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6:21 PM, Sep 12, 2012
Written by Jessica Clark.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Diane Schleissing walks the beach bright and early. She has served on the Sea Turtle Patrol in Crescent Beach for eleven years.

She’s passionate about turtles.

“I love my turtles,” she said with a laugh.

She and her team look over the sand for evidence of underground sea turtle nests.

“And when we find one, it’s like, ‘We got a nest!'” she said.

She’s been saying that a lot this year.

The last three years, the east coast of Florida has seen an explosion in the number of sea turtle nests which are roped off for protection.

In St. Johns County alone in 2010, there was a record number of 885 nests. In 2011, there were 638 nests and so far this year, there are 675 nests, according to St. Johns County numbers. Read the full story at