In positive news for those who are working to ensure the survival of sea turtles throughout the Keys, the turtle nests in the region from Longboat Key to Venice witnessed a record-breaking number of clutches in 2016. As reported by Mote Marine Laboratory's Sea Patrol, which began its monitoring operations in early May and finished at the end of October, there were some 4,588 total nests, each of which typically contains between 50 to 100 eggs. This number was approximately double those recorded in 2015, with Casey Key and Longboat Key epicenters of a resurgent sea turtle population.
Siesta Key witnessed an increase from 398 to 476 turtle nests, with one outlying loggerhead turtle nest discovered on the island in early December, weeks after the nesting season officially ended. The Sea Turtle Conservancy reported that only one hatchling ultimately survived in releasable condition from this unusually late-occurring nest.