Follow up: Volunteers save nearly 200 turtles from canal nearing end of construction

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Volunteers are working tirelessly to rescue a habitat, as crews finish construction on a canal on Wilmington Island. 

Construction workers are filling the ditch with dirt on Concord Road and Penn Waller Road, that’s home to dozens of turtles. The project manager said they’re only days away from finishing the SPLOST project that’s meant to spruce up the neighborhood. 

However, volunteers are fishing out a lot more than just trash. 

“The strong ones will be able to get out. The ones that aren’t strong enough will eventually suffocate and die,” said Kristofer Moench, one of the volunteers helping to scoop up the turtles. 

They said they have saved nearly 200 turtles since the project began in April. They are running the critters to veterinarians and plopping them in nearby ponds. 

Volunteers told News 3 that while they are grateful for the community’s help, some of them have found a message in the mud.

One former Marine Biology teacher said, “it really kind of warms my heart because being a teacher of that age, just the awareness and the appreciation of everything going on, people seem to really not want this to happen.”

Moench said, “after the fact, when you see the turtles on the road after the construction starts and one or two get hit, all of a sudden people start getting upset and ‘why’s this happening?’ Well, when these guys are already here doing the work, it’s too late. You can’t stop it. You need to be active and find out what is going on in your community.”

Volunteers say more help is always welcome. 

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