Sea Turtles 101
We have entered the turtle season here on the Space Coast!
Sea turtles those tiny super cute species that grow into huge & beautiful creatures that can weigh over 350 lbs!
We wanted to share with you a little bit about the sea turtles, why nesting season is so important and how you can experience the amazing process firsthand.
First off, did you know that Florida is the #1 place that sea turtles nest in North America?! Brevard County (home to Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral & Satellite Beach) is hugely important in the preservation of the loggerhead turtle.
Sea Turtles & Hatchlings
Sea Turtles lay their eggs in a nest above the high tide mark and are kept warm in the sand until they hatch. Mothers do not tend to their nests once the eggs are laid and covered up with sand.
The newly hatched sea turtles have to make it to the ocean unassisted. This time after hatching to making it to the water is one of the most dangerous times of their lives.
This is where it is important for us to keep lights dimmed around the beach. Hatchlings use the moon as a guide to make it to the ocean, so artificial lights can disorient them and cause them to walk away from the ocean vs. towards it
You may recall watching a segment in Planet Earth II where lots of sea turtles in Barbados were disoriented by city lights. While they normally do not disturb any animals in the wild, they did put them back in the sea.
We can help by dimming lights after 9pm and covering any holes up on the beach at the end of the day so they don’t get trapped.
How to Experience Sea Turtles
The best way to get up and close with the sea turtles is to join a tour. They happen at night, when they are most likely to hatch. We recommend these two groups that are reasonable, fun and reputable.
Sea Turtle Preservation Society
Sea Turtle Preservation Society volunteers and guides host walks during June and July in south Brevard County.
They start at 9:00pm and reservations are required. You can view their calendar and sign up on their website.
Friends of Sebastian Inlet State Park
The group also offers ranger guided turtle walks where you can learn about and observe the nesting and egg-laying process of the loggerhead sea turtle.
The walks happen Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in June and July. Reservations are needed and the cost is a $10 donation per person.
More information can be found on their website.