Beach renourishment commences July 8 on the shore at 77th Street in Holmes Beach. AMITW is relocating sea turtle nests from the area to hand-dug nests in Anna Maria to protect eggs and hatchlings from being buried by the sand that is pumped ashore. Chris-Ann Allen / The Anna Maria Islander

FL - Sea Turtle Activity Spikes Around Beach Renourishment

The beaches are getting bigger. And so is the habitat.

Beaches undergoing renourishment this summer will benefit nesting sea turtles in future years.

However, this year, sea turtles nesting on Anna Maria Island and the organization that helps protect them must circumvent large dredging equipment that is pumping sand onto the beach from offshore sea beds.

Following a slight decline in daily nesting numbers, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring executive director Suzi Fox said six loggerheads nested overnight July 8, just outside of the renourishment construction zone near 77th Street in Holmes Beach, the first night of the project.

“We thought they’d stay clear of it, but they were all around the renourishment area,” Fox said, adding that another turtle crawled into the fenced construction zone, but did not nest.

She said the crew stopped all activities to watch the turtle, before it returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

Read more.