Sea Turtle nesting season officially begins May 1st on S.W. Florida Beaches.
It’s a very exciting time when Mother Nature begins a new life cycle. And while we may want to take the opportunity to get “up close and personal” and witness this miracle of nature, there are several important “rules” to remember. These will ensure you disturb the sea turtles as little as possible.
Keep it dark: Lights can affect both nesting females and hatchlings.
- Flash photography can be disturbing and harmful to sea turtle nesting. Therefore, it is strictly controlled – and in many locations even prohibited. While on your Cool Beans Cruise, be sure to check with your captain to determine if it is permitted and when.
- Only use a flashlight with a red filter, and avoid shining light directly in the turtle’s eyes. Better yet, let the researchers and guides handle all the lighting.
- Many conservation projects encourage or require visitors to wear dark clothing on the beach, so be prepared.
- Fires on a nesting beach can distract nesting turtles, attract hatchlings and kill nearby nests.
For other things to remember and tips to protect the sea turtle nesting habitat, check out the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Then, watch our Facebook page and web site for our upcoming photography contests.