Home > Blog > July 2017 > Sea Turtle Season In Progress Along Florida's Emerald Coast

Sea Turtle Season In Progress Along Florida's Emerald Coast


Have you ever been walking down the beach and noticed a square or rectangle section of beach roped off with caution tape? If so, you’ve had the joy of viewing a sea turtle nest. Sure there is not a lot to see on the outside, but there is a lot going on just under the sand, which is critical for the future of endangered sea turtles. Sea turtle nesting season is well underway in Destin, Miramar Beach and all along the Flroida Panhandle. 

Sea turtle nesting season runs from May through October. In 2017, the high surf from Tropical Storm Cindy reduced the number of nests along our shores.  Before the storm, there were 37 turtle nests in Walton County and five in Okaloosa County. South Walton Turtle Watch reported at least 95 percent of its turtle nests were washed out. Emerald Coast Turtle Watch said four out their five nests were also damaged in the storm.

As the season continues, our mama turtles have been working hard. The South Walton Turtle Watch reported there are now 80 marked turtle nests in South Walton and Emerald Coast Turtle Watch reported there are 11 nests in Okaloosa County (8 in Destin and 3 on Okaloosa Island). However, protection of the nest is only half the battle. Did you know? 
It's estimated that only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood.

Sea turtle hatchlings eat a variety of prey including things like molluscs and crustaceans, hydrozoans, sargassum sea weed, jellyfish, and fish eggs. Unfortunately, hatchlings also mistake garbage as food and ingest them.

Hatchlings use the natural light horizon, which is usually over the ocean, along with the white crests of the waves to reach the water when they emerge from the nest. Any other light sources such as beachfront lighting, street lights, light from cars, campfires etc. can lead hatchlings in the wrong direction, also known as disorientation. Once out of the nest, hatchlings face many predators including ghost crabs, birds, raccoons, dogs, and fish.

How you can help, when you visit the beach:
=         Useo nly red light emitting flashlights at night ( these can be found on line at www.turtlesafeonline.com and at many hardware type stores.  You can also use stickers for your flashlights found at www.turtlesafeproducts.com.)
=         Keep lights that can be seen from beach turned off, including balcony lights on condos.  
=         Fill in your holes and smooth out your sandcastles for the night
=         Take your “stuff” off the beach when you leave
=         Remove all trash from the beach 
=         Never release helium balloons into the sky. Like plastic trash, helium balloons often end up in the Gulf where sea turtles mistake them for food. 

Are you ready to book your next Destin or South Walton vacation and support endangered sea turtles? Newman-Dailey has a vast selection of 30A, South Walton, and Destin vacation rentals to accommodate any size or budget. View our beach rentals here or call one of our friendly vacation specialists at 1-800-225-7652.

See you @ the beach!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Stay in Touch

(800) 225-7652
(850) 837-1071
[email protected]

Stay Connected

Best of EC Badge

© 2023 Newman-Dailey Resort Properties, Inc.   12815 Highway 98 W Miramar Beach, FL 32550   Website design by Scurto Marketing