Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission offers tips on how you can protect nesting sea turtles on the beach this holiday weekend.
There have been 231 turtle nests laid and 312 false crawls on Anna Maria Island in 2015, according to figures from Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch.
Those living near nesting spots should make sure they keep lights off or curtains drawn on their residences, and nighttime beachgoers should not use flashlights. Lights confuse the turtles, who use the moonlight to find their way to the Gulf.
Sandcastles should be knocked down at night and holes should be filled in.
People who see nesting sea turtles should keep their distance. AMI Turtle Watch designates existing nests with stakes, and those should not be disturbed.