CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – The Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Conservation Team discovered its first loggerhead sea turtle nest of the 2021 nesting season on Thursday.
The team of volunteers, staff and interns spend every morning before sunrise searching miles of beach along the high tide line for evidence of nesting, including marks in the sand left by female turtles crawling on to the beach. Data is recorded and the nests are marked to be monitored throughout the season.
The team observed 222 nests in 2020, which produced over 10,674 hatchlings, according to the CMA website.
Sea turtle nesting season runs from May 1 to Oct. 31 in Florida.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to do all they can to protect mother turtles and their hatchlings, including filling in holes dug on the beach and using Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-approved sea turtle lightning.