07/28/2010 01:00 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sea Turtle Eggs Picked By Hand, Moved Away From Gulf To Clean Water

Earlier this month, HuffPost's Dan Froomkin analyzed the plight of the sea turtles, one of the animals most profoundly affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil, Froomkin wrote, is capable of damaging almost every feature of a turtle's body, from its skin and shell to its liver and kidneys.

If full-grown sea turtles are this easily thwarted by the crude, imagine how tough it is for baby turtles to survive.

As NBC Nightly News presented on its "Making A Difference" segment, tens of thousands of baby turtles need a helping hand.

Sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach, burrowed into the sand. When the eggs hatch, several weeks later, the baby turtles make their way into the ocean. This season, however, that ocean is filled with oil. The Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) did the only thing they could: carefully lift out of the sand each unhatched egg by hand. The eggs are carefully transported in coolers (in a slow-moving truck) across Florida to be released into the Atlantic Ocean. Fed Ex has provided the trucks to STC free of charge.

"We wouldn't be doing this unless it was absolutely the only thing to do to save them from certain death," said STC executive director David Godfrey.


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