About Sea Turtles and Beaches
We know how much most people love our beaches, and want to remind you that they are also important as nesting areas for sea turtles. Our sand dunes are required to be protected by the State, not only to preserve our homes and businesses, but as a home to many unique plants and animals.
We ask that you and your guests please help protect Florida's sea turtles and the coastal habitats. Please see the Town's sea turtle protection regulations, Section 161.19 of the Land Development Code contained within the Code of Ordinances.
CLICK HERE for a printable day and night color flyer about turtles on our beaches.
Beach walkers can make a significant contribution to sea turtle conservation by removing balloons and plastic bags from the beach before the tide and winds return these items to the ocean, as they remind sea turtles of jelly fish, a favorite food, and ingestion of these items can result in death. Fishing lines, kite string, and discarded lines from boats are also potential hazards to sea turtles and should be collected, as these items can become tangled in the turtle’s flippers and hinder its swimming ability potentially to the point of drowning. Click here for information about Blue Tubes for plastic bags.
Sea turtle season on the Atlantic coast is March 1 through October 31. These are reminders to help the turtle season be successful:
- Sea turtles are protected by both the Federal Endangered Species Act and the Florida Marine Protection Act. It is against the law to touch or disturb nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or their nests.
- If you see an injured, dead or stranded sea turtle, call the Town's Public Safety Department, (772) 231-2451 and file a non-emergency report. You may also choose to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (888) 404-FWCC (3922) or *FWC from your cell phone. Please be prepared to answer the following questions: Is the turtle alive or dead? What is the location and closest access point to the turtle? What is the approximate size of the turtle? Is the turtle marked with spray paint (documented turtles are marked.)
- Try to limit walking on the beach at night. If you need to see where you're going, use only an amber or red light - NO flash photography. The light can disrupt the nesting process or cause other nearby turtles to pass on by and look for another nesting area.
- Outside and indoor lights must be shielded from shining directly onto the beach by closing the drapes at night. Lights disturb nesting sea turtles and hatchlings. The Town has lighting ordinances that help reduce beachfront lighting. Please make sure your beachfront lights are in compliance with the law.
- Don't forget to take your trash with you when leaving the beach.
- Do not climb over the dunes or disturb the dune vegetation. Please use designated crossovers and walkways when crossing a dune.
Sea Turtle Watching Tips by SEEturtles.org
The 2020 season as of July 29:
Coastal Connections survey teams have identified:
5973 Loggerhead sea turtle nests
855 Green sea turtle nests
73 Leatherback sea turtle nests
Click here for Statewide information from 2019 nests.
Our County had
5,753 loggerhead nests
235 green turtle nests
949 leatherback nests
The State of Florida had
91,451 loggerhead nests
4,545 green nests
949 leatherback nestss
Thank you for your vigilance and help.