Eliza Ann Sea Turtle Enters in Tour de Turtles
Waterline is situated on quaint Anna Maria Island along the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The island is relatively undeveloped (how refreshing) compared to the rest of Florida. This 7 mile stretch of shoreline is a sea turtle haven, with five species who call its sandy shores home during nesting season between May and October. The Loggerhead sea turtle is especially fond of this piece of Old Florida, being the most common nester on the island. Sadly, sea turtle populations are on the decline, no thanks to us humans. Waterline has teamed up with our community partners, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring, to help protect, track and monitor the sea turtles of AMI.
Volunteers from Mainsail Lodging & Development, Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club and AMITW combed the beaches throughout the wee hours of the night to find the perfect sea turtle who came to the shore to lay her eggs. At last, our weary volunteers spotted a gigantic sea turtle. Volunteers stayed with her throughout the night making sure her comfort was top priority. As the sun rose, workers searched for her eggs and gave her shell a thorough clean to apply the satellite tracker.
Meet Eliza Ann, a 35-year mother-to-be, Loggerhead sea turtle. She is named after Eliza Ann Plimsoll, the wife of the inventor of the waterline in 1876.Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club has sponsored the satellite that was attached to her shell and entered her into the Tour de Turtles, with the assistance of our partners at AMITW. The race is from August 1st to October 31st through the Sea Turtle Conservancy. For the past 10 years, Tour de Turtles has tracked which tagged turtle swims the farthest throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. We are all rooting for Eliza Ann, you can track her journey through here.
Not only will Eliza Ann (hopefully) be crowned the winner, but she will raise awareness for light pollution. As our beaches are developed, our shorelines are sprinkled with condos and hotels. The light pollution shining through guest rooms and lobbies distracts the newly hatched sea turtles from the moonlight and ocean. When the light pollution is strong, hatchlings never make it to the sea. Eliza Ann will remind our guests and fellow residents of AMI to close their curtains and blinds at night and turn off their outside lights.
Watch a video of Eliza Ann’s release and see her in action here!