So far, a record-setting 196 loggerhead turtle nest sites are documented this season with a few weeks to go, according to Clearwater Marine Aquarium officials.

 Mike Anderson doesn’t have a reason for it.

The sea turtle nesting season started early and kept going, he said.

As it turns out, it was also at a record setting pace, as Clearwater Marine Aquarium officials have documented 196 loggerhead turtle nests along the 26 miles of Pinellas County beaches they monitor.

“We could still get some more nests before its over,” said Anderson, who heads the sea turtle nesting program for the aquarium. “We still have a couple more weeks for them to come up and nest.”

Nesting numbers had been pretty steady the last few years. Anderson said the increased activity this year could be attributed to a combination of things, including decades of conservation work and no significant red tide bloom. Anderson said nesting numbers are up all along the coast of Florida.

There usually can be up to 120 nests made along beaches in the Tampa Bay area from May 1 to Oct. 31. Already there were that many nests through June before Tropical Debby brought heavy rainfall and rising tides to Clearwater.

Read the rest of the article at ClearwaterPatch.

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