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Sea Turtles, Hatchlings and Nests – Oh My!

A local nesting leatherback on Juno Beach

Here in Palm Beach County, we’re approaching the peak of the 2018 sea turtle nesting season. That means more… and more… and MORE nests and hatchlings will soon be found on our local beaches! And who doesn’t love sea turtle hatchlings? They’re obviously completely adorable.

Did you know that in 2017, Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s research biologists documented a record-breaking 19,000+ nests on the 9.5-mile stretch of beach we monitor? That’s one nest every three feet of beach! And of course, we’re hoping for another record breaking season.

Often during nesting season, beachgoers and other community members ask Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s team of staff, volunteers and supporters questions about how they can make a difference – how they can protect sea turtles.

That means today, we’ve got just the thing – a quick list of all you need to know to help us protect these threatened and endangered species. It may seem like a lot to take in, but it’s actually pretty simple once you get down to it! Check out our top nesting tips to help us protect sea turtles this season:

  • Turn off lights and draw blinds to help nesting females and hatchlings find their way
  • Fill in holes and knock down sandcastles to clear a path for sea turtles
  • Avoid walking through dunes and the surrounding vegetation
  • Put away chairs, beach toys or other items on the beach
  • Keep your distance from hatchlings and nesting sea turtles (P.S. – the best way to safely observe a nesting sea turtle is to join us for a Turtle Walk this June or July!
  • Don’t litter or release balloons and lanterns, because they end up littering the beach and our oceans
  • Share these tips with your community – for more information, visit marinelife.org/nesting

So, will it be another record breaking year? We hope so, because it means our local leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtle populations are surviving and thriving. We can’t do it without your help.

But until we get the final numbers after Oct. 31, our research biologists will ramp up the pace on the designated stretch of beach we monitor along Jupiter, Jupiter Island and Juno Beaches for sea turtle nesting activities and local beach and dune health. Join us, and help us protect these precious gems of the sea.