Home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, Anna Maria Island is always home to some of the most beautiful creatures - Sea Turtles! 5 species of sea turtles call our surrounding Gulf waters home, and from the months of May to October these sea turtles nest on our beaches.
Not only are they important pillars of our wildlife, but they play an important role in our ecosystem. Each sea turtle species uniquely affects the diversity, habitat and functionality of its environment and their eggs affect the vegetation, species distribution and stability of sandy shorelines. Needless to say, not only is it exciting when the sea turtles come to town, it’s necessary for our ecosystem!
They’re important to us, so it’s important we treat them and their habitat with respect. Here are 3 easy ways to do your part in keeping our sea turtles safe and thriving!
- Respect marked off beach nesting areas
If you happen to see one of the many marked-off nests on our beaches, you are witness to a very special moment! Feel free to take a look and watch from a distance, but leave the nests plenty of space!
- Reduce waste and eliminate litter
Be sure not to leave any trash on our beaches and do your part to help pick up litter.
- Follow lighting rules and regulations
Lights that shine onto a nesting beach at night can draw turtle hatchlings away from the ocean and beach, onto our streets. There, they have a slim chance of survival. Beach lights can also scare away females crawling ashore to nest. Be sure to turn off your lights that are visible from the water/beach at nighttime.
For more information: www.islandturtlewatch.com