An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Green sea turtle nesting breaks local record

Mote Marine Laboratory scientists are excited to share the encouraging, preliminary results of their annual count of Southwest Florida sea turtle nests.

During the 2015 nesting season that began May 1, Mote-monitored beaches from Longboat Key through Venice have hosted a record number of green sea turtle nests and potentially tied their past combined record for greens and loggerheads.

This year’s record for green turtles is confirmed, but loggerhead numbers and the grand total must be confirmed or updated following a thorough review of data once nesting season officially concludes on Oct. 31.

Nests in Southwest Florida continue to hatch, so it is important to keep beaches dark and clear of obstacles for hatchlings trying to reach the water throughout the season.

Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol — a group of scientists, interns and volunteers who are monitoring nesting beaches for their 34th year on Longboat Key through Venice — report that 2015 brought a preliminary count of 2,433 loggerhead sea turtle nests and a confirmed count of 36 confirmed green sea turtle nests.

The 36 green sea turtle nests broke Mote’s previous record: 30 green turtle nests in 2013. In recent years, green turtle numbers around Florida have risen encouragingly. Statewide numbers are still being tallied, but so far, certain areas of Florida have reported exciting 2015 counts. (For example, USA Today reported recently on high green turtle counts from a wildlife refuge on Florida’s east coast, where greens are generally more prevalent.