Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins May 1, 2023
Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins May 1
Sea turtle nesting season begins May 1, and St. Johns County officials are asking residents, visitors, and businesses to help protect natural habitat by observing all nesting season laws and regulations. The beaches of St. Johns County are home to several species of endangered or threatened sea turtles.
From May 1 to Oct. 31, St. Johns County staff will close vehicular beach access gates at 7:30 p.m. and reopen them at 8 a.m. to allow nesting sea turtles to have a safe beach throughout the night.
Beach visitors can have a positive impact on nesting sea turtles by taking the following actions while enjoying the beach:
- Refrain from using fireworks and open fires.
- Remove ruts and sand castles at the end of your beach day.
- Do not leave beach chairs or canopies on the beach overnight.
- Flashlights are strongly discouraged as they can harm sea turtles.
- Avoid entering dunes and conservation zones (15 feet seaward of the dune line).
- Refrain from releasing balloons, which can fall into the ocean and harm marine life.
- Never approach sea turtles emerging from or returning to the sea. Nesting sea turtles are vulnerable, timid, and can be easily frightened away.
Never push an injured animal back into the ocean. If you encounter an injured, sick, or deceased sea turtle, please call the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency dispatch line at 904.824.8304. Leave only your footprints, providing the turtles with a safe and clean habitat to nest and hatch. St. Johns County is grateful to volunteers, residents, visitors, and businesses for supporting habitat conservation efforts and keeping our beaches beautiful. For more information, please call St. Johns County Habitat Conservation and Beach Management at 904.209.3740, or visit www.sjcfl.us.