The numbers are even worse than originally feared.
Sea turtle nesting season began May 1 with banner-year numbers, but nature dealt area wildlife a major setback when slow-moving Tropical Storm Debby churned for days in the Gulf in late June.
Turtle patrollers now say the storm washed out 95 percent of the nests laid on Gulf beaches from Englewood north to Longboat Key. Florida’s east coast generally sees larger numbers of loggerhead nests, but Manasota Key and surrounding barrier islands are considered the richest nesting grounds on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
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