With Tropical Storm Marco just off the coast of Louisiana and Tropical Storm Laura not far behind, the Gulf of Mexico is choppy right now. WINK News Environmental Reporter Stephanie Byrne takes you to Sanibel Island where researchers are using these disturbances in the gulf to test the strength of sea turtle nests.
Earlier Monday morning things started off sunny and calm, but quickly turned into rain showers and gusty winds. But it’s weather like this that inspires the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation to check up on sea turtle nests.
In June, WINK News joined the team as they surveyed, since Tropical Storm Cristobal had just moved through the gulf.
While they do daily research on nests, they are especially interested in the high tides that come with storms like Laura and Marco.
Despite storms like these, SCCF is reporting that they’re in the middle of a record-breaking Loggerhead nesting season on Sanibel, after already breaking the Captiva record earlier in the season.
Since Laura has not yet passed, it is still too early to tell the outcome of the nests’ durability. However, researchers will be out on Sanibel, clipboards in hand, in hopes that these nests are resilient.
SCCF has reported 659 loggerheads on Sanibel so far this year, ten more than the record from 2017. On Captiva, there have been 265, which has already broken the 194 record from 2016.