Loggerhead Week at Sanibel Sea School’s Sundial Beach Resort & Spa Campus was all about one of Sanibel’s most beloved and endangered creatures - the loggerhead sea turtle. Campers learned about the life cycle, behavior, and feeding habits of these and other sea turtle species, and how humans can help protect them.
Loggerheads have some of the strongest crushing jaws in the animal kingdom, so participants played “Crush that object!” to understand how much force is required to crush loggerhead food items like bivalves, conchs, and barnacles. Campers also ran through a sea turtle hatchling obstacle course, overcoming challenges designed to represent predators, swimming long distances, and finding food and shelter. Because sea turtles (especially the leatherback species) often confuse plastic bags with their favorite food, jellyfish, we also decorated and handed out turtle-friendly reusable canvas bags to resort guests.
The Loggerhead Week group was lucky to encounter Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation volunteers conducting a sea turtle nest inventory on the beach one morning. The volunteers explained that they count the hatched and unhatched eggs to determine the nest’s success rate, and release any live hatchlings that remain in the nest. This was a highlight of the week for campers, and they were excited to have their questions answered by our local sea turtle experts.
As usual, participants also surfed, snorkeled, and made ocean-inspired art from natural materials. Sanibel Sea School is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. To learn more, visit sanibelseaschool.org.