From the Examiner By:

The first sea turtle nests were found in Florida on Redington Beach Monday and at Fort De Soto on Tuesday, marking the beginning of this year’s nesting season reported the Tampa Bay Times on May 14.

Five women also discovered the first loggerhead sea turtle nest in Catham County, Georgia yesterday.

Mike Anderson, supervisor of the Marine Turtle Program at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium said the nests will be ready to hatch in about fifty days.

Nesting sea turtles once had no trouble finding a dark place to nest, but beaches are now lined with condominiums, businesses and hotels.

Lights that shine onto a nesting beach can draw turtle hatchlings away from the ocean where they have little chance of  survival. Beach lights can also discourage females from coming ashore to nest.

Drew, our 135-pound Loggerhead Sea Turtle, made her way back into the wild at 10am this morning at Clearwater Beach! Drew was found floating in shallow water just off Honeymoon Island on June 30, 2012. She was emaciated and had trouble diving. She weighed 105 pounds when she was admitted and has since overcome her buoyancy problem.

Our Sea Turtle team has had a very busy year. The team located a record-breaking 200 nests on 26 miles of patrolled Pinellas County beaches. We have also rehabilitated and released 5 turtles since January. We are so excited and proud of our entire team and could not be more thankful for all the continued support! Thank you all very much!

After suffering from red tide intoxication, Emmie will return to the wild

Clearwater, FL (November 30, 2011) – CMA will be releasing its 15th rehabilitated sea turtle of the year this Thursday. Emmie, a small juvenile green sea turtle, was admitted on October 30 to CMA suffering from extreme lethargy, decreased heart rate and swelling around the eyes and cloacal areas. These symptoms, patterned with the fact that she was rescued from Lee County, pointed towards red tide intoxication. In the previous month, Manatee and Lee Counties documented red tide blooms in the near shore waters. Red tide is a dinoflagellate (single cell organism) called karenia brevis that produces a neurotoxin called brevetoxin which affects the neurosystem of organisms that ingest it either primarily or secondarily by prey items that are contaminated. Luckily for Emmie, she was caught early enough on that the toxin had not damaged her central nervous system too badly and with a few days of supportive fluid therapy, she started bouncing back; her heart rate came back up to a normal range, she became more active in her dry dock, and her eye swelling resolved. Today Emmie is a fast swimming, fast eating, beautiful little green sea turtle. She will be released on Thursday, December 1, in the Charlotte Harbor area.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is currently one of the largest sea turtle rehabilitation facilities in Florida. The in-progress $12 million dollar expansion of CMA includes new, state-of-the-art rehabilitation facilities and will double the current capacity for rehabilitating turtles.