Sea Turtle Season
Green turtles... an endangered species in Florida
From May 15 through October 31, the area beaches host an unusual marine visitor - the sea turtle. These magnificent animals emerge from the surf at night to lay their eggs in nests dug into the dry sand, then return to the sea. Two months later, about a hundred baby turtles (hatchlings) emerge from each of these nests and crawl to the ocean. This amazing cycle of Mother Nature is thousands of years old.
Our government has taken several steps to protect these gentle creatures and the fragile dune area. Beach driving and parking is prohibited west of an established dune conservation zone and beachfront lighting at night is limited. The tiny hatchlings can be confused by bright lights and stray west onto busy Highway A1A.
Please do the following when on the beach during sea turtle season:
- Don't disturb a turtle that is crawling to or from the ocean or laying eggs. Watch from a distance of at least 30 feet.
- Avoid shining lights on the beach at night as this may frighten away nesting females and, interfere with the hatchlings ability to find the sea.
- Avoid walking or cycling in nesting areas
- Report any injured or dead sea turtles to any Volusia County Beach Services employee.
- Do not disturb markers or protective screening over turtle nests. These nests are being studied and protected.
- Avoid walking on the beach dunes.
- Don't disturb nesting sea birds.
- Don't litter. Cigarette butts, fishing line and other trash can harm the animals and birds along the beach.
To learn more about these majestic sea creatures visit the Marine Science Center, located at 100 Lighthouse Dr. in beautiful Ponce Inlet. You'll be able to view sea turtles up-close at the rehabilitation facility, as well as rescued sea birds and a kid-friendly teaching lab -- complete with microscopes! For a sneak peak visit the Marine Science Center or call (386) 304-5545.
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