Turtle nesting season begins May 1

Posted at 10:38 PM, Apr 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-30 22:38:28-04

FORT MYERS, Fla-- May 1st marks the start of turtle nesting season. Experts want to remind residents and visitors it's against the law to touch or disturb a nest and hatchlings. 

Staff and volunteers will be out in full force scanning beaches early each morning for nests created overnight. 

Data collected from Florida Fish and Wildlife show more than 6500 nests were tagged in Collier, Lee and Charlotte county last season, with the majority of the turtles being loggerheads.

"We want residents  in the area to be careful with the beaches to make sure they are not driving down the beach and running over turtle nests," said Laurie Ruhl. 

Ruhl is currently the chair of the Democratic Progressive Environmental Caucus and has volunteered with several turtle organizations in the past. She said if people remember one thing this season she hopes it's to turn out their lights. 

Experts said any distractions can disorient a turtle especially when it comes to light, including flashlights. You're also encouraged to avoid taking photos with a flash if you plan to be at a beach after dark.

"So that the tiny turtles have an opportunity to make it to the water without being harmed," said Ruhl. 

To report a violation, call:

City of Bonita Springs (239) 949-6262

Town of Fort Myers Beach (239) 765-0202

Lee County Environmental Sciences (239) 533-8585

CLICK HERE for more information