JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- It's one of the more rare events to witness along our shores. "Over 100 baby turtles will boil out of the sand. It takes your breath away when you see that," said Bill McCollum.
And this year it has happened more than 100 times. "This year we had 105 nests, last year we only had 37. So the numbers flucuate up and down. But this is by far the most we've ever seen," he said.
Bob McCollum is one of 30 volunteers in Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol. For 25 years they have been scouring the sands and marking nests. "This (sea turtle nesting) has been going on for millions and millions of years," he said.
Sea Turtles and their nests have been protected in the U.S. since 1973. And people along our coasts have been doing their part. "The folks along our beach here are so cooperative in terms of keeping their lights turned down and doing everything we can to protect the nests from predators," he said.
The previous record in Jacksonville Beach was 62 nests. And McCollum hopes the record is broken again. "We are all just really excited that maybe what we are doing is helping a little bit," he said.
But he takes his cue from the turtles that crawl slowly on our shores and knows saving them won't be a sprint. It's a marathon.
Last year more than 68,000 loggerhead nests were dug on Florida beaches. Sea turtle nesting season ends on Halloween.