Many sea turtle nests destroyed by TS Colin

- Hundreds of sea turtle nests may have been lost after Tropical Storm Colin.

One of the hardest-hit areas was Manasota Beach in Sarasota County, and Florida Fish and Wildlife officers were totaling up just how many nests feel victim to the storm.  

Things had been looking up for the Coastal Wildlife Turtle Watch volunteers. Hundreds of turtle stakes lined the beach, but then Tropical Storm Colin moved in and nearly all signs of the nests disappeared.

"My particular zones that I do, we lost every stake. We have 130 nests and we lost the stakes for 130 nests," said John Leon.

Volunteer John Leon couldn't do much as the tides rose and the nests began to disappear. He could only rely on his notes.

"We keep a list of the nests in the row. We make sure the sequence list are there so we can find nests after the storm," he said.

Volunteers anxiously waited until they could go back and take a look at the beach .

"There is not much we can do. We come out the next day, we see what happens, we try to evaluate everything," said Zoe Bass.

Bass is the president of Coastal Wildlife Club. She said, before Tropical Storm Colin, there were nearly 800 nests in the area. She believes almost 80-percent of those nests were destroyed. 

She was hopeful not all were gone, adding, just because the stakes washed away, doesn't mean the eggs went with them. 

When it's time for the eggs to hatch, more sea turtles than expected may appear from under the sand.

"It is a big loss, but it's early in the season, and really, we haven't reached their peak. They will continue to nest till mid August," said Bass.

There are already a few good signs. Just days after Colin moved out, new nests began to pop up. Volunteers are making sure those are marked off and documented.

In one day, six new nests were confirmed and nearly a dozen crawls were reported.

"We might still have a good nesting season and that's what we are hoping for," Leon said. "Hopefully we won't have any more storms. We will keep our fingers crossed."

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