First 2 sea turtle nests of season found in Sarasota County

SARASOTA — The first two sea turtle nests of 2010 on Sarasota County beaches were found this week by Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Patrol, just in time for the start of nesting season.

Throughout the season — May 1 to Oct. 31 — Mote staff and more than 250 volunteers monitor nesting on 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches each day. Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol is in its 29th year.

Turtle patrollers found the year’s first loggerhead sea turtle nest May 4 near the north end of Venice, followed by another loggerhead nest on May 5 near the north end of Siesta Key.

Suzi Fox, director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch, said Thursday that volunteers had not yet located any nests on Manatee County beaches.