New Street Lights, Turtles – Anna Maria Island Turtles are a little safer

Anna Maria Island – New Street Lights Turtles on Anna Maria Island.

New Street Lights for Turtles

New Street Lights Turtles

Locals are happy! Sea turtles on Anna Maria Island are important to locals. We are serious about protecting our hard-shelled friends on their journey to the Gulf. In fact, they are getting a very promising present from Florida Power and Light, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Florida Department of Transportation. These companies have put together an idea to protect and help these sea turtles get safely to the water with a plan to install turtle-friendly street lights along the coastal roadways. You can learn all about this at the Islanders website.

In addition to the efforts made by these organizations, visitors and locals can help sea turtles too! During nesting season, May-October, be sure to keep exterior lights off. Alternatively, if you live near the beach, you can install turtle friendly lights.

How NOT to spend a day at the beach Anna Maria Island

This is our guide on how not to spend a day at the beach Anna Maria Island. Our coastlines are a serene oasis for people all over the world. In order to keep them this way, here are a few tips on what to avoid when spending a day on the surf:

1. Please no smoking on the beach!

Yes, it’s technically outside yet our wildlife is accustomed to our fresh clean salt air. Please do everyone a favor and don’t light up on the sand.

2. As tempting as it can be, please do not

scavenger hunt seagulls
Find seagulls on your scavenger hunt!

feed the seagulls.

If you’ve ever been the victim of a seagull swam fighting over a Cheeto, you’ll thank me for this warning.

3. If you see a turtle nest – please do not touch!

The nesting turtles are endangered and protected by law. Not only will harassers get a fine, the dirty looks from surrounding beachgoers may haunt your entire vacation!

4. Don’t be loud!

The natural sound of the waves crashing, the salty wind and sea birds calling is music to our ears – no loud radios necessary! Please leave the boom boxes at home and enjoy the soothing sounds of the Gulf of Mexico live in concert!
And Finally…

5. Don’t leave trash

Anna Maria Island sea turtlesWhen heading home after your glorious beach day, please make sure to gather all your belongings as well as any trash. Most beach access roads have large trash cans provided that you can use. Strive to leave your area of the beach even better than when you arrived – maybe start a game offering treats for the kids in your party to find extra trash!

When we all do MORE than just our share we can ensure the beautiful beaches of Anna Maria Island will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. If we are lucky enough to spend a day on the beach, then we’re lucky enough!

Rules to live by during Anna Maria Island Sea Turtle Season

This is our list of rules to live by during Anna Maria Island Sea Turtle Season! Every year between May 1st and October 31st hundreds of turtles crawl up onto the Anna Maria Island beaches and lay thousands of eggs. Once these eggs hatch tiny turtles emerge, scurry to the water, and begin the unimaginably difficult journey through gulf waters. If they are lucky to survive these early stages of life, females of the five Anna Maria Island turtle species will come back each year to lay their own eggs. Here are some important rules to follow to make sure they aren’t disturbed as they start their lives.

Green Sea Turtle
Green Turtle on Anna Maria Island. Photo Credit to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring Facebook page contributed by Kathy Doddridge

 

Anna Maria Island Sea Turtle Season

– Turn off outdoor lights that are visible from the beach at night. They can be disorienting to nesting and hatching sea turtles.

– Don’t aim camera flashes at the Sea Turtles.

– Don’t use flashlights or other light sources at night on the beach.

– Remove chairs, umbrellas, tents, grills and all objects from the beach at night.

– Fill in holes dug in the sand so that nesting and hatching turtles don’t get trapped.

Sea Turtle hatchling

– If you see a nesting or hatching turtle, be quiet and don’t touch it under any circumstance.

– Again, don’t touch the Sea Turtles.

– Watch for Sea Turtles and Manatee’s while boating.

– Stay away from the staked nesting areas along the beach.(This applies to the staked bird nesting areas too)

– Don’t chase the birds.

– Dispose of fishing line, hooks, plastic bags and other trash.

– No fireworks, balloons or sky lanterns from the beach. The debris is dangerous to the turtles, birds and other wildlife.

For emergencies or questions about Sea Turtles, birds and other wildlife, call the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring organization at 941-778-5638, or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-3922.