BRADENTON BEACH, Fla. — Volunteers are excavating sea turtle nests on Anna Maria Island in an effort to help keep sea turtles safe.
Turtle Watch volunteers are trained to track nests and excavate them 72 hours after a hatch.
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In digging up the nests, volunteers are able to collect valuable data about the number of eggs hatched.
This data helps Turtle Watch apply for grants to help them keep sea turtles safe. The data is also used by cities and local governments for city codes that help protect the turtles.
Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch says turtle lights, volunteers and help from local governments has helped nesting numbers on the island go from only 40 nests, when Turtle Watch started on the island 30 years ago, to 525 nests this year.
The excavations are done each morning and the public is invited to come to watch and learn more about sea turtles and how to keep them safe.