Turtles and the F. J. Torras Causeway

turtle sign
Farris Cadle reports to S.L.E.A.T.

I‘ve been spending time in Brunswick doing some involved land title research. Thursday, late in the evening, I decided to take a walk along the F. J. Torras Causeway, which runs from Brunswick to Saint Simons Island. There are, of course, turtle crossing signs at each end of this causeway. I walked along the northern side of the causeway where there is no sidewalk. Instead, there is a grassed shoulder about seven feet wide. I walked about a third of the length of the causeway and then turned back. As I walked I noticed dead turtles. I decided to count them. I counted a total of 14 in the area that I walked. Most were smashed flat–obviously having been run over by cars. Some were not flattened, but seem to have been merely hit by cars. 3 or 4 were in the paving. The rest were in the grassed area beside the paving. I assume the rains washed them over into this area after they had been run over. Anyone familiar with turtles could easily identify the species, but I can’t. The turtles were 3 to 6 inches long each and all appeared to be the same species.

The turtle crossing signs on the causeway are a joke. There’s a massive amount traffic that moves continually at high speed both ways all the time. It’s very unlikely the drivers are going to see the turtles, especially at night; and even if one or two drivers happen to spot a turtle and avoid hitting it, there’s a hundred other drivers coming directly behind them that are not going to see it, or not care.

I want to point this out as a small example of what we are doing to the state of Georgia. Unless we stop the birth and influx of people, eventually people and an environment not worth living in are all we are going to have.

P.S.

You may forward this to ANYONE. A partial solution, which would have been very expensive and therefore probably not politically feasible, would have been to build an entirely elevated causeway. Another partial solution would be to have numerous culverts spaced close together under the causeway, with the idea many of the turtles and other critters would go through them rather than over the causeway. Something to consider is building a barrier along each side of the causeway that turtles and other critters can’t climb over. This would limit their range and habitat, but under the present situation I would say there’s an almost 100% chance any turtle attempting to cross the causeway will get run over.