Our primary work consists of sea turtle nest monitoring, sea turtle stranding response, conservation, education, and outreach. Our goal is to mitigate the negative impacts of intensive human use of sea turtle habitat, and with as little intervention as possible, provide a natural experience for the reproduction of turtles on our beaches. We preach the gospel of "Clean, Dark, and Flat", educating locals and visitors on the importance of maintaining our beach as nature intended.
Every day around dawn during Nesting Season (April through October), we conduct our turtle patrols on Long Key (St. Pete Beach), Shell Key, and Outback Key. In July, we start our nighttime nest monitoring to ensure that the hatchlings make it safely to the water. We collect data for Florida Fish & Wildlife Commision.
Many of our volunteers use the early morning turtle patrols as a time to clean the beach. Every day during season we spend some time on beach cleanup, but we also organize several larger beach cleanup events throughout the year. Our volunteers are encouraged to log their data into the "Ocean Swell" App, made available by the Ocean Conservancy to keep a record of trash and recyclables collected.
Every Tuesday we do an informal educational session. We also participate in many local events such as St. Pete Earth Day, Surfers for Autism, World Oceans Day, and the Great American Teach-In. We also visit schools and community groups to spread the sea turle love.
Sea Turtle Trackers can't do it alone. We partner with other groups in efforts to support our mission. Keep Pinellas Beautiful provides great support for our beach cleanups, and we've joined with several other local groups in the Suncoast Rise Above Plastics Coalition.