On May 15th at approximately 9:00pm Ahtna Marine and Construction, the  City’s contractor working on the Tigertail Lagoon/Sand Dollar Island restoration project, drove  an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) over a marked potential sea turtle nest. City officials were alerted  at approximately 8:00am on May 16th and immediately issued a stop work order for all  construction work at this location. While the work ceased, a damage assessment was done at  the nesting area and the contractor developed an adaptive management plan for all future  work. Construction work resumed at approximately 3:00pm after a meeting between the  contractor, City officials, County officials, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection  (DEP), and representatives from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).  All stakeholders agreed that the best next steps are to finish the project with increased  oversight and complete the work as quickly as possible.  

Part of the contractor’s adaptive management plan includes suspending all nighttime operations and providing additional sea turtle nesting training to all employees working on  site. Day time operations will continue after receiving clearance each day from the County’s  sea turtle monitors. Equipment and obstructions must be removed at the end of each day to  facilitate nesting. Additionally, the driver of the ATV was relieved of his duties following the incident.  

The nesting area that was struck by the ATV had been cordoned off by the Collier County sea turtle monitoring team and identified as a “potential nest.” The monitoring team had conducted hand digging to identify the presence of eggs and no eggs were seen, however, the  area was cordoned off to alert the work crew of a potential nesting site. FWC is conducting an  investigation regarding this incident. 

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