1st sea turtle nest found on Mississippi beach since 2018

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. nest / nɛst / (n.) – a place or a structure that an animal builds to lay its eggs

    There’s a tree in our garden where birds usually build a nest.

  2. mark off / mɑrk ɔf / (phrasal v.) – to enclose an area by putting visible signs around it to stop people from going there

    The police marked off the crime scene.

  3. hatch / hætʃ / (v.) – to cause the shell of an egg to break when a young animal comes out of it

    The duck eggs will soon hatch.

  4. uninhabited / ˌʌn ɪn ˈhæb ɪ tɪd / (adj.) – not having anyone live in a place

    There’s an uninhabited house in the middle of the forest.

  5. breed / brid / (v.) – (of male and female animals) to produce young animals

    Mosquitoes breed in water.


Read the text below.

Beach crews have found the first sea turtle nest on the Mississippi mainland in four years.

A Harrison County Sand Beach crew that was cleaning up found what appeared to be turtle tracks just east of the Pass Christian Harbor, officials said.

They protected the area and called the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, which followed the tracks to a nesting site that is now marked off with stakes and tape.

The eggs likely belong to a protected loggerhead sea turtle or an even rarer Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, which is the most critically endangered species of sea turtle, said Moby Solangi, president of the marine studies group.

The exact species of turtle won’t be known until the eggs hatch in 50 to 60 days. Only about 1 in 10,000 sea turtle eggs reach adulthood. Turtles lay between 60 to 100 eggs in a nest and have multiple nests during a season, Solangi told The Sun Herald in Biloxi.

This is the first sea turtle nest on mainland Mississippi since 2018, although there have been unofficial reports of nests on uninhabited barrier islands, officials said.

The Mississippi Sound and Gulf of Mexico are important sea turtle habitats, but the 2010 oil spill and the 2019 opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway hurt the turtle population, Solangi said.

“After all the environmental disasters we’ve had, this is a good sign. When (turtle populations) have gone down, it means the ecosystem that supports them is having difficulty. When animals start breeding, it means things have started to get better,” Solangi said.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Authorities marked off the nesting site with stakes and tape to protect the area. Do you think it’s necessary to mark off and protect the endangered animals’ nesting sites? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Nearly all species of sea turtle are now classified as endangered, so the animal is often used as a symbol for saving the environment. What other animals would you like to become a symbol for such efforts? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Solangi said the 2010 oil spill and the opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway hurt the turtle population. In your opinion, what other human actions may have hurt the population of endangered animals (ex. overfishing, poaching)? Discuss.
  • What conscious actions are you taking to help protect the animal population? If none, what actions do you think you should do? Discuss.