Make us your home page
Instagram

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 treeves@tampabay.rr.com with your Diversions feature ideas.

>>IF YOU GO

Clearwater Marine Aquarium's second annual Sea Turtle Awareness Day

When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Where: Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach

Bring: Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and protective shoes

Getting there: The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is providing free trolley service from Winter's Dolphin Tale Adventure, 300 Cleveland St., to Pier 60 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for event participants.

Registration: Advanced registration is recommended. Participants can sign up at www.seewinter.com/

turtleawareness

Info: (727) 441-1790

. IF YOU GO

Clearwater Marine Aquarium's second annual Sea Turtle Awareness Day

When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Where: Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach

Bring: Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and protective shoes

Getting there: The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is providing free trolley service from Winter's Dolphin Tale Adventure, 300 Cleveland St., to Pier 60 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for event participants.

Registration: Advanced registration is recommended. Participants can sign up at www.seewinter.com/

turtleawareness

Info: (727) 441-1790

Sea turtle season starts with awareness day at Clearwater Marine Aquarium 05/05/16 [Last modified: Thursday, May 5, 2016 2:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  2. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  3. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador

    Blogs

    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves 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 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]