Five juvenile loggerhead sea turtles with satellite transmitters attached to their backs were released into the Gulf Stream as part of a research project of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute and NOAA, in partnership with the N.C. Aquariums and the University of Florida.
The transmitters are small, lightweight devices attached to the turtle’s shell using aquarium-grade epoxy resin, designed to withstand up to 300 days at sea. The transmitters rely on solar power to charge the unit and satellite telemetry to pinpoint the location every time a turtle returns to the surface for air.
The research aims to show where these endangered species go and how they interact with the Gulf Stream. One of the researchers is assessing the potential for ecological impacts of Gulf Stream turbines as part of the CSI Renewable Ocean Energy Program.