May kicks off the official beginning of sea turtle nesting season in Southwest Florida. Threatened loggerheads are the most prolific nesters on area beaches, but endangered green and even leatherback sea turtles also nest along Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast and on barrier islands.
Experts and volunteers with a number of monitoring and protection programs will begin trolling beaches in the predawn hours looking for signs of nesting activity, marking new nests, educating beachgoers and documenting their findings. We’ll speak with Conservancy of Southwest Florida senior biologist Dave Addison, who heads one of the longest running sea turtle monitoring and protection programs in the country.
We explore what residents and visitors can do to minimize potential impacts and to help ensure a healthy nesting season.
Plus, a toxic red tide algae bloom that’s been lingering in the Gulf of Mexico just off of Southwest Florida’s shoreline has been impacting sea turtles and other marine life in recent weeks. We check in with veterinarian, Dr. Heather Barron, who directs the wildlife hospital at CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) on Sanibel Island.