New effective method to save baby sea turtles
The daily storms began to roll onto Holmes Beach on Friday.
Stacie Zumia from Crystal Springs was on the beach when something caught her eye.
"They were rolling around in the surf and some of them were on the sand," she told FOX 13.
Her friends Taylor Sekulski and Kyle McManus also saw the same sight."We wanted to get as many as we could," said Sekulski.
The three had just passed a sea turtle nest on Holmes Beach. The storms kicked up the surf and began to destroy the nest. The trio jumped in to help along with other beach goers.
"We waited outside of the stakes to kind of cup them so they could fall back into us," McManus explained.
They collected bags and bags full of eggs. Saving each one from the wrath of the sea. They saved 67 eggs and called the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch.
"Our point is to have a place where the citizens can bring the turtles so they can be watched and supervised and be put back in a healthy atmosphere when the time is right by the turtle watch people," Chief William Tokajer added.
It has been working and is a way for the Turtle Watch to keep their hatchlings safe. High winds and waves have made it difficult for the baby turtles to get out to sea. Then there is the high surf.
"We have had many wash overs," said Glenn Wiseman with the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch.
In the last week and a half the Turtle Watch has lost about 10 to 15 nests on Anna Maria Island.
"The turtles are out there. They could be from Longboat Key or up north of us south of us what happens in the surf gets so rough they get washed back and they are tired or weak," said Wiseman.
The group hopes people will pitch in like Zumiga and her friends to help the newborn turtles find safety.
"Hopefully they will make it out so sea," said Zumiga.
The Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch will take turtles and eggs that need attention to MOTE Marine Laboratory. All other turtles that are deemed healthy to be released will be put back in the water.