COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Sick sea turtles may already be washing up at local beaches, and some experts fear it's due to the effects of oil.
"The oil is not likely to come to our beaches, which is a good thing," Brad Cornell with the Collier County Audubon Society says to a room of over 100 Collier residents.
It's the latest information he's received from the U.S. Coast Guard. He and other speakers are handing over economical and environmental information to the group, who's trying to get informed about the oil spill. But, it's not all good news.
"There was a sea turtle during the day. This was like 9 o'clock, and it was swimming in the surf and it shouldn't have been there. There was something wrong with it," Cornell explains of a recent turtle incident at Delnor-Wiggins Pass.
He found out it wasn't the only sick turtle that has recently been found on our local beaches.
"Apparently there have been several turtle strandings where they had to be rescued. That turtle went to Clearwater for rehabilitation. What's wrong with it? Don't know. Could it have gotten into oil? Certainly could have," Cornell says.
It may be too early to connect the dots between sick turtles and oil exposure in Collier County; however, Cornell says recent revelations of the massive oil plumes deep below the surface indicate a serious culprit.
"Sea turtles go down that depth so they could be getting into that. We're hoping this is mitigated, but it's looking very very scary."
WINK News has also checked with Mote Marine and Clearwater Marine to see how many sick turtles have come from Collier County recently, and what the cause of their sickness is. We will let you know when those details become available.