MacArthur Beach State Park getting ready for Hurricane Matthew

2012-06-19 (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) -- NORTH PALM BEACH -- A young loggerhead turtle (approximately one year old) swims in a tank in the Nature Center at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park Tuesday.

(Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) — NORTH PALM BEACH — A young loggerhead turtle (approximately one year old) swims in a tank in the Nature Center at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park in June 2012.

As you finish putting up your hurricane shutters, filling your gas tank and stocking up on water, the folks at MacArthur Beach State Park in North Palm Beach are bracing for the storm, too.

Sea-rena, the loggerhead turtle who lives in a tank at the park, will wait out the storm there. Park Services Specialist Catherine Orr plans to stay there and dry dock Sea-Rena when the time is appropriate, Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park Executive Director Cheryl Houghtelin said. The 2 1/2- to 3-year-old turtle will be docked according to Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation standards.

Two resident rangers, an assistant park manager and park manager who have houses in the park earlier planned to stay and oversee everything if it is safe, Houghtelin said this morning.

All of the kayaks available for rental have been moved into the nature center theater.

Beach erosion cause by storm surge is a big concern with Matthew, but there’s not much the park can do about that, Houghtelin said. The park is helped by having no seawall within its borders or on either side.

“As a natural, unraked beach, we tend to fare better than the other beaches in the area,” she said.

The beach has healthy dunes that could help stop erosion.

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