Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Help protect our nesting sea turtles

Sea turtle nesting season is in full swing so please help protect these endangered creatures.

Sea turtles nest on beaches across Franklin County including St. George Island, St. Vincent Island and Alligator Point.

The vast majority of the nests found in Franklin County are from Loggerhead turtles, though very rarely there are also nests from the more endangered leatherback turtles.

And the public can help in protecting sea turtle nests this summer.

The nests look like piles of sand, and they are most easily recognized by the turtle crawl marks that are left when the female turtle pulls herself from the Gulf of Mexico to the dune line where most turtle nests are found.

If you should find an unmarked turtle nest this Summer, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC and they will make sure someone comes out to check and protect the nest.

And don’t forget Franklin County is actively enforcing its “Leave No Trace” ordinance to protect nesting sea turtles and to keep local beaches looking cleaner.

The ordinance bans people from leaving items like tents and beach chairs on public beaches on St. George Island overnight; items that are left out can be confiscated by the county and destroyed at the landfill.

If you would like to learn more about our sea turtles, then atend one of the free sea turtle talks at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve this summer.

The talks are held on Wednesday afternoons at 2 PM.

The Nature Center is at 108 Island Drive in Eastpoint.