In order to learn more about endangered sea turtles of the Florida coast, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute hosts two sea turtle monitoring programs. Outlined at myfwc.com, the Statewide Nesting Beach Survey (SNBS) and the Index Nesting Beach Survey study and track nesting patterns of the five species of sea turtles that nest along Florida’s beaches.
According to myfwc.com, “The Statewide Nesting Beach Survey (SNBS) program was initiated in 1979 under a cooperative agreement between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Its purpose is to document the total distribution, seasonality and abundance of sea turtle nesting in Florida.”
The SNBS surveys 190 areas along Florida’s coastline. In Collier County, this includes Barefoot Beach, Wiggins Pass, Vanderbilt Beach, Clam Pass Park, Parkshore Beach Naples Beach, Keewaydin Island North, Keewaydin Island South, Coconut Island, Sea Oat Island, Marco Island and Cape Romano.
Of these areas, Keewaydin and Wiggins Pass are a part of the Index Nesting Beach Survey (INBS). Only 33 areas of the 190 SNBS sites participate in the INBS.
“For the past 17 years, the Index Nesting Beach Survey (INBS) has coordinated a detailed monitoring program in conjunction with SNBS. This program was established to measure seasonal productivity, allowing comparisons between beaches and between years.
“The combined efforts of the SNBS and INBS programs not only allow for the management and evaluation of coastal development efforts, but also promote the recovery of marine turtles.”