It’s Turtle Nesting Time

IMG_4071The Venice Sea Turtle Patrol, along with other Sea Venice painted turtles would like to remind you that tomorrow is the first official day of sea turtle nesting season on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The season began in March on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, and you can help these endangered creatures by remembering a few simple things:

  • Avoid disturbing marked sea turtle nests, and do not leave trash on the beach.
  • Do not climb over the dunes or disturb the dune vegetation.
  • Do not disturb nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or their nests – it’s against the law!  The Federal Endangered Species Act and the Florida Marine Protection Act protect sea turtles.
  • Avoid going to the beach at night. Do not use flashlights or flash photography.
  • Turn off outside patio lights and close the drapes at night to shield indoor lights from shining directly onto the beach.

Finally, if you see an injured or dead sea turtle, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or *FWC from your cell phone. Please be prepared to answer the following questions: What is the exact location of the animal? Is the turtle alive or dead? What is the approximate size of the turtle? Is the turtle marked with spray paint? (This indicates that the turtle has been documented.) What is the location of the closest access point to the turtle? (From Sea Turtle Conservancy website.)

And who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and see a turtle or hatchlings on shore!