How You Can Help Protect Sea Turtles
- Minimize beachfront lighting during the sea turtle nesting season by
turning off, shielding, or redirecting lights.
- Close blinds and draperies in oceanfront rooms at night during the nesting
season to keep indoor lighting from reaching the beach.
- Do not construct campfires on the beach. Sea turtle hatchlings are known
to be attracted to the light emitted by campfires and crawl into fires and
- Use your natural vision when walking on the beach at night. The use of
flashlights and flash photography can deter turtles from coming ashore to
nest or cause them to abort nesting attempts.
- If you encounter a turtle on the beach at night, remain quiet, still, and
at a distance, otherwise she may become frightened and return to the ocean
- Leave the tracks left by turtles undisturbed. Researchers use the tracks
to identify the species of turtle that nested and to find and mark the nests
- Properly dispose of your garbage. Turtles may mistake plastic bags,
styrofoam, and trash floating in the water as food and die when this trash
blocks their intestines.
- Celebrate events without the use of helium balloon releases. Like plastic
trash, balloons end up in the ocean, especially when released near the
coast. Sea turtles mistakenly eat the balloons and die.
- Remove recreational equipment, such as lounge chairs, cabanas, umbrellas,
and boats, from the beach at night. Their presence can deter nesting
attempts and interfere with the seaward journey of hatchlings.
- Protect beach vegetation that stabilizes sand and the natural coastline.
- When boating, stay alert and avoid sea turtles. Propeller and collision
impacts from boats and ships can result in injury and death of sea turtles.
Also, stay in channels and avoid running in seagrass beds to protect this
important habitat from prop scarring and damage. Avoid anchoring boats in
seagrass beds and coral reefs, which serve as important foraging and resting
habitats for sea turtles.