Sea Turtle Nesting
From May 1st through October 31st, Loggerhead Sea turtles successfully nest and hatch along the beaches of St. Petersburg and Clearwater. With over 20 miles of shoreline, our area is prime real estate for turtle nests. Female turtles come ashore in the dark, dig a hole and lay 100 to 150 eggs at a time. During the course of a season, a single female lays three to eight nests. After a 45 to 70 day gestation period, hatchlings emerge from the nest at night and follow the moonlight reflecting off the Gulf.
Sea turtles can be disoriented by lights visible from the beach causing hatchlings to become attracted inland. When this happens, they most often die of dehydration, predators or are run over by motor vehicles. Occupants of beachfront properties are asked to minimize the use of lights that shine directly on the beach. Information about turtle friendly beach lighting from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission can be found on the Sea Turtle Lighting Guidelines.
If you’re interested in learning more or would like information about what you can do to help protect the Sea Turtles please contact Fort De Soto Park in Tierra Verde, Sea Turtle Trackers in St. Pete Beach, or Clearwater Marine Aquarium.