SEA TURTLE nesting season begins today! I normally enjoy seeing beautiful beach art but it can be disastrous for a female turtle in nesting season. On our island summer nights from May through October, female loggerhead turtles (and occasionally green turtles, leatherbacks and Kemps Ridley turtles) lay their eggs on the same beach where they were hatched decades earlier. Obstructions like sand castles, beach chairs, coolers or even deep sand pits can distract or injure the mother turtle or her babies after they hatch. Did you know that lights on the beach after dark can disorient adult and baby turtles? Yes, they go towards the light instead of heading to the water so they might end up in the street or parking lot. So we wont be doing any night shelling without red filters on our flashlights until fall. Not a bad price to pay for keeping baby turtles safe, huh?
This is information provided by the City Of Sanibel as a reminder of what you can do to protect SEA TURTLES…
By following these simple guidelines, you can do your part to ensure the survival of these magnificent creatures:
- Turn off or shield lights near the beaches. Artificial beach lighting can inhibit female sea turtles from nesting and disorient hatchlings. Most beachfront lighting issues can be addressed by turning off all unnecessary lights, repositioning or modifying light fixtures, or closing blinds and drapes.
- Remove furniture and other items from the beach and dune area, when not in use, between the hours of 9:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. Items left on the beach including beach furniture, toys and trash may provide barriers to nesting or result in entanglement and predation of hatchlings.
- Level all sandcastles and fill any holes dug during play. These are fine during the day but may pose additional hazards at night. Please leave the beach as you found it, so that sea turtles and hatchlings are not hindered on their way to nest or to the water.
- Pick up all trash. Sea turtles mistakenly eat debris, especially plastic, which results in death.
- Honor the leash law. All dogs on the beach must be on a leash and not allowed to disturb nesting turtles or hatchlings.