Check out this great video of turtle hatchlings being released
From May 1st to October 31st each year, Anna Maria Island is the nesting ground for hundreds of endangered sea turtles. Some years there are upwards of 500 nests on Anna Maria Island meaning tens of thousands of hatchlings start their lives here. With a survival rate of only 1 in 1,000 these babies need all the help they can get to hatch and reach the sea.
The "Turtle Watch" led by our neighbor Suzi Fox is a group of dedicated volunteers who actively participate in protecting this endangered species. Turtle Watch volunteers educate the public on how to avoid disrupting mother turtles, hatchlings and nests. The “lights out for sea turtles” program encourages beachfront property owners to keep beach-facing lights off during hatching season. During hatching season, volunteers monitor nests often sitting up overnight to do so.
Follow Turtle Watch on Facebook to learn about scheduled nest excavations.
Tuesday mornings Turtle Watch holds free Turtle Talk education sessions at Crosspointe Fellowship. Check their website or Facebook to see when the nest session will be. Fun for the family.
Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring is a not for profit organization, completely staffed by volunteers. If you would like to adopt a nest or make a donation to help the turtles, please click below.
We have been fortunate to have witnessed nest excavations (during which Steph found a live hatchling who hadn't been able to exit the nest on his own) and hatchling releases. Our daughter has gone on morning patrol with Suzi to mark the new nests, record the false crawls and helped relocate a nest laid too close to the water.