PONTE VEDRA BEACH - The Florida Department of Environmental
Protection’s (DEP) Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM
NERR) reports a mid-season record for the marine turtle nesting season for
loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Due to the increase in nests this
season, there are a large number of new nests that are in need of adoption.
Adopting a nest through the GTM Research Reserve Sea Turtle Patrol Program
allows biologists and volunteers to have adequate supplies such as gloves,
nesting stakes, ATV’s and GPS units.
“This is nearly double the previous highest nesting season numbers and there
are two more months in the 2010 nesting season,” said GTM NERR Director Mike
Shirley. “The turtles have kept us very busy already this season and we look
forward to working with volunteers to help us protect and study the nests.”
All adopting sponsors receive: a certificate of adoption with nest number,
location and turtle species, GTM NERR Adopt–A–Nest button, information about sea
turtles, and updates on the adopted nest, emergence date and number of
hatchlings, along with a final report on the overall season. To adopt a nest
Nesting season runs from May 1 through October 31. Historical nesting numbers
for loggerhead nests have averaged 72 nests per season. To date, there have been
230 loggerhead sea turtle nests documented on the GTM NERR’s beaches during the
2010 nesting season. With the increase in nests this season, biologists are
seeing an average of 30 nests per mile. The 2010 nesting season still in
progress and there is a chance that more nests will be laid.
The GTM Research Reserve Sea Turtle Patrol Program is a volunteer-based
effort to monitor and evaluate sea turtle nests on the Reserve’s beach. The
patrol members educate many people each year through direct contact on the beach
and through lecture presentations. Support from the community and beyond enable
volunteers to have the necessary supplies and equipment to protect and monitor
the large number of nests this year and next.
DEP’s Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA) manages three
National Estuarine Research Reserves in the state, 41 aquatic preserves, the
Coral Reef Conservation Program and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
CAMA’s programs and activities are designed to help Floridians better understand
and conserve the state’s resources through research, education and preservation.
For more information on CAMA, visit