It was a good start to the first week of Sea Turtle Season—with an early arrival at Hideaway Beach. Sand Dollar Island also posted 3 new nests.
However, 9 false crawls were also reported by our team of Sea Turtle Monitors, Yesi Olvera and Kath Ebaugh. A false crawl happens when the female sea turtle emerges from the water but encounters a manmade object such as a beach chair left on the beach, or is disturbed by noise or people or does not like the conditions on the beach and returns to the water without laying eggs. The glow of artificial lights from condos can also discourage them from depositing eggs.
It is time to keep the beach clean, flat and dark from May 1st to October 31st. The City of Marco Island has had a Sea Turtle Lighting Protection Ordinance since November 2001—all lights visible from the beach are to be either covered, blocked, hooded, moved or turned off after 9 PM from May 1st to October 31st.