Tropical Storm Isaac was a gentle breeze passing by Gasparilla Island Aug. 26, which contrasted sharply with damage imposed by Tropical Storm Debby June 27.
The latest sea turtle hatchlings were beneficiaries of TS Isaac's soft advance through the Sun Coast track.
"Manasota Key had a couple new turtle nests this during the storm," said Norma Jean Zvosec of Boca Grande, a Coastal Wildlife Club spokeswoman. "Tropical Storm Isaac wasn't as devastating to our nests as Tropical Storm Debby was. And we still have nests that have been hatching, which is a good thing."
Surprise hatchlings have been popping up on Gasparilla Island beaches.
Tropical Storm Debby swamped more than 90 percent of nests laid before June 27 with nearly 10 inches of rain.
Yet 2012 is the first year sea turtle nesting in Southwest Florida topped 3,500 since monitoring began in 1988. The Coastal Wildlife Club reports a record 3,531 clutches laid as of Aug. 24 - or 375 more than the previous 1998 record of 3,156.
Although roughly two months of sea turtle nesting season remains, activity has all but stopped and it appears Gasparilla Island will fall short of its first 400-nest season. Gasparilla Island has so far notched a nest count of 391, which is 31 percent and 93 nests ahead of the 298 recorded the same time a year ago.
To volunteer for the CWC, contact Grace Harvey of Boca Grande at (941) 964-5642.
"We have not had any nesting on Gasparilla Island for a couple weeks," Zvosec said.
The CWC monitors Gasparilla Island, Manasota Key and Little Gasparilla Island beaches where nesting is up 1,020 clutches and 41 percent from 2,511 a year ago to 3,531. ?
About 3,000 people, mostly volunteers, monitor 800 miles of Florida's nesting beaches, including more than 140 volunteers covering sandy stretches from South Venice to the Boca Grande Pass.
All sea turtle species are considered threatened or endangered under state and federal laws with green turtles particularly rare.