Florida Power & Light (operator of Turkey Point) has the best idea when it comes to nuclear plant security: host hundreds of crocodiles. ;-) National Wildlife Federation took notice of the crocs in their October/November issue:
In the 1970s, engineers designed a 6,800-acre system of canals to cool the power plant. In doing so, they also inadvertently created a crocodile Eden, closed off from the rest of the world and well-stocked with everything the animals need. So for the few people who work along the canals, and the even fewer who are able to visit the heavily guarded facility, the rare and reclusive animals are about as accessible as pigeons in a park—if a bit more dangerous. The shelter provided by the power plant and other protected habitat is a big part of why the large reptiles, after 30 years on the federal Endangered Species List, were reclassified in 2007 as “threatened.”Right on. For some reason, though, I don't think terrorists would be afraid of the crocs in the picture above. Oh well.
In 1978, when a backhoe accidentally uncovered a nest at Turkey Point, FPL realized it would have to take action to preserve the protected animals that were seeking refuge in the power plant’s canals. Soon after, the utility began a monitoring program that has documented the extraordinary breeding success at Turkey Point: In 1985, researchers counted 19 crocodiles older than a year. Ten years later, there were 40. By 2005, the number had soared to 400, says Wasilewski, who took over the monitoring program in 1989. And the growing population is not limited to the power plant. In other well-protected areas, such as Everglades National Park, the crocodile is also flourishing. In the mid-1970s, FWS created a recovery plan for the croc. “Part of the plan said that if there were 60 or more viable nests (throughout the state) in a year, we could consider the species recovered,” says Wasilewski. “We hit 60 nests three years ago.”
Here's some of our previous posts on Turkey Point's crocodiles.