Around our Pensacola waters are one of the most graceful and impressive of Nature’s creations: sea turtles. We have five of the seven known species of sea turtles that come to our Florida beaches to lay their eggs and swim in our Gulf waters. Their nesting season starts around May 1st and continues to the end of September, when our beaches are at their busiest. 90% of turtle nesting occurs in our Sunshine State.
Every one of the seven species of sea turtles are endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act and need to be protected. There are a few easy steps that should be taken when visiting our lovely Florida beaches to be sure these graceful creatures and their cute babies remain safe.
Knock It Down and Fill It In
-Knock down any architectural masterpieces you may have created (take a picture first J ) as these can become obstacles for the tiniest of turtles. If baby turtles are unable to reach the water they will not survive.
-Fill in any holes you may have dug during your beach day fun. Baby turtles can get trapped even in shallow depressions and become easy targets for predators or simply never make it to the water.
Lights Off for Sea Turtles
Lights on the beach and at the edge of the beach can confuse turtles. They navigate by the moon and if they see your porch light, your flashlight or your cell phone light they may head the wrong direction and not make it to the water.
Mom! I Found A Turtle Nest!!!
-Keep your distance: Mother Nature will guide the little guys to where they need to be without interference the vast majority of the time.
-Stay quiet: don’t scare or bother the babies in any way.
-Don’t touch! Don’t touch them with hands or with any objects.
-Turn off all lights: no cell phone lights, flashlights, video equipment or flash photos. Any light can be confusing and interfere with the dangerous journey they must undertake to the safety of the surf.
-Call for help: if the babies are headed anywhere but towards the water call Wildlife Alert (888-404-3922 or #FWC or *FWC) and allow the experts to assist the little tikes.
If you want to visit the turtles and learn more drop in at the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Center. They have a fantastic kid friendly learning display and would love to answer all of your questions.