The Nest was Found on Sand Key Beach on May 5th
Clearwater, Fla. (July 1, 2011) –Loggerhead hatchlings made their way to the water last night marking the beginning of an important time at Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA). Staff and volunteers have located 60 nests so far this season, which is up from 44 nests last year at this time. The first nest hatched on July 14th last year. Once the hatchlings make their way out of the shell they head toward the light of the horizon. Once they reach the water, approximately 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will make it to adulthood.
CMA oversees sea turtle nesting on 26 miles of Pinellas County beaches, locating and protecting nests and ensuring the hatchlings make their way into the gulf. During the night, from May through September, the 350-pound female Loggerhead sea turtles come ashore to deposit their eggs. Over the last four years, CMA has helped more than 35,000 hatchlings make their way into the Gulf. In 2010, 119 nests were located on Pinellas County beaches, the first being found on May 24. Over 200 volunteers help with the nesting program.
Here are some sea turtle safety reminders:
• Do turn off outside lights, draw drapes and avoid using flashlights or fishing lamps on the beach from May 1 to October 31.
• Do Not harass adult turtles as they make their way back to sea. They may appear slow or hesitant and this is normal.
• If you see an adult turtle, Do Not approach, make noises, shine lights or use photo equipment with a flash.
• Do Not pick up hatchlings heading toward the water.
If you have concerns about nesting turtles or hatchlings seen on the beach, contact CMA’s sea turtle department at 717-441-1790 x 224 and leave a detailed message expressing your concern.