During sea turtle season, May 1 – Oct. 31, follow these tips to help turtles:
- Turn off lights visible from the beach and close blinds from sundown to sunrise; lights confuse nesting sea turtles and may cause them to go back to sea and drop their eggs in the water, where they won’t hatch. Light can also attract hatchlings away from the water.
- Don’t use flashlights, lanterns or camera flashes on the beach at night.
- Remove all beach chairs and other objects from the sand from sundown to sunrise; they can deter sea turtles from nesting and disorient hatchlings.
- Fill in the holes you dig in the sand before leaving the beach; they can trap nesting and hatching sea turtles, which cannot live long out of the water. To report large holes or other turtle obstacles:
- City of Anna Maria code enforcement — 941-708-6130, ext. 111.
- City of Bradenton Beach code enforcement — 941-778-1005, ext. 280.
- City of Holmes Beach code enforcement — 941-778-0331, ext. 260.
- Level sandcastles before leaving the beach; they can block hatchlings from the water.
- Don’t use balloons, wish lanterns or fireworks; they litter the beach and Gulf, and turtles can ingest the debris.
- Do not trim trees and plants that shield the beach from lights.
- Never touch a sea turtle; it’s the law. If you see people disturbing turtles, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).
Source: Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring
Sea turtle nesting season is on