MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) – Crowds gathered on Anna Maria Island to watch as staff and volunteers from Waterline Villas & Marina, Mainsail Vacation Rentals, and Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring released Esther, a loggerhead turtle, back in the gulf after successfully laying her eggs.
As island conservation partners, Waterline, Mainsail Vacation Rentals and AMITW sponsored Esther on the 15th Annual Turtle Tour, an annual “marathon” event created by the Sea Turtle Conservancy to track the migration of released sea turtles beaches in Costa Rica, Panama, Nevis, Anna Maria Island and other parts of Florida. Esther is named after competitive swimmer and movie star Esther Williams, who starred in the 1948 romantic comedy “On an Island with You,” which was filmed on Anna Maria Island.
Esther and the other Tour de Turtles competitors will be tracked for three months using satellite telemetry to record their location and distance traveled. Data will be uploaded to interactive maps on Tour de Turtles website. The turtle that completes the greatest distance during the three-month period will be announced as the winner of this year’s marathon.
“We are honored to be part of such a fun and educational event and wish Esther a safe trip,” said Lacey Lloyd-Jones, General Manager of Waterline Villas & Marina and Mainsail Vacation Rentals. “As an official community sponsor of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch, we actively support Executive Director Suzi Fox and her team with ongoing training and special guest programs for our guests.
Through their partnership with Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring, Waterline Villas & Marina and Mainsail Vacation Rentals are committed to advance the mission of a suitable habitat for sea turtles, shorebirds and the ecosystem of the island and its surrounding waters.
“We are thrilled to be returning to Anna Maria Island for the fifth time to track a Gulf Coast Loggerhead Sea Turtle. Esther is the first of our hard-shelled turtle competitors to be released this summer and we look forward to it. to see if it follows the path of previous Anna Maria Island turtles or charts its own course.Daniel Evans, Sea Turtle Conservancy biologist.
For more information or to make reservations, visit Waterline Villas & Marina at WaterlineResort.com or call (844) 863-9443. You can also connect with Waterline and follow Esther’s journey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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