Monday, May 3, 2021

Sea turtle nesting season officially began May the 1st

Sea turtle nesting season officially began May the 1st.

For the rest of the summer sea turtles will dig nests on beaches across Franklin and Gulf counties including St. George Island, St. Vincent Island, Alligator Point and Cape San Blas.

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

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.

You can also help by not using bright lights on the beaches at night – man made lights tend to disorient the turtles and keep them from nesting.

You can buy turtle safe flashlights for your nighttime walks.

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.

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