From The County Insider,
an online publication of the Nassau County Manager’s Office
May 14, 2018 10:30 a.m.
5/9/18 @ 1:55 p.m. – May is the beginning of turtle nesting seasons and it’s critical that beach front property owners and beach visitors do their part to conserve Florida sea turtles.
Below are some basic ways you can help Nassau County beaches remain sea turtle friendly:
- Turn off the lights – After sundown, turn of any lights not necessary for human safety. Use long wavelength amber LED lamps for lights that must stay lit and shield lights so they are not visible from the beach. Remember to close shades and curtains.
- Sea turtles get lost in the light – Don’t take flash photos on the beach at night and don’t use bright cellphones and flashlights. Additionally, open fires on the beach are prohibited from May 1st to October 31st.
- Sea turtles must be protected and respected – Stay back and give sea turtles space if you see one on the beach at night. Don’t touch a nesting turtle because it may leave the beach without nesting if disturbed. Remember, it is illegal to harm or disturb nesting sea turtles, their nests, eggs, or hatchlings.
- Clear the way at the end of the day – Beach furniture, canopies, boats and toys left behind may become obstacles that block nesting and hatching turtles. Remember that Nassau County has a Leave No Trace Ordinance which allows any item left on the beaches after 8:00 p.m. to be removed and destroyed. Be sure to fill in any holes before you leave as well.
- Help hatchlings by leaving them alone – Do not handle hatchlings crawling toward the water. Any interference or disturbance by people, such as getting too close or taking flash photos, increases the chances of the hatchlings getting confused, going the wrong way, and not reaching the ocean quickly. This makes them vulnerable to dehydration, exhaustion and predators. Watch from a distance!
To report sick, injured, entangled or dead sea turtles, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922 or email [email protected].
Fernandina Observer notes: For more information on local efforts to protect sea turtles, visit the website for Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch, Inc.