From Sand to Surf: Saving the Sea Turtles

Aug 08, 2021

Sea turtle nest on pensacola beach

The peak of Sea Turtle nesting season is here! Sea turtle hatchlings face many threats on their trip to the Gulf. Please keep these etiquettes in mind when visiting.

  • Go Dark - Shield or turn off outdoor lights that are visible on the beach and please do not use a flash camera. Artificial lights can affect sea turtle behavior. Eliminating light pollution allows the turtles to recognize the water and helps them to go undisturbed.
  • Observe from a distance - Stay away and avoid contact with nesting turtles, nests, or hatchlings. It is illegal to touch sea turtles or hatchlings on the beach. Sea turtles imprint on beach that they hatch on and, if female, they return as an adult to lay their own eggs. Picking them up could interfere with this natural process. It is best to simply admire their beauty from afar.
  • Fill it in - Fill in holes and knock down sandcastles that may entrap hatchlings on their way to the water.
  • Leave no trace behind - Put away beach chairs, umbrellas and any other obstacles to help avoid the potential risk of turtles getting stuck.

Nearly all species of sea turtles are classified as threatened or endangered. Sea turtle hatchlings face many obstacles when leaving their nests. Only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood. If you see a nest hatching on the beach, please call Escambia County Marine Resources at (850)426-1257 and turn off all lights and stay a safe distance away.

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