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Adopt-A-Nest program experiences increase

November 3, 2016
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Forty-three loggerhead nests were adopted this year through Adopt-A-Nest, a program that saw a large increase from the previous year, at Cayo Costa State Park.

"Those adopted nests produced over 1,100 hatchlings," Friends of Cayo Costa Adopt a Nest Program Coordinator Lisa Kreiger said. "We really appreciate the support from the community and appreciate that people really care about the species. It's important to recognize that when people spend their hard earned money on this, it does not go unnoticed."

This year 433 nests were inventoried by park staff on Cayo Costa State Park. Of those nests, five of them were green sea turtles.

Article Photos

The second nest to be laid on Cayo Costa by a loggerhead turtle happened May 15.


Kreiger became the coordinator of the Adopt-A-Nest program three years ago after moving to Lee County from Okeechobee.

"I have always worked in natural resources," she said of why she wanted to become involved in the sea turtle nesting program. "I used to do volunteer work with the sea turtles on the East Coast. I think they are charismatic species. I think it is very important to protect them . . . a good success story to help them out and rebound."

Once an individual donates $25 for the program they are given a personal card that includes turtle art, an email containing the geographic reference and coordinates of where the nest is located, as well as a follow up email once the nests hatches.

"A couple people bought nests as gifts for friends and grandchildren. I think when people take ownership in something it gets them more excited about it," Kreiger said.

The excitement was ignited in some who made a trip to Cayo Costa to try and find where there adopted nest was located.

"I think we had a really good year," Kreiger said. "The program went really well."

With such a successful year, the Friends of Cayo Costa were able to purchase supplies to help stake off the turtle nests once they are laid.

The Friends of Cayo Costa, which formed approximately four years ago, assists Cayo Costa State Park with projects and purchasing equipment and supplies used by park staff and volunteers.



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