Watch for Nesting Sea Turtles

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Eliminate trash items that may entangle hatchlings and adult turtles.

Island cities are required to protect imperiled species such as sea turtles and shorebirds because they have received sand in beach renourishment projects, she said, adding, "The city is mandated to ensure compliance with the regulations and take preventative measures". "If people see an adult turtle crawling up or down the beach, they should leave it alone", McGuire said.

Sea turtle nesting season begins May 1, and sea turtles are protected by federal law.

To that end, Mote and the Town of Longboat Key worked with Ringling College of Art and Design students Silpa Joe and India Boeckh on a sea turtle awareness campaign that includes posters, elevator clings, table tents, coasters, coloring place mats and luggage tags for beach furniture.

To report the disturbance of turtles, an unmarked nest, or turtles or hatchlings lost, stranded or wandering in the street, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

You can also adopt a turtle nest from Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring. Any light from streetlights or beachfront homes could disorient the turtles.

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When baby sea turtles emerge from the nest, their number one goal is to get to the ocean as fast as they can, McGuire said.

Turn off outside lights, draw drapes and avoid using flashlights or fishing lamps on the beach.

Lights are not the only issue for turtles.

Turtle hatchlings should not be picked up and placed in the ocean, as they need to crawl on their own to increase their chances of survival, the city states.

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life.

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