Turtle Nesting Season Update
“For a terrible year (COVID-19,) it has been a very good sea turtle nesting season,” stated Wilma Katz of the Coastal Wildlife Club, which oversees the sea turtle nesting on Manasota Key and the northern tip of Knight Island. Careful and complex nesting data is collected, tabulated and sent to the state. As of September 11th, the last available date of complied data, on Manasota Key (Sarasota & Charlotte counties,) 4,630 Loggerhead nests, 154 Green turtle nests and two Kemps Ridley nests have been documented. False crawls (attempts by a sea turtle to nest but nesting is not achieved) number 7,715 for Loggerheads and 143 for Green turtles. Although Englewood has been brushed by two tropical storms this season (Cristobel and Sally,) only a few nests were lost due to wave action. The 2020 season started early with a few nests being found in April, (official nesting season start is May 1st,) and the number of Loggerhead nests is ahead of last year’s total making 2020 a very good year, although not a record. Green turtle nest count is lower but that is to be expected as nesting trends suggest that green sea turtles do not nest every year. Wilma applauds the large group of committed volunteers who patrol the beaches every morning to document sea turtle activity and who deal with the challenges of COVID-19, wearing masks and following other safety protocols. Most of the volunteers return year after year due to their love of sea turtles and desire to see their population grow. New volunteers enthusiastically embraced their duties, joining veteran volunteers, walking the beaches daily during sea turtle nesting season which runs through October 31st. There are still nests yet to hatch so it is important to shield all lights visible at the beach; even the red turtle safety approved lights should be shielded facing the beach. Learn more about the Coastal Wildlife Club and keep up with the latest sea turtle nesting statistics by following the club on their Facebook page.
Charlotte County Wins FRPA Award
The Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) named Charlotte County Community Services as the recipient of the 2020 Agency Excellence Award in Environmental Sustainability Award. This award recognizes the outstanding work done by Parks and Natural Resources to advance the park and recreation profession in the area of environmental sustainability. “Parks & Natural Resources is committed to enhancing the quality of life for our residents and visitors by providing safe, well maintained, accessible facilities for all users,” said Community Services Director Tommy Scott. “We are known for our pristine and unspoiled beauty, and we are thankful for our team that continues to enhance the beauty our community has to offer.” Acquisition and development of parks and natural areas, facilities, programming, administration and management, marketing and promotion, long and short-range planning, staff training and development, citizen involvement and community involvement are reviewed. More information on the Awards Program can be found at frpa.org/awards. For information, contact Mike Koenig at 235•5003 or Mike.Koenig@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.
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