Sunday, June 24, 2018
Events

Sea turtle season starts with awareness day at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

CLEARWATER — The spring breakers are gone and soon the beaches will be inundated with families and other summer visitors, including hordes of tiny, imperiled loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings.

After breaking out of their ping-pong-size egg shells, they will spend a few days in their sandy nests, then make a run for the foamy surf, most likely at night.

Though each sea turtle averages about 100 eggs per clutch, the odds of long-term survival are against these creatures.

Find out how you can help Saturday, as the Clearwater Marine Aquarium hosts its second annual Sea Turtle Awareness Day at the Pier 60 Pavilion from 9 a.m. until noon.

This year's theme is "Keep the Beach Dark."

Lisa Oliver, the aquarium's director of education, said the purpose is to teach good beach etiquette and raise awareness of the hazards the hatchlings and nesting females face during the nesting season, which lasts from May to October.

"We're encouraging everyone to turn off artificial lights and keep the beach dark, clear of obstacles and free of debris," Oliver said.

Nature's compass for these hatchlings is moonlight, but artificial lights such as those that come from hotel rooms and restaurants can lure them in the wrong direction, where they may get crushed in traffic or fall into storm drains. Beach debris, sand castles and towels are like mountains to climb. Hollows in the sand from castle-building activities can entrap them. They can become disoriented, dehydrated, exhausted or food for birds and ghost crabs.

Nesting females face similar hazards that may prevent them from depositing eggs, resulting in a "false crawl."

Residents and tourists are encouraged to come on out, help pick up beach trash, then pick up some information from the aquarium's Sea Turtle Nesting Patrol and other local environmental and rescue organizations.

Stay for a beach yoga class, free food, prizes and giveaways.

The youngsters can learn all about sea turtles, too, with games and readings by David Kinne, aquarium staffer and author of the children's book, Captain Tortuga and the Treasure of Sand Key.

And consider becoming a volunteer with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

"We have teams monitoring 26 miles of beaches in Pinellas during the entire nesting season," Oliver said. "They are there in the mornings and evenings making sure the hatchlings can make it safely into the water."

If you happen to run across a turtle nest that is unmarked, contact the Clearwater Marine Aquarium at (727) 441-1790.

Reach Terri Bryce Reeves at [email protected] with your Diversions feature ideas.

     
Comments
See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

When Alicia Wolding joined Datz as the new executive pastry chef last year her hair was rainbow — pretty much the whole ROY G BIV spectrum in cascading tresses. More recently, it’s bright purple, somewhere between iris and lilac. This is the color yo...
Published: 06/22/18
St. Petersburg couple drive a minivan, volunteer at church and were CIA spies

St. Petersburg couple drive a minivan, volunteer at church and were CIA spies

What's it like to start a family when you're working for the CIA? Jihi and Andrew Bustamante know.
Published: 06/22/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 23

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 23

St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride’s popular parade has moved to downtown St. Petersburg’s scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at...
Published: 06/22/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24

Summer Classic Movie Series: See 1962’s To Kill a Mockingbird. 3 p.m., Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. $10, $7 members. (813) 274-8982; tampatheatre.org.St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue’s Grand Central Distr...
Published: 06/22/18
Review: Look inside the tent of a Gibsonton-based sideshow in Tessa Fontaine’s memoir ‘The Electric Woman’

Review: Look inside the tent of a Gibsonton-based sideshow in Tessa Fontaine’s memoir ‘The Electric Woman’

Grief can unhinge us, disconnect us from our daily lives, make us do things we’ve never done. Grief made Tessa Fontaine run away and join the circus.To be more exact, the sideshow: World of Wonders, the last traditional traveling sideshow in the coun...
Published: 06/21/18
Luke Bryan talks love, acceptance and his growing depth before Tampa stop

Luke Bryan talks love, acceptance and his growing depth before Tampa stop

It’s been awhile since Luke Bryan crashed our party. The country music superstar who has racked up awards hasn’t blessed us ’round these parts in awhile. Bryan last played Tampa back in 2015. "We played many multiple nights at the (MidFlorida Credit ...
Published: 06/21/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 22

Daryl Hall and John Oates with Train : The legendary number-one selling duo and Train perform full sets and a joint set. Kandace Springs opens. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $45.75-$125. (813) 301-2500; amaliearena.com.St. Pete ...
Published: 06/21/18
Three movies are in the works about Hulk Hogan and Gawker. Will they remember who’s the victim?

Three movies are in the works about Hulk Hogan and Gawker. Will they remember who’s the victim?

Sonny BunchAccording to Vulture, there are three separate movies in the works about the downfall of the New York-based gossip blog Gawker.One is based on the book Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue; it will be a...
Published: 06/21/18
Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Last year’s St. Pete Pride went smoothly, despite some behind-the-scenes drama involving the decision to relocate the parade to the downtown waterfront, rather than the Grand Central District, where it had traditionally been held. After all, the Gran...
Published: 06/21/18
Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Pińa Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Pińa Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

"Hooray, it’s summer!" exclaimed no Floridians. But if it’s summer proper and not just the usual year-round weather, you might as well embrace the heat and humidity with a trip to the beach, accompanied by some suitably refreshing beers. While you’r...
Published: 06/21/18