Entertainment

Plight of beloved sea turtles takes center stage in new South Florida film

Two baby leatherback sea turtles in the FAU Marine Laboratory on June 14, 2019. The babies have leashes that allow them to swim but prevent them from harming themselves by running into the sides of the tubs or each other.
Two baby leatherback sea turtles in the FAU Marine Laboratory on June 14, 2019. The babies have leashes that allow them to swim but prevent them from harming themselves by running into the sides of the tubs or each other. jking@miamiherald.com

South Florida’s beloved sea turtles, the same ones that attract visitors to watch their high-stakes trek to the ocean when they hatch, are finally getting their own TV spotlight next month.

On Oct. 3, WLRN Public Television will broadcast Troubled Waters: A Turtle’s Tale, to explore how human actions and the warming climate are affecting these tiny sea creatures.

“These animals are immensely lovable, sympathetic creatures that we could watch for hours on end,” Cortney Fielding, producer and writer of the show, said in a statement. “But the takeaway is... it’s not just a sea turtle that’s in trouble. It’s all of us.”

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The one-hour film will feature actor and ocean activist Ted Danson and will look at how climate change, rising seas, commercial fishing, polluted waters, and plastic waste are endangering sea turtles.

Though it takes a national approach to the sea turtle struggle, the story is centered on Florida’s shores in Palm Beach County, and features conservationists and experts who are working to rehabilitate injured sea turtles.

Troubled Waters was initially conceived when it came to our attention that not a single male sea turtle hatchling had been spotted in three years on Boca Raton’s beaches,” said Adrienne Kennedy, executive producer at WLRN Public Television. “Our hope is to build more awareness and a better understanding about how we are all impacting not just Florida’s, but the world’s fragile ecosystems.”

Kennedy said the network planned to give the film national exposure in 2020. The film’s hope is to lead viewers to consider changing human behavior including the reduction of plastic waste.

“We felt that it was our mission to delve deeper into this issue,” Kennedy added.

Troubled Waters will air at 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, on WLRN Channel 17.

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