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Press Office
CONTACT: Jennifer Stan Diaz, DEP, (850) 245-2112
  Diana Eissing, GTM NERR, (904) 823-4500

DEP’s Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reports Mid-Season Record for Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nests

~Nests are in need of adoption through the Friends of the Reserve “Adopt a Nest” Program~

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 please visit: http://www.gtmnerr.org/adopt_a_nest_brochure.pdf

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 http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal


"This is nearly double the previous highest nesting season numbers and there are two more months in the 2010 nesting season."

Mike Shirley
GTM NERR Director



Last updated: July 11, 2011

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