Great news from Mote this morning: Scientists announced that since the start of nesting season on May 1, more than 2,600 sea turtle nests have been logged locally--that's more than the total number of nests for the 2015 season.
A total of 2,638 nests have been counted in 2016 from Longboat Key to Venice, making it the most prolific nesting season since Mote's Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program began monitoring Sarasota County beaches 35 years ago.
While there will doubtless be even more nests added to that tally as summer continues, the earliest nests of the season have already started to hatch. So remember, if you have property along the beachfront, shield or turn off your outdoor lights, fill in holes and remove beach furniture and other obstacles that may endanger nest-laying females or hatchlings.
If you see sea turtle hatchlings travelling toward land instead of the ocean, please call Mote's sea turtle program at (941) 388-4331 for instructions. Do not approach or shine lights at turtles. Here are even more tips for helping keep sea turtles safe.
For more information, visit www.mote.org.