Have you ever walked along the shores of Sanibel and noticed one of these?
These staked-off sections are where sea turtles have made their nests! As part of our ongoing efforts to be stewards of the environment, the Island Inn has partnered with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) in their ‘Adopt-a-Beach’ program to sponsor our 550ft portion of Sanibel Island’s shell-strewn beach. This program gives businesses, residents and visitors the opportunity to learn about and actively participate in protecting wildlife and conserving coastal resources on Sanibel and Captiva.
Every year in late spring, loggerhead sea turtles arrive on Sanibel and Captiva for the nesting season. The SCCF Sea Turtle Program surveys 18 miles of beach, from the Sanibel lighthouse to Redfish Pass, every morning from April – October. Over 100 volunteers help with the daily search for tracks that the sea turtle left behind when she emerged from the sea the night before. If it is determined that the turtle successfully laid eggs, the nest is watched over until the eggs hatch and there are signs of the hatchlings crawling to the Gulf. After the nests hatch they are evaluated to determine the number of hatchlings that successfully emerged.
Collectively, this turtle season on Sanibel and Captiva, there were 848 total nests (816 loggerheads and 32 green turtles) which yielded the highest ever hatchling-to-sea counts! Over 48,400 hatchlings emerged on Sanibel and Captiva. The beach at the Island Inn was home to 10 Loggerhead nests and 1 green sea turtle nest. Of which, there were 853 Loggerhead hatchlings and 48 Green sea turtle hatchlings!
In addition to nest protection activities, program staff also educate the public about the threats that sea turtles face, respond to live and dead sea turtles that wash up on the beach, participate in collaborative research projects, and help monitor beach construction projects.
When you stay at the Island Inn, you can take comfort in knowing that you’ve contributed to protecting and preserving the future of sea turtles on Sanibel and Captiva Island’s. Ready to book? Click here & start packing your bags!
For more information or to learn about sea turtles and conservation efforts during your next Sanibel vacation with us, check out the SCCF calendar of events with activities and education opportunities taking place all year long. You can also visit the 2,800 sq.ft. SCCF Marine Lab laboratory, located on the bay at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, in the Tarpon Bay Recreation Area.