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Date of Issue: June 10, 2009

Turtle walkers designing flags

Lois Huntington with the flag she designed for Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch's section 6. AMITW is holding a flag-design contest.

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch walkers are trying their hand at design work.

“I challenged all of the walkers to come up with the most imaginary, fun flag,” said AMITW executive director Suzi Fox.

The contest will continue until AMITW’s mid-season banquet, which will take place July 18 at the Moose Lodge, 110 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach.

AMITW walkers use flags to designate crawl marks and nests on the beach.

One flag entry, from section 6 walker Lois Huntington, consists of a bright yellow flag with a smiling green turtle with thick eyelashes.

“This is really a lot of fun,” Fox said last week, while reporting that nesting activity is heating up — 41 nests on Island beaches as of June 5.

Fox also reported that the beaches in all three Island cities appear clean — cleared of beach chairs and other items at night that might impede a nesting turtle.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said. “I cannot believe the care that people are showing, the way people are watching over our beaches.”

Fox also observed that lights, which can disorient turtles, appear shielded from the beaches, including in Bradenton Beach, where she noticed problems earlier in the season.

“Bradenton Beach,” Fox said, “has really stepped up to bat.… It’s really shaping up to be a good year.”