One of nature’s amazing events takes place right here in Clearwater, Florida at Belleaire Beach. Between May and October sea turtles come ashore to nest and deposit their eggs. Witnessing this event has been rated as one of the best rewards on the reality TV show, Survivor. And you can see it right here in Florida without the hardships or travel.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium patrols a 26 mile stretch of beach throughout Pinellas County watching for sea turtle evidence. Their morning patrols manned by 175 volunteers, staff and interns reach the beach just before sunrise 7 days a week.
Once tracks are located, the teams determine whether there is a nest present or if it was a non-nesting emergence, AKA false crawl. The nests are marked and data is collected form each site. such as distance from high tide line, distance from beach vegetation, GPS coordinates and other measurements used to help locate the egg chamber.
It’s against the law to touch or disturb nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or their nests, so if you do come across a marked nest site on Bellaire Beach on Sand Key treat them with respect. Sea turtles are protected by both the Federal Endangered Species Act and the Florida Marine Protection Act.
For more information about the sea turtles in the Clearwater Beach area contact the Clearwater Marine Aquarium