According to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring executive director Suzi Fox, sea turtle nests have begun to hatch amidst a busy — continuing — nesting season.
One nest in the section between Pine Avenue, Anna Maria, and 66th Street, Holmes Beach, and another nest in the section between 52nd Street and Manatee Public Beach in Holmes Beach produced 55 hatchlings to the sea.
As of July 13, AMITW is reporting a total of 285 nests, shattering the previous record of 248, with anticipation running high that nesting is not over.
AMITW volunteer Pete Gross, who compiles the nesting data, said there have been 106 new nests in the three weeks since Tropical Storm Debby.
“You can see the rate of new nests is not yet tapering off, as would be expected near the end of nesting season,” said Gross. “So there are almost assuredly more to come this year.”
Last year there were 145 documented nests, which produced 7,800 hatchlings to the sea. The average nesting season since 1997 produced 155 nests, making this an incredible nesting season on Anna Maria Island shores.
Thirteen nests were documented June 27 as TS Debby left the area. Between six to 10 nests have been recorded daily, with a dozen nests documented July 3 and July 10.
By the numbers:
As of July 13
False Crawls: 275
Hatched nests: 2
Hatchlings to the sea: 55