Learn About Sea Turtles In Sarasota!

Learn About Sea Turtles In Sarasota!

Sarasota County is a nesting ground for the highest amount loggerhead turtles in the Gulf. If you are planning your Sarasota vacation, it’s important to know all about their graceful habitants, the sea turtles!

 

The History Sarasota’s Sea Turtles

May 1st through October 31st is sea turtle nesting season in Sarasota County. Through July 1st, female turtles journey ashore to nest and lay their eggs, and starting around July the hatchlings begin their swim back into the Gulf of Mexico. Last year, the research from Mote Aquarium showed over 3,000 nests – almost all loggerhead sea turtles! Nine of those nests were reported to be green sea turtles. Both of these are on the endangered species list, but with the help of Mote’s sea turtle conservation efforts, last year’s nesting total was the third-highest since they began the program about 40 years ago.

Mote Marine Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Conservation

The Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program, founded at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium has 35 miles of Sarasota and Manatee beaches in their care. Partnered with federal efforts to preserve sea turtles, Mote Marine Aquarium focuses primarily on loggerhead turtles, as the population in Sarasota is the highest on the Gulf of Mexico.

Learn About Sea Turtles at Mote Aquarium

If you want to get a more intimate look into the life of Sarasota’s sea turtles, go to Mote Aquarium for their exclusive sea turtle exhibit. You will learn all about sea turtle habits, endangerments, and Mote’s conservation efforts. Take a look at Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital, which treats hurt turtles and prepares them to continue their life in the wild. Visit their resident sea turtles, Hang Tough, Montego, Squirt 2, and Harry. These turtles sustained injuries which rendered them unable to survive on their own, but now spend their days relaxing as Mote’s signature residents.

Nesting Information and Photos

Coastal Wildlife Club, a non-profit run entirely by volunteers, takes care of the sea turtle nesting habitats stretching the coast from Caspersen Beach in Venice to Stump Pass Beach State Park in Englewood. Check out their Facebook page for more information on nesting and photos throughout the season.

 

Original Article Here

How To Navigate Through Sea Turtle Nesting Season in Sarasota

How To Navigate Through Sea Turtle Nesting Season in Sarasota

How To Navigate Through Sea Turtle Nesting Season in Sarasota

 

Are you planning your Sarasota vacation for the summer? If your explorations are scheduled anytime before October 31st, there are some things you need to know about sea turtle nesting season! Sarasota County is a nesting ground for the highest amount loggerhead turtles in the Gulf.

 

Sarasota is the natural habitat to these elegant sea creatures, so here are some things to remember on your vacation:

 

  1. Help The Hatchlings

Sarasota’s sea turtle population is dependant on visitors and residents working together to make the hatchlings journey as safe as possible. If you are planning your trip to Sarasota, this means keeping some tips in mind on the waterfront. When setting up your beach day site, be sure to give nesting sites a wide berth. These are easy to spot as the sites are marked by wooden stakes and bright caution tape. If you are lucky enough to happen upon some hatchings coming out of their shell, watch from far away! Adults that are nesting can be spooked away easily, so it’s always best to give them space. Since sea turtles are a protected species, it is illegal to come in contact or interact with them at all.

When taking photos, be sure your flash is off, as the light can disorient and scare turtles.

When your day of fun in the sun is winding down, be sure to clear away all beach furniture, toys or trash. You also want to fill any holes that were dug and knock down sandcastles to make the hatchlings route to the water as smooth as possible.

Another very important tip to keep in mind is that darkness is paramount for baby sea turtles! Hatchlings survival rates depends on how quickly they get into the water, and they find the sea by following the brightest direction, which typically will be the open night sky over the water. That means: keep off all flashlights, fishing lamps, outdoor lights, and close your drapes if you are staying on the beachfront. Any artificial light on or near the beach can disrupt turtles’ natural instincts and make their journey to the water much longer, which is dangerous for newborn turtles. To keep the beach free of artificial light, dim your cellphone or ideally keep it off altogether. If you must pull your cellphone out, try to shield your screen with your hand.

  1. What To Do For Vulnerable Sea Turtles

Since it is illegal to interact with sea turtles, it’s important to have a few numbers on hand to contact in the case of an injured or stranded sea turtle. Mote Marine Laboratory’s Stranding Investigations can be contacted at 941-988-0212 and instruct on how to assist. If you find a stranded hatchling or one that is heading away from it’s natural migration pattern, toward the Gulf, call Mote’s Conservation Program at 941-388-4331. It’s imperative you call first and get professional advice on what action to take! Sea turtles are sensitive creatures and require special care.

  1. How To Safely Survey Sea Turtles

For a unique sea turtle spotting expedition, take a trip out to Longboat Key for a turtle walk lead by Longboat Key Turtle Watch. This free exploration meets at 4795 Gulf of Mexico Drive and runs Saturdays in June and July., starting at 6:45 a.m. for the early birds. No reservation is needed, just show up on time and ready to see some turtles!

 

Original Article Here

6 Tips for Protecting Our Local Marine Species

6 Tips for Protecting Our Local Marine Species

6 Tips for Protecting Our Local Marine Species Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

6 Tips for Protecting Our Local Marine Species

You love our local area in Bradenton, Sarasota and Palmetto for its pristine beaches, but it’s also known for its wonderful marine species, especially sea turtles and manatees. Though, it’s important to remember that these local beaches are home to these endangered species as well. Here are helpful tips to keep in mind to ensure we’re protecting our local marine species:

1. Obey the waterway signs.

Waterway signs do not solely exist for boaters’ safety, but they are for the manatees’ safety, too. Obeying the speed limit ensures that you slow down when necessary so that you have a clear view of the water and do not see any manatees before proceeding.

2. Steer clear from shallow waters when possible.

When boating, remain in deep waterways because manatees tend to feed in shallow seagrass beds. In addition, try not to anchor your boats in these areas and in coral reefs because these areas are often habitats for sea turtles.

3. Do not offer food to manatees.

When you see manatees, do not feed them or try to lure them to you. When you lure manatees to you, this increases the chance that they will get caught in watercraft traffic, which could put them at risk.

4. Pick up after yourself before leaving the beach.

Trash is one of the major threats to local marine species since they can mistake floating trash in the water for food, which can block their intestines. Make sure your bring a bag with you so that you can collect all of your trash.

5. The same goes for fishing.

Do not leave any stray fishing lines or nets behind as local marine species as well as birds can get entangled and trapped.

6. Pack a red or yellow flashlight when taking an evening beach stroll.

In the evenings, this is prime nesting time for sea turtles. Lights that are too bright can disturb this process and cause them to be deterred from going to the ocean. This also goes without saying that you should not disturb turtles, especially baby sea turtles because our hands carry chemicals than are poisonous to them.

Next: Valentine’s Day Activities in the Bradenton Area