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Biologists work to protect sea turtle nests in Sarasota County

Timing of peak nesting season could be cause for concern
Posted at 5:40 PM, Jun 28, 2019

Staff and volunteers with Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium were up early Friday morning, scanning Lido Beach for sea turtle activity.

Loggerhead sea turtles are a threatened species, and according to Mote biologists, more of them nest on Sarasota County beaches than anywhere else in Florida.

"At least here, we’ve had increasing nesting numbers, which is a good sign for their populations," Mote biologist Melissa Bernhard said.

Wooden stakes with bright pink tape dot Lido Beach, denoting turtle nests. It is against the law to disturb them.

Bernhard tells ABC Action News the timing of the peak of nesting season happens to coincide with the week of July 4. She said people out at the beach should be careful not to leave any trash. She also pointed out that any holes people make in the sand should be covered up, because they can trap baby sea turtles on their way to the water.

"Turn off your lights if you’re staying near the beach at night," Bernhard added, "Lighting is really important for them finding their way back to the water."