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Respect the Locals: How to Protect Sea Turtles This Nesting Season

As the nesting season approaches, here’s how we can continue to help sea turtles in The Palm Beaches.

The month of March marks the beginning of another season in The Palm Beaches – sea turtle nesting season. Perhaps the area’s original tourists, Green, Leatherback and Loggerhead Sea Turtles have been attracted for centuries to the pristine beaches that stretch between Jupiter and Boca Raton to lay their eggs. 

However, despite the high number of hatchings produced each nesting seasons, we must take into consideration the stark reality that very few make it to adulthood with the threats they experience, including predators, fisheries bycatch, ingesting plastics, illegal harvesting, entanglement in marine debris and more. The thought of losing this species could be a devastating blow not only to oceans but to our health as well. Sea turtles tell us the health of the ocean, which in turn tells us the health of our planet. These indicator species serve as our global ambassadors for ocean conservation.

As we return to one of nature’s greatest symphonies this nesting season, we ask you to respect the locals – the leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles that nest along The Palm Beaches. From March 1 to October 31, these longtime locals will make a reappearance on one of the world’s most densely nested beaches right in our backyard. In welcoming the season, the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) – one of Florida’s most visited nonprofit scientific facilities focused on sea turtle conservation – reminds beachgoers to use best practices to ensure nesting mothers have optimal conditions to lay their eggs.

Note: Any interaction with sea turtles requires a permit from state authorities.

Sea Turtle Do’s

Sea Turtle Don’ts

Protocol During Inclement Weather

During periods of heavier wind or wave action on Florida’s coastline, sea turtle eggs may become exposed. LMC advises beachgoers to leave exposed eggs and nests untouched; disoriented hatchlings should be brought to the Center’s 24-hour hatchling rescue cooler, which is located at the entrance of the center. Threatened and endangered hatchlings should be transported with extreme care, in a bucket with damp sand and no water, to prevent accidental drowning.

If you discover a sick, injured or stranded sea turtle, please call Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (*FWC) or LMC’s Sea Turtle Stranding Hotline at 561.603.0211.

Thank you for doing your part to make the 2024 nesting season a success! For more information, please visit LMC’s website at marinelife.org.

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