Nesting Sea Turtles

Each year, starting in May, sea turtles chose the beach as their nesting ground. These turtles are typically Loggerhead, Green, Kemp's Ridley, and sometimes even Leatherback sea turtles. Approximately 60 days after nesting the baby sea turtles are ready to hatch. This hatching season typically runs through the end of October. 


Only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive until adulthood and almost every species of turtles are considered endangered. That's why it's so important not to disturb these little hatchlings. 


Sea turtle hatchlings use the light of the moon to guide them to the water but cannot get distracted by lights coming from homes, condos and businesses facing the gulf. Sometimes special lights are installed to lower the output thus keeping the hatchlings from taking a detour from their intended path to the water. 


What can you do to help?


* If you are staying in a home or condo facing the gulf keep all outside lights off once the sun goes down. Sometimes this isn't possible but the more you can do that the better the chances are that the turtles will make it to the water and survive.  


* Keep beach areas clean of debris. Remove all tents, toys, etc from the beach. Leave only your footprints!


* If the kids have dug a hole in the sand or built sandcastles make sure to knock them down before leaving the beach so the little hatchlings won't fall into the holes or run into the sandcastles. 


* If you decide to take an after dinner walk on the beach or want to stick your feet in the water after dark please only use flashlights with red lights. The hatchlings are much less likely to be distracted by the red lights. Please be on the look-out for nests and stay back from those areas. Do not attempt to touch or disturb the turtles in any way or they may not make it to their destination. Watch from a distance please. Because these little hatchlings are so sensitive to light we also ask that you not use a flash on your camera if you decide to take a picture.  



 If you see a sea turtle or hatchling that is sick, injured, in distress or deceased, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 24-hour hotline at 888-404-3922.


Thank you for helping our sea turtles thrive and stay alive!