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Keep beaches clear during sea turtle nesting season

June 23, 2010
Submitted by KAREN NELSON




This false crawl depicted in these images was photographed last week a little west of West Wind Inn. This turtle came up, tried to move past the furniture – note the sand on the furniture – but gave up and returned to the water without nesting. 





Sea turtles can not back up. Furniture and other beach obstructions do cause them to abandon nesting attempts. After several failed nesting attempts, females eject the eggs in the water.





As a friendly reminder, please keep beaches clear for nesting sea turtles





Independence Day is upon us, and while most people associate barbeques and fireworks with the holiday, it also marks the beginning of sea turtle hatching season.  July is the busiest month for sea turtles on Sanibel and Captiva. 





SCCF’s sea turtle volunteers patrol the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva daily, tracking and monitoring all nesting.





Adult females are still coming ashore to nest and the nests that have been incubating for the last two months begin to hatch. This makes the beach a busy place at night.  If you visit the beach, especially at night, we ask that you keep a few things in mind to keep our beaches sea turtle friendly:





• Remove all beach furniture, tents and toys





• Fill in all holes that you dig





• Turn off or shield all lights facing the beach





• Avoid using a flashlight





• Never  take flash photographs





• Honor the leash law





• Respect all marked sea turtle nests





If you happen to see a sea turtle, keep a respectful distance and watch quietly. It is a rare experience and one to be treasured. 





Learn more about the sea turtles that nest on our beaches at Turtles Tracks on Thursdays at 9 a.m. at SCCF’s Nature Center,  located at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road. Call 472-2329 for more details. You can find current sea turtle nesting statistics online at sccf.org/content/143/Sea-Turtles.aspx.

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