Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Beach Clean-up and Wildlife Rescue

Sea Turtle Weekly Update

Photos by Maria Lamb | Thanks to the MICA sponsored beach clean-up at Residents Beach! Volunteers picked up about 50 pounds of assorted trash.

Kudos to Marco Island Civic Association (MICA) for sponsoring a beach clean-up on October 10th from the Residents Beach boardwalk to points North and South. It was a community event and a big thank you to all 40+ beach volunteers along with a group of students from Marco Island Academy’s Key Club and Honor Society.  

The Love your Beach Clean-up picked up about 50 pounds of assorted trash. Most of the items fall under the category of “chokables.” Small plastic pieces such as bottle caps, plastic wrappersstrawsdiscarded maskswipes, along with plastic water bottles and beer cans. A bagful of plastic beach toys were also retrieved from the beach. These were cleaned and added to MICA’s big plastic toy chest for beachgoers with families to use for the day.

Photo by Brittany | Piersma Royal Tern with a hook embedded in its wings was also brought to von Arx Wildlife Hospital.

Photos by Maria Lamb | An injured Coopers Hawk was captured and brought to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. If you find any injured wildlife on the beach, please call 239-262-2273.

New to The Beach This Week 

A burrowing owl was spotted digging a burrow on the beach slightly North of Residents Beach. Jean Hall, volunteer for the Marco Owl Watch Program, added a t-perch and PVC pipe and rope perimeter posting.  

Burrowing owls prefer open space to nest and to this particular owl, the beach provided the open space with great oceanfront views. In Marco, they often dig on vacant lots but these are harder to come by.  

NOTE: Burrowing owls AND their burrows are both protected by state law. A permit is required to relocate a burrow.  

According to Yesenia Olvera of the Sea Turtle Watchwe only have a few more nests on the beach before the end of the season and once all reports are tabulated, the County will put together a final report. 

Injured Wildlife 

While the volunteers were busy picking up trash, news of a distressed hawk was reported by the staff of Marco Island Watersports who called the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.  

A Royal Tern was hooked by its wing by a recreational fisherman and was taken to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. Last week, a Black Skimmer was not so lucky. If you find any injured wildlife on the beach, please call 239-262-2273. 

Next Beach Clean-Up: Saturday, November 7th from 8 – 10 AM at South Beach. Sponsored by Marco Island’s Womans Club.

Photos by Maria Lamb | New resident at the beach, a Burrowing Owl to the north of Residents Beach. Burrowing Owls and their burrows are both protected under State Law and by Marco’s Protected Species Ordinance.


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