Naples Sea Turtle Nesting Season is Underway Now

The Naples sea turtle nesting season officially started on May 1st. However, some people spotted evidence of nesting as early as April 22nd. During nesting season, sea turtles come up onto the beach, seeking shelter in the vegetation growing there. That’s where they lay their eggs. So, we should start seeing the hatchlings searching for their way back to the sea starting sometime in June. To keep this beautiful part of the eco-system safe, here are a few things you can do to help.

The Naples sea turtle nesting season is upon us. Between now and Oct 31st, we may see turtles and hatchlings traversing the beaches around sunset. Follow these simple rules to ensure their safety during this time.

Naples Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Lights Endanger Turtles

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Mama sea turtles and their babies travel our beaches at night. They use the light reflecting off the water to find their way back and forth. Streetlights, flashlights, and even camera/cell phone lights confuse them. This could endanger their lives by sending them off in the wrong direction, towards vehicle traffic that may kill them. Therefore, keep lights away from the beach.

When at the beach at night, turn off any light sources (lanterns, flash photography, flashlights, etc.). Use only long wavelength lamps/amber LED lights when needed. Shield them and keep them shining directly onto the ground in front of you. Lower your blinds that face the beach side of your Naples home. Keep light sources away from any window that faces the beach. Turn off exterior lights on your house, including porch lights, landscaping lights (solar, too), and any decorative lighting. We don’t want to confuse the hatchlings or their mamas.

Clean Up After Yourself

This makes sense anytime you visit a Naples or Marco Island beach. But, it’s especially true during the Naples sea turtle nesting season. Pack up all your beach chairs, towels, coolers, bags, umbrellas and trash when you leave. Fill in any holes you may have dug or that cropped up from your beach chairs. We need to leave a clear pathway for the turtles to travel.

Leave Them Be

If you’re lucky enough to see the turtles coming and going along the beach, stay back. Give them plenty of room to roam. Bright lights, loud noises, and even simply walking up to them could cause female sea turtles to turn around and abandon their nests. Also, let the turtles return back to the sea on their own.

If you come across a nest, leave it alone. Any eggs that have been handled by a human or moved from one place to another may harm the hatching process. It could even kill the hatchlings before they’re born. Even if you think you’re helping by moving the nests to what you feel is a more secure location, don’t. And leave all beach vegetation alone. Female sea turtles use this to protect their nests. If you trim it, it could leave the nests vulnerable to the elements.

Between now and early summer, Naples sea turtle nesting season is in full swing. After that, we’ll be seeing hatchlings returning to the ocean all the way through the end of October. Please be aware of these amazing creatures as they traverse our beaches over the next few months. We want to keep them safe on their journey so that they live nice long lives.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?