LISTEN LIVE

Turtle Nesting Season Starts This Week

May 2, 2016

It's the time of year when wooden stakes and yellow plastic tape are boxing off sections of sand on area beaches.

Turtle nesting season begins this week.

Theresa Arenholz is with the non-profit Sea Turtle Trackers, a group that keeps tabs on sea turtle nests on St. Pete Beach and Shell Key. She said a big hazard for turtles comes from careless beachgoers.

"Well, litter,” Arenholz said. “It's a very sad thing, but beach litter ends up, of course, out into the ocean. Many turtles die from ingesting plastics. The best thing that people can do to help the sea turtles is top leave the beach clean, flat and dark."

Arenholz said darkness is important for turtles because artificial light can cause them to become disoriented and that could affect nesting.

Female turtles have been laying eggs in higher numbers since 2012.