MANATEE -- Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch employees and volunteers have relocated about 20 nests to dry areas on Coquina Beach.
Before the tropical storm blew through, there were an estimated 180 nests on Anna Maria Island, much more than the average 50 for this time of year.
Nests have gone unmonitored for two days due to weather conditions, Director Suzi Fox said. The number of existing nests is unknown.
"I just guess we have half of the eggs unmarked," Fox said. "I'd say we still have 100 nests out there."
Some of the nests are believed to have washed away in the storm, others buried deep with sand. In some places, only the top 6 inches of the 30-inch markers are visible.
"There are definitely nests," she said. "We may have the same amount we started with except they aren't marked. People are going to have to be much more careful and cautious of where they're stepping."
Over the next few days, volunteers will use triangulation stakes in the dunes to remark nests, Fox said.
If anyone finds displaced eggs, Fox said they should be bucketed without water and Turtle Watch should be contacted.
And there may be a surge in nesting as a result of Tropical Storm Debby.
"The mothers have been held offshore for three or four days and they need to nest," Fox said. "I would not be surprised to see a plethora of nesting in the next week."
To accommodate turtles coming ashore, lights near the beach should be turned off or shielded, she said.
Uplifted stakes should be taken to City Hall.
Anyone finding nests should call Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch at 941-778-5638 or 248-982-5500.
Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center Inc., is busy working with birds and other displaced animals from the storm.
Black skimmers, herons and other baby birds have been brought to the center, said curator Gail Straight.
"Most of them are doing OK," Straight said. "We lost a few. They were so covered in sand and thrown so far. You can expect that you're going to lose some."
The birds and other animals are eating well, she said.
Straight said about 25 black skimmers are being kept at the center. Several rabbits were also brought in Monday night.
"We probably have a couple of hundred animals here, but not all came in from the storm," she said. "They just keep coming."
To contact the wildlife center, call 941-778-6324.
"Everybody is just trying to be so helpful," Fox said. "Thank goodness for the public."
Elizabeth Johnson, Herald law enforcement reporter can be reached at 941-745-7041. Follow her on Twitter@EJohnsonBHcrime.