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Guidelines for 2021 sea turtle nesting season

The 2021 Sea Turtle Nesting Season starts on May 1st and runs through October 31st from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Below are some guidelines you should follow to make sure this nesting season is a safe one for our marine wildlife.

Guidelines for 2021 Sea Turtle Nesting Season

  • Shut off or shield lights that are visible from the beach. Close drapes or blinds after dark. Use 25 watt yellow-bug lights where exterior lighting is necessary. Avoid using flashlights or fishing lanterns on the beach. Fires are not permitted. Lee County has a Sea Turtle Conservation Code which is enforced. For information regarding lighting, or to report a lighting violation, please call Lee County Division of Environmental Sciences (239) 533-8353.
  • Remove beach litter. Balloons, plastic bags, foam and other non-degradable pollutants cause the deaths of many sea turtles who mistake them for food.
  • Quietly observe a nesting turtle from a distance. Do not shine any lights on or around her — she may abandon her effort to nest. No flash photography. Stay behind the turtle so that she cannot see you.
  • Do not harass a turtle by touching her or prodding her to move. Stay out of the way as she crawls back to the water.
  • Stack or remove beach furniture.
  • Keep pets on a leash, away from sea turtles and their nests.
  • Leave sea turtle nest identification markers in place on the beach.
  • Leave nest sites undisturbed. If you find a hatchling wandering in daylight, place it on moist sand in a dry container, shade it and call Turtle Time, Inc. immediately: (239)-481-5566.

To report dead or injured sea turtles, or, if you have accidentally hooked a sea turtle that is small enough to rescue, contact:

  • Statewide: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 1-888-404-FWCC
  • In Lee County: Turtle Time, Inc. (239)-481-5566
  • In Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties: Clearwater Marine Aquarium (727) 441-1790
  • In Manatee County: Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch (941) 778-5638
  • In Manatee and Sarasota Counties: Mote Marine Laboratory 888-345-2335
  • In Charlotte County: Coastal Wildlife Club (941) 212-2214