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:

No Smoking on the beaches of Anna Maria Island1. 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 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…

Respect the Sea Turtles on Anna Maria Island5. Don’t leave trash

When 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 Maris 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.

Anna Maria Island sea turtle tips from TAMI

Hi everyone! My name is Tami the Turtle and I’m a brand new resident of Anna Maria Island.

Of course, I’ve been here before on vacation – everyone knows that Anna Maria is a family friendly spot to get away and during turtle season, up to five species make the trip ashore to hatch their eggs. Loggerheads are the most common, but you’ll also spot the rarer green turtle. From the beginning of May through October, we’re all sharing the beautiful gulf coast beaches.

Tami
Our newest member of the IRE family, Tami

But how can we get along and make sure to keep Anna Maria Island the favorite spot to spend family time? Whether it be in a shell or a fabulous vacation rental property? The answer is blissfully simple: education! Know your beach etiquette during turtle season and don’t be afraid to share it with others. After a while, it will become second nature and Anna Maria Island will be a perfect place to come with your family for all of us.

Turtle Tip #1: Don’t Let Us See the Light.

Turtle hatchlings are very sensitive to lighting. They become disoriented from man-made light sources and turned away from the beach, directly towards danger. Please don’t use a flashlight on the beach at night or any flash photography. Anna Maria Island doesn’t permit any driving on the beach, but do be aware of your headlights. Minimize any beachfront lighting at your property. Also please keep in mind that if you’re walking around at night during Turtle Season that baby turtles are easily stepped on in the dark. That’s certainly no way to make friends on the beach.

Turtle Tip #2: Too Adorable to Touch

We know, we know – us turtles have heard it a thousand times before. We’re the cutest things you ever did see. But please be sure to keep your distance if you spot any baby turtles or hatching females. Mama Turtles can have a hard time laying their eggs with people around and only a professional should handle misguided babies. Get in touch with AMI Turtle Watch at (941) 778-5638 should you ever spot a distressed or dead turtle. This includes any unmarked

Turtle Tip #3: Pick Up Your Toys

We know that you would never litter – the beaches around here are famously pristine and that helps keep the sands safe for natives, tourists, and turtles alike. But also be sure to fill in any holes from building sandcastles and double check that you have all the toys you brought down to the shore with you.

To learn more about us, get in touch with our friends over at the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch. Or visit a few of the patients in Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital. We’re all very lucky to be sharing this seven miles strip of paradise, so let’s work together to keep it the pride of Florida’s gulf coast.

I’m really looking forward to us being friends. Keep an eye out for me around Island Real Estate’s website and blogs.

Shells and kisses, Tami