Beach erosion and turtle nesting season

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SARASOTA – We all see beach erosion when we hit the sand, but some worry it’s also impacting our sea turtles.

“Where once there was yellow tape, and everyone knows the stakes and the turtle nests with their eggs, they’re not there anymore,” says Lido Shores resident Bob Thill.

Over the years, Thill has watched beach erosion take its toll on residents, tourism, and now our turtles. “Just over the past two years we’ve lost approximately eight vertical feet and about 20 horizontal feet of sand,” he says.

The loss of sand limits the surface area for turtles to set up shop. “Some of the Mote researchers were out a couple of weeks looking, they couldn’t find it,” says Thill.

On a strip where he would normally see more than a dozen nests, “there are two or three nests just on our little portion of North Lido Beach, but then up and down the beach they’re all gone,” says Thill.

The actions we take while sunbathing will also leave a lasting impression. So how can we help?

Leave the beach with everything you brought, clean up your trash, don’t leave chairs on the sand, and turn off your lights at night. That way our hatchlings can find their way to the water.

If you do see an unmarked nest you can call Mote Marine Lab at (941) 388-4441.

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