Quite a bit of buzz was generated on June 23 by the discovery of a sea turtle nest near Beach Access 2 on North Beach Road.
Sarasota County Communications Department staff members indicated that they had received calls about whether county workers would install protective turtle netting in the area.
The Communications Department advisory explained, “Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium (Mote) holds several permits related to sea turtles,” as authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. “These permits give Mote the authority to conduct nesting surveys, mark, protect, or relocate sea turtle nests, among other activities authorized by the state. The county does not hold these same permits.”
As it turned out, Mote did relocate that nest. That action took place the same day the nest was discovered, Stephannie Kettle, Mote’s public relations manager, said.
The county Communications Department advisory did provide details that the general public may not know about sea turtle protection. It explained that Sarasota County, Mote, and Conservation Commission each has different responsibilities when it comes to sea turtles.
“When deemed appropriate, and in coordination with Mote and with the relevant state authorizations, the county Public Works staff has installed protective screening within the public Beach Road right of way,” the advisory continued.
“In addition, the Sarasota County Marine Turtle Protection Ordinance (MTPO) was adopted in 1997 to protect nesting and hatching sea turtles from artificial light and obstructions on the beach. The MTPO aims at limiting obstructions on the nesting beach to reduce impacts to nesting, hatchlings, and adult turtles.”