JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Sea turtles are having a banner year.
State researchers say this year's sea turtle nesting season is boasting the second highest nest count on record.
There are 461 documented nests this year, compared to 427 last year.
More than 1,800 biologists and volunteers scanned 199 nesting sites across Florida.
Sea turtle populations are tracked by researchers at three National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) in Ponte Vedra Beach, Naples and Apalachicola.
"Researchers, staff and volunteers at Florida's three NERR's play an important role in protecting sea turtles and helping to ensure hatchlings have the best chance for survival," says Kevin Claridge, director of DEP's Coastal and Aquatic Management Areas. "Florida's NERRs are essential for the preservation of the state's unique coastal landscape and the species that live there."