Sea turtle nesting season is right around the corner and Collier County is preparing for the sea turtles to hatch.
The season starts May 1st and runs through October.
To help protect the sea turtles while they nest and hatch here's what you can do, according to the Collier County government.
- To protect nesting sea turtles and the hatchlings, turn off lights on the beach (including your cell phone!). Lights may confuse the hatchlings trying to head to the water. They find the water by going towards the light reflecting off of the Gulf of Mexico.
- If you see a turtle either in the water or in the sand digging a nest -- do not approach. If you run up to her, shine a light or even make the slightest noise, she could abandon her nesting.
- Never prevent a turtle from going into the water.
- Leave nest, eggs and hatchlings alone. Do not touch them. Eggs that have been uncovered or moved will probably not hatch.
- Do not leave your trash on the beach. Trash could be a potential death trap for hatchlings.
- Keep your pets off of the beach. Pets can dig up nests, eat hatchlings or scare nesting turtles away.
- If you dig holes in the sand, fill them before you leave.
- Remove beach chairs and other furniture off of the beach by 9:30PM. Any furniture left on the beach past that time is subject to penalties under the Collier County Land Development Code.
Sea turtle nests are protected by law. If you see a dead or injured sea turtle, call Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or text *FWC or #FWC.