The beginning of sea turtle nesting season in Southwest Florida is upon us once again. May 1 marked the "official" start of nesting season, but Captiva was the lucky recipient of the first loggerhead nest on the west coast on Sunday, April 28.
All sea turtle species are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and are either threatened or endangered. As nesting season gets under way on the islands, please keep the following in mind to provide a safe beach for nesting and hatching.
Shield or turn off lights near the beach;
Early morning nesting green sea turtle on Sanibel last summer. Please note that the photo was taken from a safe distance using a telephoto lens.
Take all beach furniture, tents, and umbrellas off the beach with you;
Fill any holes you dig;
Pick up trash on the beach, especially plastic;
Honor the leash law;
Do not approach or disturb nesting turtles;
Never take a flash photo of a sea turtle;
Limit your use of flashlights on the beach at night.
For more information on the sea turtles that nest and hatch on our beaches, visit the SCCF Nature Center for our Turtle Tracks education program.