Sea turtles get help on Florida beach from RCL volunteers

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Even a small cliff poses a big problem for baby sea turtles who instinctively leave their buried beach hatchery under night skies and head for open water, intently scuttling across land on tiny flippers much better suited to swimming.

This year, some 750 volunteers put their hearts, backs, hands and time into smoothing the way for new generations of hatchlings and revitalize a park where many locals come to spend their day with friends and family.

These employees of Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises were joined by family members and friends this spring for RCL’s 18th annual Get Involved Volunteer Everywhere (GIVE) Day, one of many such observances around the globe.

In this instance, the volunteers spread out and went to work at John U. Lloyd State Park, neighbor to Port Everglades, Fla. where Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas call home.

The park’s beach had been severely eroding for years, creating cliffs that impeded the seaward progress of the sea turtle hatchlings from nesting areas that have long attracted tourists to the beach.

GIVE Day volunteers planted 8,500 seedlings to help preserve the beach from erosion, while others applied nearly 1,300 gallons of paint and sealant to picnic tables and other wooden structures.