NOAA says sea life habitats impacted by Hurricane Dorian

Not only has Hurricane Dorian caused destruction to the homes of people and continues to threaten areas along our state, the catastrophic storm also threatens marine life habitats.

NOAA says coral reefs, sea turtles and other sea creatures will have taken a big hit in the aftermath of Dorian, making it harder for creatures like sea turtles to nest.

And people who live on the east coast of the state are still with us in Southwest Florida Tuesday night, as Dorian remains a powerful Category 2 hurricane, with outer bands lashing the coast.

”It seemed a lot safer here,” Kathy Germer said. “We boarded up our home and left.”

Along with people like Germer, marine mammals and fish in the Atlantic Ocean may also end up on the Gulf’s side.

“It’s their sense to try to get away from the danger and get away from the storm,” Jamie Weller said.

But some marine creatures won’t be able to escape like sea turtles.

“Just knowing that they could die during this storm is terrible,” Weller said.

Dr. Roy Crabtree, an administrator with NOAA Fisheries Southeast Region, said Dorian could impact the future of sea turtle nesting grounds.

”It’s possible with an extreme storm, you could have entire beaches eroded,” Crabtree said. “So severely that they may not be supportive of turtle nesting after that, so definitely could have an effect after that.”

Crabtree said the way Dorian stalled in the Bahamas most likely damaged coral reefs, seagrass and other habitats for marine life.

“You’re worrying more about your home, but you don’t realize what’s going on to the rest of the environment,” Germer said.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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