This year many sea turtle nests on the Florida shorelines were destroyed by hurricane Alberto. These nesting turtle eggs are treasured by Floridian residents. The nests are immediately abandoned by the mothers but are vigorously protected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The turtle nests are actually protected by law enforcement with high fines and possible time spent incarcerated. Don’t even think about messing with an incubating nest.
An interested person can sign up to join the groups who are trained to help the turtles when they break through their shells and begin their nocturnal journey toward the ocean. You will be taught how to do this without interrupting the arduous trip to the sea after dark. Once you have seen the tiny baby turtles, the size of a small child’s palm, scurrying and frantically flapping their flippers across the sand to the shore edge you will fall in love and you also will fiercely want to protect them.<a
On the nights of the turtle’s long wiggle to the waves and water, all lights in houses and hotels shining out over the sand are extinguished or the precious little travelers will mistake the lights for the moon and will head away from the sea toward the man-made lights.
But strong storms like Alberto wreak havoc on the nests. Mother nature in her massive strength can undermine what her Sea Turtles are trying to accomplish. Each nest averages 110 ping pong sized soft white eggs. Five nests of the 218 just in Collier County were swept out to a soggy sinking in the sea and 26 nests of unhatched eggs were covered in water.
In 2017 half of the Sea Turtle nests were destroyed or swept away during hurricanes. Curious visiting friends and family must not add to the loss by disturbing the eggs, Sea Turtles or their nests during this ancient and magical time of wonder at the pull of the moon and the steady struggle of tiny members of nature to their deep and watery new home.