NewsPinellas County


Overnight 4th of July beach setups can disrupt sea turtle nesting

People left tents and chairs on sand near nests
Posted at 4:51 PM, Jul 04, 2018

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Volunteers spotted a problem early Wednesday morning while doing a check on sea turtle nesting sites.

Tents, chairs and rafts left on the beach overnight by those trying to save a good spot for the 4th of July.

Experts say those things turn into huge obstacles for sea turtles.

“They make it difficult for adult nesting females to find an optimal nest site, and it also creates a barrier for hatchlings trying to find the water,” said Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s Lindsey Flynn.

Officials: 8 sea turtle nests run over on Siesta Key

Rachel Strobhar spends a lot of time on the sand and says she never really thought about beach setups causing such problems.

“It’s easy to see that it’s crowded out there and there’s a lot of things going on and things get blocked.”

All sea turtles are either threatened or endangered and you’ll usually see nesting sites clearly marked.

Many beaches have a “leave no trace ordinance.”

That means don’t leave anything behind but your footprints.

Experts say you can also help the sea turtles by filling in holes and knocking down sandcastles.

For more information on protecting sea turtles, click here.