sea turtle hatchling on beach in front of water at sunrise

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins May 1

Sea Turtle Nesting Season is May 1 – October 31

Turtle nesting season started May 1, and that means hundreds of sea turtles will be emerging from the surf to lay eggs on the beach in the next few months.

After incubating in the sand for about two months, the tiny hatchlings will break free and make an often treacherous crawl to the ocean – dodging predators, holes, trash and beach furniture. Tragically, some will also be led into harm’s way by beachfront lighting.

It’s estimated that only about one in 1,000 to 10,000 hatchlings will make it safely to sexual maturity.

Jennifer Winters, Volusia County’s sea turtle Habitat Conservation Plan program manager, wants to improve those odds, and she could use your help. “We need everybody’s help to make this a safe and productive nesting season,” she said. “We encourage residents and visitors to respect our wildlife and ‘let the night provide the light.’”

How to Protect Sea Turtles

During nesting season, residents are required to turn off, shield or redirect lights so they don’t shine on the beach. If you see a nesting adult sea turtle or hatchlings making their way to the ocean, admire them from a distance.

Nesting season runs through Oct. 31.

During a typical year, 400 to 500 nests are laid in Volusia County. Last year’s count was 576.

For more information about Volusia County’s sea turtle program call 386-238-4716, 238-4668 or visit: VolusiaSeaTurtles.org

Leave a Reply