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Navy Expands Partnership
June 28, 2010

According to information made available from Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), the Navy has partnered with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge at Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek-Fort Story with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to perform patrols for sea turtle activity and marine mammal strandings.

Under the MOU, USFWS representatives will conduct non-intrusive patrols along a portion of beach front property between JEB Fort Story Gate 8 and the Cape Henry Lighthouse each morning from June 1st to Aug. 31st annually.

If a nest is present, USFWS will relocate eggs to their identified nursery and provide adequate protection. Once hatched, USFWS will transfer four hatchlings of the first nest to the Virginia Aquarium for studies on growth and development. The remaining hatchlings will be released directly into the Gulf Stream. USFWS will move all of the other hatchlings to the beach, where they will be allowed to crawl into the ocean unaided.

In the event that a sea turtle or marine mammal is found stranded, USFWS will report the finding to the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Team, the Regional Stranding Coordinator and Base Natural Resources. If evidence of a crawl or nesting activity has been identified, Base Natural Resources will be contacted immediately.

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