Sea Turtle Nesting in St. Augustine

by Stephanie

Many different species of sea turtles are endangered which means that it is very important that we protect their babies to ensure their population lives on in the future. In St. Augustine, we are privileged enough to have a front row seat to this process as thousands of sea turtles come on our shores to lay their nests every year. 

Sea turtle nesting season takes place from March to October as the eggs are laid and then eventually the babies will hatch and make their way to the ocean. As you're preparing for your visit to St. Augustine. Here are some things to keep in mind so that you can help us conserve the sea turtles and protect the species for years to come. 

Sea Turtle Nesting Season

  • Never Tamper with Nests or Sea Turtles Themselves: While you may believe you're helping the baby turtles get to the ocean, scientists believe this trip to the water lets them imprint on their own beach. If you ever come across a nest or the turtles themselves, never tamper with them. Wildlife can also carry diseases so it's best to just let them make the journey on their own.
  • Leave No Trace on the Beach: Sandcastles and trash can be a hazard for fresh hatchlings and cause them to not make it to the ocean or get caught by predators on the way. Before you pack up your stuff on the beach for the day be sure to remove all trash and knock down any sandcastles.
  • Turn Off Lights in Your Vacation Rental: Baby sea turtles make their way to the ocean by the light of the moon so lights on the shore or off shore can confuse them and cause them to go in the wrong direction. Lights should be turned off by 10pm so that the turtles can find the moon and follow it to the ocean safely.
  • Be Aware of Nests on the Beach: Sea turtles lay their eggs at night so if you're out for a stroll in the early morning then be aware of new holes in the ground where eggs may be. Nests that have been discovered will be marked and taped off so do not get too close to them. Make a phone call to the Florida Wildlife Commission if you discover an unmarked nest. 
  • Program Helpful Numbers into Your Phone: Florida Wildlife Commission’s (FWC) Wildlife Alert Number is 1-888-404-3922. Program that into your phone so if you see a dead, sick, injured, or stranded sea turtle, you can quickly call for assistance. It is also important to report any harassment of turtles or disturbance of nests. They are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 and Florida's Marine Turtle Protection Act (379.2431, Florida Statutes).

Book Your St. Augustine Vacation Rental and Enjoy the Beaches Like the Turtles Do!

Windjammer offers you access to oceanfront living in St. Augustine, Florida. You might even get lucky enough to see a sea turtle or two during your time here. Enjoy ample space in your vacation rental and turn the lights off by 10pm every night to get up and have fun all over again the next day. Book your vacation rental today! 

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