With a holiday weekend in the middle of sea turtle nesting season, environmentalists are urging caution for those planning to enjoy their time at the beach.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that there has been a higher than average number of reported false crawls on area beaches. A false crawl is when a turtle comes onto the beach with the intention of laying eggs but returns to the water without nesting.
The Marine Turtle Protection Act stipulates that it's illegal to disturb marine turtles, eggs or nests.
The Naples Daily News reports that beachgoers should stay attentive to hatching nests.
In Anna Maria Island near Sarasota, five sea turtle nests were damaged, two Black Skimmer chicks were killed and another was injured due to vehicles on the beach.