North Florida Ecological Services Office
Southeast Region

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Terrestrial Critical Habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated about 685 miles of coastal beach habitat as important for the recovery of the threatened Northwest Atlantic Ocean population of loggerhead sea turtles, as directed by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The terrestrial critical habitat areas include 88 nesting beaches in coastal counties located in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. These beaches account for 48 percent of an estimated 1,531 miles of coastal beach shoreline and about 84 percent of the documented nesting (numbers of nests) within these six states. These areas contain one or a combination of the following: see Supporting Materials for details.

  • Suitable nesting beach habitat.
  • Sand suitable for nest construction and embryo development.
  • Suitable nesting habitat with sufficient darkness so as not to deter nesting turtles
  • Natural coastal processes or artifically created or maintained habit mimicking natural conditions.

Supporting Documents

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service designated marine critical habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. For details visit

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Last updated: February 7, 2018