It’s Turtle Time – #cleandarkflat
It’s turtle nesting & hatching season all over Florida! Specially-trained turtle nest spotters are combing the beaches each morning, looking for signs of new nests. By law, only certified members are allowed ¬†to interact with endangered sea turtles. The neon orange tape helps signify a nesting site. This is South Walton Turtle Watch’s nest #45, discovered just this past week.
To help the turtle babies come into this world, you can help make a difference.¬†South Walton Turtle Watch is promoting #cleandarkflat.
- CLEAN – Calling on all beach goers to remove everything from the beach at the end of the day. Sea turtles can’t back up, so if they move forward and become entangled in chairs, tent frames, volleyball nets, or fishing nets, they will carry it to the water and eventually drown.
- DARK – Keep lights that can be seen from the beach turned off. In addition, use red light emitting flashlights if walking the beach at night.
- FLAT – Please be sure to fill in your holes on the beach every day after building sandcastles. These two hatchlings were trapped in a deep hole last year.
We are fortunate to have two volunteer organizations, the South Walton Turtle Watch and the Emerald Coast Turtle Watch, to monitor known nesting sites. Follow both on Facebook to receive updates on the turtle nesting season.
In addition, you could join a nighttime educational beach walk. The walks are part of an effort to protect the sea turtle populations along the Emerald Coast, increase ecotourism in the area, and provide additional family-friendly activities.¬†Free and open to the public, the walks are scheduled every Monday and Wednesday at 8:00pm throughout the summer, and include a 30-minute orientation.
The walks explore Okaloosa Island and Destin and are open to a maximum of 20 people, age six and up. Times and locations subject to change based upon weather and turtle/turtle nest availability.¬†For more information or to sign up,¬†please email ECTurtleWatch@gmail.com.