Sea Turtle Esther released as part of the 15th Annual Tour de Turtles

Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce
Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce(Anna Maria Island)
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 4:16 PM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Crowds gathered on Anna Maria Island to watch as staff and volunteers from Waterline Villas & Marina, Mainsail Vacation Rentals, and Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring released Esther, a loggerhead turtle, back into the gulf after she successfully laid her eggs.

As island conservation partners, Waterline, Mainsail Vacation Rentals and AMITW sponsored Esther in the 15th Annual Tour de Turtles, a yearly “marathon” event created by the Sea Turtle Conservancy to track the migration of sea turtles released from beaches in Costa Rica, Panama, Nevis, Anna Maria Island and other parts of Florida. Esther is named after competitive swimmer and movie star Esther Williams, who stared in the 1948 romantic comedy “On an Island with You,” which was filmed on Anna Maria Island.

Esther and the other Tour de Turtles competitors will be tracked for three months using satellite telemetry to record their location and distance travelled. The data will be uploaded to interactive maps on the Tour de Turtles website. The turtle that travels the greatest distance over the three-month period will be announced as the winner of this year’s marathon.

“We’re honored to be a part of such a fun and educational event and wish Esther a safe journey,” said Lacey Lloyd-Jones, area general manager for Waterline Villas & Marina and Mainsail Vacation Rentals. “As the official community sponsor of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch, we’re actively supporting Executive Director Suzi Fox and her team with continuing education and special guest programs for our guests.

Through their partnership with Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring, Waterline Villas & Marina and Mainsail Vacation Rentals is committed to advancing the mission of a suitable habitat for sea turtles, shorebirds and the ecosystem of the island and its surrounding waters.

“We are excited to return to Anna Maria Island for a fifth time to track a loggerhead turtle from the Gulf Coast. Esther is the first of our hard-shell turtle competitors to be released this summer and we look forward to seeing if she follows the path of previous turtles from Anna Maria Island or charts her own course.” Dr. Daniel Evans, Sea Turtle Conservancy Biologist.

For more information or to make reservations, visit Waterline Villas & Marina at or call (844) 863-9443. You can also connect with Waterline and follow Esther’s journey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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