FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - Florida remains under a state of emergency because of the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; but it comes as sea turtle nesting season begins. Now, environmentalists and beachgoers alike are worried about the affect the oil could have on the turtles.
"I think it's horrible," said beachgoer Amanda Harvey. "I'm a big marine life person."
It's why Harvey is keeping an eye on what's happening just to the west: an oil slick that's swelled from earlier estimates, threatening to approach the area she calls paradise.
"I guess in Louisiana, they said it's already affecting a lot of birds, a lot of birds are already dying. Imagine what it's gonna do for the turtles and everything else," Harvey said.
All lights facing the beach need to be turned off to protect sea turtles. Environmentalists say the Loggerhead turtles get disoriented and sometimes lost if they follow the light!
As you spend your days on the beach, you are allowed to dig and you are allowed to make the sand castles. But the only requirement is that you fill in all the holes because they can pose problems for the turtles.
The group Turtle Time Incorporated says they've actually seen nesting sea turtles get stuck in holes. It's also important to make sure sand patterns like these people are digging are smoothed out to make an easy path for them.
It's still exciting to Amanda Harvey, as long as the oil slick stays away from the coast of Florida and away from the sea turtles.
"I wouldn't even know what to think," Harvey said. "It'd be really scary."
If the spill does reach the coast, Audubon of Florida is asking people to help move beach debris above the high water line to make cleaning oil that much easier.