file photo of a Kemp's ridley sea turtle
PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Although Tropical Storm Karen dissipated before it could strike Florida's Panhandle, rough surf from the storm and the ongoing federal government shutdown have hampered efforts to monitor sea turtles along some of northwest Florida's pristine beaches.
D.J. Zemenick is a volunteer sea turtle patroller for the Gulf Islands National Seashore. She says both the storm and the shutdown "has sort of compounded the situation" by cutting off access to some portions of the park.
The road to the national park remained closed Sunday due to the shutdown. There's at least one nest there that volunteers can't get to.
Five species of sea turtles can be found in the Gulf of Mexico. The loggerhead is threatened and the green and leatherback are endangered, but all sea turtles are protected.