May 1st – October 1st
Want to help protect sea turtles?
For millions of years female sea turtles have been coming ashore to lay their eggs on beaches. In the past the hatchling turtles were guided to the ocean by an instinct to travel away from the dark silhouettes of the dune vegetation and toward the brightest horizon which was the light from the sky reflecting off the ocean.
In present times however, many coastal areas are highly populated. There are many artificial lights near the beach that can deter females from nesting and disorient hatchling sea turtles. The hatchlings travel inland, toward the artificial lights, where they often die from dehydration, are preyed upon by fire ants and ghost crabs, or sometimes crawl onto the road where they are run over by cars. Light can cause a major disruption in the natural behavior of the turtles. Please do not use flashlights, flash photography, or video equipment if you see a sea turtle at night. This can cause a female to false crawl or lead a hatchling away from the water.