Sea turtles are one of the oldest creatures on Earth and have remained undisturbed for 110 million years until human activity threatened their existence. Of the seven species of sea turtles in the world, all of them are listed as vulnerable or endangered. But here, sea turtles are nesting on beaches in record numbers. Collier County Parks and Recreation cites 312 more nests in the county than last year, and Conservancy of Southwest Florida (which celebrates 40 years of their monitoring program next year) reported their biggest nesting season on Keewaydin Island. “Those hatchlings we protected 20-30 years ago are now coming back as adults to lay eggs,” the Conservancy’s Kathy Worley says. In Lee County, Turtle Time, an organization focused on sea turtle conservation, reports 22 more nests than in 2021 on Fort Myers Beach. “We are reaping the rewards of years of nest protection,” Kathy says.