SCCF begins marking sea turtle nests on beaches as nesting season begins; why it’s important

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo
Published: Updated:
The first loggerhead sea turtle nest of the 2022 season on Sanibel. (Credit: Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation)

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation is working to save even the smallest creatures by getting its teams of “Turtle taggers” ready, which help in tracking the turtles on our islands.

Get ready to see a lot more loggerhead sea turtle nest markings in the sand along our beaches.

The SCCF has marked its first nest of the season and these tiny creatures have a way of getting people egg-sited.

Kelly Sloan is the coastal wildlife director with SCCF. She said, “Once you’ve seen your first sea turtle, you kind of get hooked.”

Sea turtles are either threatened or endangered and one reason why their population is declining is humans, Sloan says.

So her team’s job is to protect every turtle’s nest from beachgoers.

“We are out on the beach every night from sunset to sunrise looking for nesting females,” Sloan explained. “And when we find one, we’ll put flipper tags in our front flippers and a pet tag. Also in the front right flipper, which is just like a microchip.”

The conservation foundation monitors 18 miles of beach on Sanibel and Captiva.

Sloan said beachgoers can go from being part of the problem to part of the solution. “When you go to the beach, just remember to fill in your holes at the end of the day, remove your furniture that could trap turtles when they come up at night, and remove the trash because that could float out to sea or attract predators. And the big thing is to remember to keep the beach dark for nesting turtles.”

With no manmade visible light, the sea turtle’s instincts will guide them safely toward the moon and out to the Gulf of Mexico.

Sea turtle nesting season runs until the end of October.

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation expects to protect between 800-and 900 nests.

Follow more tips on how to help save the creatures at

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