Turtle tours begin
SUBMITTED | Sun
From left, kneeling, Anna Maria Island
Turtle Watch volunteers Summer Sines
and Ed Sterba relocate a nest that was
underwater from Tropical Storm Beryl.
Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring is hosting Turtle Tours on the beach for anyone interested in seeing sea turtle nests up close.
You may be able to see the tracks made by the mother turtle, known as the crawl, leading from the Gulf to the beach and back, and may watch as volunteers verify a nest by digging carefully down into the spot where the tracks end until they find the eggs.
You may see them stake a new nest with yellow stakes and pink tape to keep people from accidentally walking across the nest, and learn what the markings on the stakes mean.
If there has been flooding, you may see them dig up an entire nest of eggs, stack them carefully in a bucket, dig another nest in higher, drier sand and place the eggs in the new nest.
Volunteers will tell you interesting facts about sea turtles (did you know that males live their whole lives in the water after they hatch?) and answer your turtle questions (like, how long does a sea turtle live?).
Tours are every Wednesday and Saturday morning at 7 a.m., weather permitting. Meet at Manatee County Public Beach near the picnic area. From there, you will caravan in your own vehicle to a nest site.
Donations are welcome and T-shirts will be available for sale.
For reservations, call Claudia at 248-982-5600.