A beautiful photo from Destin, FL

It’s Turtle Time!

Florida’s endangered sea turtles are nesting!

It’s that time of year when sea turtle eggs are coming ashore to make nests along the Destin, FL Gulf Coast. We are fortunate to have volunteer organizations such as the South Walton Turtle Watch and the Emerald Coast Turtle Watch to monitor known nesting sites and report updates. Both organizations post frequent updates to their facebook pages.

  • Both Turtle Watches have a message for beachgoers:  Fill in those holes and remove all items from the beach. Nesting turtles can fall into holes dug along the shore. The turtles can also can become entangled in trash left behind. In addition, never shine a light of any kind onto a sea turtle nest, cage, or at an adult sea turtle or hatchling.

    photos: South Walton Turtle Watch

  • Once the nests are in place, the incubation times will range from 45 to 95 days, depending on incubation temperatures, but averages 55 to 60 days for most clutches.
  • The Turtle Watch groups are volunteers whose purpose is to locate endangered and threatened sea turtle nests and to protect them along the beaches of NW Florida during the crucial nesting and hatching season. By law, only certified members are allowed to interact with endangered sea turtles. 

“We, as sea turtle volunteers, go through many hours of training so that we may help these wonderful sea turtles. We are learning more each year. That is why we can get a sea turtle permit which allows us to help endangered and threatened animals.”  

-Sharon Maxwell, South Walton Turtle Watch

  • The watch groups want to emphasize the proper procedures for any visitors who might happen upon nests or hatchlings:

-Always use a red light emitting flashlight on the beach

-Keep lights that can be seen from beach turned off

-Fill in your holes and smooth out your sandcastles for the night

-Take your “stuff” off the beach when you leave

-Put your trash in the trash bins provided

-Report any seen sea turtle activity to the Walton or Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Dept.

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