Last year there was a record number of 55 sea turtle nests in Panama City Beach. This year, there is a new record, 56 nests. But there could have been more.
Some were lost to the storm surge that passed through the area no long ago. Two more were lost to total wash out. Eight were lost to the Tropical Storm Cindy. The hope is that the remaining nests will be successful.
According to a Turtle Watch official, the reason for the increase in sea turtle nests is because sea turtles return to the area they were hatched to lay their eggs.
The hope is that the efforts of both the community and turtle watch officials will continue to work. After all, it takes 25-30 years for a turtle to reach its maturity, to reproduce. So what we’re seeing now is the results of our work from 25-30 years ago. Hopefully it will keep increasing each year with continued effort.
It won\’t be long until the eggs hatch.
Until then locals and visitors alike will just have to observe the sea turtle nests from a distance. Panama City Beach Turtle Watch officials warn if you encounter a nesting sea turtle or a hatchling please keep in mind they\’re sensitive to light and stay back at least 30 feet.