Each year from May to October, volunteers head out to our beaches on sea turtle patrol. They’re looking for signs that the turtles have begun to nest and need protection. It’s a serious responsibility, as Sarasota is home to the most dense loggerhead sea turtle nesting on the Gulf Coast. The occasional green sea turtle nests on our beaches as well.
Once a nest has been identified, it is marked with orange flagging tape. It is hoped the identification will dissuade beachgoers from disturbing the nest and encourage nearby residents to turn bright lights off at night. This is to ensure that little hatchlings who come out of their nest at night don’t get disoriented and head inland instead of to the Gulf.
The Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Laboratory at Mote Marine spearheads the monitoring process. Over 35 miles of beaches throughout Sarasota County are under the purview of the program. In 2018, Mote reported 3,151 nests between Longboat Key and Venice.
Deb Lawless is a chalk artist and volunteer, being an integral part of the Photography team in the Sarasota Chalk Festival in 2018 and chalk artist in 2016-2017. While continuing to look for ways to create something that brings emotions or vision to others, she strives to be a support to others through her various arts and volunteering.
"Art is many things for me, sometimes it soothes or energizes me, other times it is a way for me to express emotions and keep balance in my life." Inspired by her mother, who told her it's ok to be different and to embrace it, Deb believes in the need to view life and art from different angles.
Nanette Crist is a retired lawyer who began blogging when she moved to Florida. It was an online diary of sorts, a way to keep track of her new life. It was also a good way to share her discoveries with friends and family outside the area. Over time, Nanette realized her writing makes her experience the world differently. She keeps an eye out for interesting things to write about and then delves more deeply into them as she crafts her words. It's all about telling the story. Nanette's blog can be found at http://nanettesnewlife.blogspot.com.