n Fill in any holes or towers you build in the sand before leaving the beach. These can obstruct the mother turtle as she tries to find a nesting site and hatchlings when they make their way to the Gulf of Mexico.
n Similarly, remove beach chairs and trash from the beach.
n Eliminate lights that can be seen from the shore, which may disorient mother and baby sea turtles. Strategies might include repositioning light fixtures, planting native plants as a buffer or replacing conventional light bulbs with amber or red lights.
n If you are on the beach and you discover a mother sea turtle laying eggs, let her be. Shining lights at her, getting between her and the water or standing near her may cause her to return to the water without nesting.
n If you find any sea turtles in distress, call Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch at (941) 778-5638. For more information, visit www.islandturtles.com