The vast majority of sea turtle nesting in the U.S. occurs on Florida coasts from May to September, reaching its peak in late June and July. Sea turtles face many threats from natural and human causes during their reproduction processes. In fact, only about one in every 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings survive to adulthood. Read on to learn how to protect and support sea turtles this nesting season!
- When on the beach or near the coast, use turtle-friendly lights or no lights at all (including the flash on your phone or cameras), as they can distract turtles and hatchlings who use the moon’s light to navigate.
- When the day is over, knock down any sandcastles and fill in holes in the sand so mother turtles can find their way safely out of the water and onto the shore.
- Watch sea-turtle nesting and hatching events from a distance. Turtles may be easily frightened or injured by human activity!
- Touch, approach, or interfere with the nesting or hatching processes.
- Leave furniture or toys near the water. These can hinder mother turtles as they come to shore to lay eggs or hatchlings as they navigate to the ocean!
- Walk on or otherwise disturb turtle nests. Some nests are marked with stakes and tape.
Other Tips and Actions
- Find public viewing opportunities with permitted organizations.
- Report sea turtles that are sick, dead, or in danger to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission hotline.
- Call: 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922), *FWC, or #FWC
- Text: Tip@MyFWC.com
- Report online
- Volunteer to survey beaches and record data for turtle nests.
Help Sea Turtles Year-Round
- Properly dispose of trash, debris, and fishing/boating gear.
- Learn more about the threats sea turtles currently face.
- Support sea turtle research and conservation efforts.
Info from Sea Turtle Conservancy and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (1)(2).