turtles which are traveling in the Gulf Stream, on the edge of the Continental Shelf.

Data from the satellite transmitters will help scientists from FAU and the University of Central Florida preserve sea turtles’ habitats as well as the impacts of climate change and warming temperatures on sea turtles.

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