Experience the Turtle Watch Event on Anna Maria Island 

Anna Maria wildlife can be a beautiful and spectacular thing to witness. There are so many different species for you to see while you’re out exploring that it can be hard to remember everything you’ve seen!

Anna Maria Island’s stretch of beautiful white sand beaches is the perfect place to spot some wild sea turtles. The beaches here are home to five different species of sea turtles!  

Sea turtle nesting season on Anna Maria Island is fast approaching, and it can be marvelous to witness. While the most popular breed of turtle here is the Loggerhead Turtle, you’ll never know what you’ll find when you stroll along the beach. There are many different varieties, and with the five other species out here, you’ll be able to spot them all as you watch them hatch from their eggs and march down to the Gulf. 

Make sure you follow these rules when you go out turtle watching. The last thing we want to do is to disturb or disrupt these beautiful creatures. Here are some Anna Maria Island things to do during the sea turtle nesting season. 

About Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Turtle nesting season starts on May 1st and stretches through October. Nests pop up throughout the sand during these times. These nests are both beautiful and essential, as they play a crucial role in helping the natural landscape and ecosystem. They help keep the beaches clean while helping to provide critical nutrients to the land. The turtles eat the seagrass, providing nutrients to the land that promote the growth of vegetation for other sea life.  

You can easily spot these turtle nests because the nests will be roped off, so visitors to the beaches do not disturb the nests. We must protect the turtle nests. Turtles are under constant threat, and many sea turtles are in danger of extinction. While their natural habitat can cause issues for the turtles to make it to the water, human interaction has been the leading cause of their threat. Boats, littering, and fishing nets all pose a threat to the turtles’ survival. When the hatchlings break out of their eggs, they are supposed to follow the brightest horizon of the moonlight to the sea. The bright lights from buildings, cars, and streetlights disorient the turtles and lead them away from the water. 

The Turtle Watch Event

On September 28th, 2022, there will be a Turtle Watch Event! The Turtle Watch Event started in 2008 to help raise money for conservation efforts for Sea Turtles. You can mingle with the locals and fellow tourists as you watch the babies hatch from their eggs and sprint towards the Gulf of Mexico. In the past, there have been live local music for the guests to enjoy while they all mingle together. 

The event will be held at Hurricane Hank’s. You will find a variety of appetizers and many drinks offered on their menu for you to enjoy. Many sponsors will help run the event, assisting in gathering the community and helping run the food, merchandise, and other areas of this Anna Maria Island event. You can expect a 50/50 raffle and live music for entertainment. There will also be merchandise on sale, the proceeds going to help the sea turtles. From 4-6 pm, there will be a 25% discount on all appetizers, and you can get a specially designed t-shirt with a $20 donation!

In the past, over $3,000 has been raised to help sea turtle preservation, and over 300 people have been in attendance. They are constantly planning on making the festival bigger and larger every year, so expect this year to be the biggest yet!

group of baby sea turtles
Photo from Shutterstock

How to Respect the Sea Turtles

Turtles mean a lot to the local community. Whether you are a local or a visitor, you should be mindful of how to protect these beautiful creatures. Partnered with the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring program, many efforts have been in place to help with these protective measures. By following these rules, we can ensure that the turtles have a safe trip to the water. While we can’t guarantee their survival in the water, we should help them get there for a better chance. All guests should follow these rules when they go to the beach.

Keep your outdoor lights minimum if you have a rental property on the shore. This will help prevent the disorientation of the turtles and ensure that they head to the water. 

Do not disturb the nests. If you take photos, the camera lights may bother the eggs. This can cause the sea turtles to hatch prematurely and kill the babies. 

Save the Turtle Watch phone number. If you spot any turtle in distress, call the Turtle Watch, and do not touch the turtle. The same applies if you see anyone harassing the turtles or acting poorly around the turtle nests. You can also contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to report anything. 

If there is a hole in the sand, fill it so that any hatchlings making their way to the Gulf do not get trapped. 

Clean up any litter you see, so the turtles do not get trapped in it. This also helps keep the beaches clean and beautiful!

Do not leave any objects on the beach, like a beach chair or beach towel. Much like litter, these can cause obstacles for sea turtles and prevent them from making it to the Gulf. 

Book Your Anna Maria Island Rental 

With the great selection of Anna Maria Island vacation rentals available from A Paradise Rentals, you can find exactly what you’re looking for at a great rate! You can find many Anna Maria Island rentals with a pool; some may even have a hot tub! You can have the convenience of having your pool and getting the relaxation you deserve in your own rental home. 

Plan Your Visit

Are you ready to book your Anna Maria Island vacation rental? Contact us to get your rental started today! Get ready to have the vacation of a lifetime!

Each rental property offers many amenities to make your stay the perfect home away from home. You can stay in your rental for as long as possible and make it feel like home. Our catalog has dozens of rentals, ensuring one that’s perfect for your stay. There are many different sizes of rentals as well. If you need an Anna Maria Island vacation rental for large families, you will find precisely what you’re looking for. You can find rentals that will fit anywhere from four to eight people. Some of our rentals are also pet friendly! You can bring your furry friends along and make your Anna Maria Island stay feel like home.