Sea Turtle Season in Destin, Florida
Help Make the Beach Safe for Sea Turtles!
With sea turtle season in Destin, Florida in full swing, we wanted to take some time to educate our readers on the importance of keeping the beaches safe for sea turtles. Whether you’re a local or here on vacation in Destin, Florida, there are multiple ways to do your part to keep the beaches a safe place for sea turtles.
The season lasts until about October 31st, but until then, female sea turtles will be making their way to our shores to lay their nests. They dig big holes and lay about 100 golf-ball-sized eggs in the holes, then cover them with sand to hide them from predators. From using red light outdoors in the evening to smoothing out the beach before you leave for the day, it’s easier than you think to keep the beaches safe for nesting sea turtles.
- When walking the beach at night, be cautious of the bright light shining from your flashlight! This can confuse hatchlings who are following the moonlight to get to the water and may send them into an unsafe location. Cover your flashlight with red tape to allow the sea turtles to make their way safely to the water.
- Flashlights aren’t the only source of light that confuse sea turtles! Once the sun sets, turn off any outdoor lights that could steer the turtles in the wrong direction. For baby sea turtles, or even mothers looking to lay their nests, they could make their way to your beachfront home in Destin, Florida instead of safely to the sand! Opaque curtains over windows will also help eliminate any unnecessary bright light.
- You’ve heard the phrase “leave only footprints” when talking about cleaning up the beach, but it applies to sea turtle safety, too! No kid wants to knock down their sandcastle after creating a masterpiece, but leaving obstacles like sandcastles, tents, canopies, and other toys on the beach in the evenings keeps sea turtles from being able to safely make it to the water or their nests. Fill in those holes, too! If you’re digging in the sand and come across a sea turtle nest, don’t disturb it! Cover the sand back up and move on to a new part of the beach. The last thing anyone wants is to find a sea turtle who mistakenly fell in a hole instead of their nest.
Looking to get involved? South Walton Turtle Watch¬†is a great resource for getting involved with sea turtle conservation across Destin. You can donate or become a volunteer to help protect sea turtles all across Northwest Florida during nesting and hatching season. When you vacation in Destin, Florida, it’s important to do your part to keep sea turtles returning year after year.