People who are visiting Florida are a lot of times surprised to find out that over 100,000 endangered and threatened sea turtles are nesting on the beautiful beaches in Florida each summer.
The truth is that almost 90% of the nesting of sea turtles happens in Florida beginning in March and ending in October each year.
Think that’s cool?
You’re really going to love this next part, then. You’re able to see this amazing natural phenomenon for yourself. Along the Gulf and Atlantic coast you can find environmental groups and parks that are organizing walks in the evening from June to July. Having the chance to watch this happen is going to take planning but for those who have done it say it’s very memorable.
On typical turtle walks, the visitors on the tour go to a spot upon the beach where there’s one of the sea turtles digging her hole that’s one or two feet deep using the turtle’s hind flippers. Then she starts to fill her nest using eggs about the size of ping pong balls. Once she’s done laying she’ll refill the nest using sand and goes into the water. This takes anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes. The eggs will hatch 60 days later when the tiny turtles come out of the sand during the night and go to the water.
Types of Sea Turtles in Florida
The most common sea turtles in Florida are Loggerhead Sea Turtles. This turtle is anywhere from 200-250 pounds. Green turtles and bigger leatherbacks also coming here to lay their eggs. However, visitors can’t watch them since these types of turtles are endangered and the human presence could disturb the turtle.
In order to see this happening, it’s necessary to join a group. The sea turtle guides will know the state and federal laws about what’s allowed and what isn’t. for instance, you can’t use a flashlight unless you’re a guide and you can’t take flash photography.
These walks require reservations in advance. Some of the walk locations are rather far from the urban centers, so you want to have this planned during a vacation or a beach getaway.
Some Sea Turtle Walk Tips in Florida
- You’re going to be in a group that has 20-40 people in it. All of them must start with an informative talk or session. While this is happening, the majority of programs will send out some scouts in order to find some sea turtles that are nesting so that you can watch them.
- You’ll be walking one or two miles on the sand, so be in good shape.
- Bring some insect repellant and be patient. It doesn’t matter where you’re going – you may not see it happen.
- The majority of walking tours don’t allow children who are under the age of eight although there are some that accept children six and up.
- Most of the walks will charge fees up to $20 per person. Although some of them are free, these are the ones that will fill up quickly, so you want to book your spot quickly.
If you are planning to go to Florida during sea turtle nesting time, think about taking a turtle walk and you might just be able to see it for yourself. If you have the chance to do it, it’s something that you are never going to forget.
Where to observe sea turtle nesting in Florida:
- Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park 6503 N. Ocean Dr., Dania Beach, 954-923-2833
- Sebastian Inlet State Park Fishing Museum 14251 N. State Road A1A, Vero Beach, 772-388-2750
- Barrier Island Sanctuary 8385 S. Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach, 321-723-3556
- Sea Turtle Preservation Society 111 S. Miramar Ave., Indialantic, 321-676-1701
- John D. MacArthur Beach State Park 10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive, North Palm Beach, (561) 624-6952
- Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, S. Hwy A1A, Melbourne Beach, (321) 723-3556
- Conservancy of Southwest Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples, (239) 262-0304
Planning a Trip to Florida?
After seeing Florida’s sea turtles, return to the beauty and comfort of a home from Naples Florida Vacation Homes. We have a wide selection of homes located all over the Naples area. Whether you’re hoping to squeeze in a few rounds of golf during your visit or you’d like to relax by a private pool, you’ll find the perfect home to fit your needs.
Check out our rentals and book today! We look forward to having you.