A beautiful photo from Destin, FL

It’s Turtle Time!

It’s that time of year when sea turtle eggs begin hatching along the Gulf Coast.

We are turtles on the Gulf Coastfortunate 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. Hatchings will continue until late October along our beaches in Destin, FL.

  • The South Walton Turtle Watch posted this notice this week:  “This is sea turtle hatching time. Please remember never shine a light of any kind onto a sea turtle nest, cage, adult sea turtle or hatchling. As you as you shine a light on them this disorientates them and they don’t know where to go. Call someone and wait. Do not shine a light onto them.”
  • The South Walton Turtle Watch is a group of 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

ecotourism NW FloridaThe South Walton Turtle Watch group is keeping folks updated on the nests by posting Facebook updates, such as this one:  “Nest #22, east side of Tops’l condos has hatched and been evaluated and some of the Miramar gang got a rare treat, one I have not seen in Walton County before. An Albino hatchling, wow, and with a big dark colored egg sack on it.”

 

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

Destin Florida turtles

  1. Always use a red light emitting flashlight on the beach
  2. Keep lights that can be seen from beach turned off
  3. Fill in your holes and smooth out your sandcastles for the night
  4. Take your “stuff” off the beach when you leave
  5. Put your trash in the trash bins provided
  6. Report any seen sea turtle activity to the Walton or Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Dept.
Have fun!

Kendra Veach

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One Response to It’s Turtle Time!

  1. My son is almost 16 and adores sea turtles. We were hoping to make a trip this spring or summer to see the turtle hatchlings. Can you give me the months to bring him to FL to see some please and the best beaches in which to see some please. Thank you for any info you can provide.
    Karen Crane