The official start of the Anna Maria Island Turtle Season was May 1st. Loggerhead nests were already found on Captiva Island and Longboat Key. This indicates that Anna Maria Island will soon see its first nest as well. For over 30 years the volunteers of the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch have made tremendous efforts to help our sea turtles. They are monitoring 12 miles of Manatee County shoreline. Each morning the beaches are walked and new nests are getting staked and observed for the next two months. After about 60 days the little hatchlings are making their way to the water during night time. Once the nest has hatched, it is getting inspected and shells are counted. Sometimes straggling hatchlings are left behind and get saved. So far, the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch has protected 4454 nests, counted 301 694 turtle eggs and helped about 271,680 hatchlings.
You can show your support for the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch by adopting a sea turtle nest laid on Anna Maria Island. A plaque of your choice will be placed for a $100 tax-deductible donation. There are also Turtle Talks organized which take place every Tuesday at 10 am at the CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Stop by and experience a 35 min presentation which informs via video and photo displays, Q&A session and other interactivities.
There are a few simple rules all of us enjoying this island can follow to make it another successful turtle season this year. The mother turtles and the hatchlings are easily distracted by artificial lights that appear visible on the beach. Unfortunately, disorientations happen every year. If you encounter a nesting mother do not take flash pictures or disturb in any way. Loggerheads don’t have a “reverse gear”. For that reason, beach chairs or other items left behind on the beach can become deathly traps for the turtles. Also, sand digging is fun but fill in any holes after your beach day.
If you like more information about the Turtle Watch volunteers stop by at our office 310 Pine Avenue. Our team has some past and current members.
Are you looking for a beach front rental to be close to the natural display of nightly nesting activity? Call our rental team at 941 779 0304 to secure the best spot on our beautiful white beaches or send us a quick message here.