■ BY SUE ERWIN
Sea turtle nesting season has officially ended, and the Boca Grande Sea Turtle Association reported there were 736 nests, and 74,000 hatchlings left our shores this season.
Breaking those numbers down further, there were 731 Caretta caretta (Loggerhead turtles) and 5 Chelonia mydas (Green turtle) nests.
Volunteers counted 564 false crawls (turtles that came up onto the beach but returned to the water for unknown reasons, without digging a nest and without laying eggs) on our beaches this season.
Each one of these turtles was tracked, documented and protected throughout the six-month season by Boca Grande Sea Turtle Association volunteers. Many of these turtles will not survive predators and harsh conditions, but those that do have a small band of hearty volunteers to thank.
“This compendium of information has been added to the scientific record to help support the growing body of knowledge about sea turtles in our area,” said BGSTA board member Melissa Csank.
“We deeply appreciate the efforts of our volunteers,” Csank said. “I would also like to recognize the Woman’s Club for their generous support of our organization. Their generous grants have provided us with the resources to educate visitors to our community about threatened and endangered sea turtles, and the importance of keeping our beach clean, dark and free of holes and obstructions during nesting and hatching season. We are so lucky to be part of a community that supports our efforts, and we are deeply grateful.”
If you are a turtle lover with a boat and you’re interested in helping, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Boca Grande Sea Turtle Association is committed to promoting education and awareness of sea turtles and proper beach protocols during nesting season.
If you’d like to donate, you can send a check to BGSTA, PO Box 478, Boca Grande, FL 33921.