Sea Turtle Nesting Season Tips
During sea turtle nesting season (May 1-Oct. 31), please heed the following turtle-friendly tips. Starting early is great too; sometimes the first local sea turtle nests arrive in April.
DO stay away from sea turtle nests marked with yellow stakes and tape, and seabird nesting zones bounded by ropes.
DO remain quiet and observe from a distance if you encounter a nesting sea turtle or hatchlings.
DO shield or turn off outdoor lights that are visible on the beach from May through October.
DO close drapes after dark and stack beach furniture at the dune line or, ideally, remove it from the beach.
DO fill in holes that may entrap hatchlings on their way to the water.
DON’T approach nesting turtles or hatchlings, make noise or shine lights at turtles.
DON’T use flashlights, head lamps or fishing lamps on the beach.
DON’T encourage a turtle to move while nesting or pick up hatchlings that have emerged and are heading for the water.
DON’T use fireworks on the beach.
Sea turtles are protected under federal law and any harassment or interference with a sea turtle, living or dead, is subject to penalty. If you're in Florida and witness anyone disturbing a turtle or find an injured or disoriented hatchling or adult, please notify the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at (888) 404-FWCC (3922), the local sheriff’s department and/or Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program at (941) 388-4331. If you find a dead or injured sea turtle, contact Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program at (941) 988-0212.