Active sea turtle nesting on Indian Rocks Beach is a yearly happening. The turtle nesting season runs from May 1 to October 31. I was quite thrilled to see protected nests on my morning walk the other day. This particular nest is up on the bank of the dune as were the others that were in this area. It seemed like a perfect nesting area…smart turtles. As you can see, the beach is wide in this area and a long way for baby turtles to get to the water.
The turtles are protected from extinction by the services of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. They do morning and late night patrols to check for hatchlings. They protect the safe nesting site by staking out the area. On the day that I saw them, the were performing duties such as rescuing infant turtles too premature to make it back to the waters. They also were sprinkling a powder around the nesting stake area with an ant repellent. They informed me that ants will eat the eggs.
The hatching turtle is not my image/photo. I was not that fortunate. However this is just a perfect picture of a hatching baby turtle. Guess I will have to “camp” at the beach to get to see this!
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium recommends a number of things the public can do to help insure that the hatchlings have a safe journey to the water. I share them here as they appear on their website http://www.seewinter.com/sea-turtle-nesting. Visit this site to learn more about sea turtles nesting as well as all other aspects of the amazing Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Turn Lights Out
Turn out unnecessary beach lights to help prevent disorientation of female sea turtles and hatchlings. Close your curtains and be mindful of bright lights shining on the beach. Keep it dark!
Knock down sand castles and fill in sand pits. This helps to eliminate the challenges the baby hatchlings must cross on their way to the shoreline. Sand pits can be like the Grand Canyon and sand castles like Mount Everest to tiny baby sea turtles. Clear the way!
Keep the Beach Clean
Picking up trash eliminates items that both hatchlings and adults may become entangled in. Something as small as a bottle top or as large as unwanted beach furniture can pose potential problems, leading to both false crawls and disorientation. Keep it clean
I look forward to my next walk on the beautiful beach of IRB and wish you all get a chance to do the same. If you have any desire to learn more about the real estate market on Indian Rocks, give me a call, 727-744-4606 and I will be glad to help you